Lexus LC500h shoves hybrid soul into LFA-inspired shell

Lexus isn’t a newcomer to the hybrid scene, having previously experimented with electric and combustion drive systems in almost all of its lines. Now, it’s its latest Porsche 911-killing LC series getting the treatment ahead of Geneva Motor Show.

The LC series is the spiritual successor to the company’s manic LFA, which was possibly the best looking computer on wheels ever made. Lexus hopes to continue this with the LC500h, only this time, the coupe packs a hybrid powertrain unlike the pure V8 monster LC500 (pictured above).

The Multi Stage Hybrid System, as Toyota and Lexus call it, is the former’s tech used in practically all of its hybrid cars, only beefed up and improved for the LC500h. Lexus believes that the LC500h provides drivers with the sharpest, most responsive driving experience of any hybrid on the market — a bold claim.

The company’s system uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor. The former pushes out around 290bhp, while the total output of the system stands closer to 350bhp. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s enough to propel the car to 100km/h from standstill in around five seconds.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the LC500h is its drivetrain — Lexus employs a four-speed gearbox for the engine, and a tuned CVT box for the electric motor that’ll give the impression of a six-speed ‘box. It’s all too complicated to explain before Geneva, but it does sound like Lexus know what it’s talking about.

And if the internals are too boring, the body definitely isn’t.

The car’s expected to make its public debut at Geneva Motor Show kicking off 3 March 2016.

Andy Walker, former editor


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