Following a surprise debut in January this year, the jaw-dropping Lexus LC 500 coupe will be joined by another variant, the Lexus LC 500h, set to make its public debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
Almost identical externally, save for the addition of hybrid badges on the sills, and a striking blue paint finish in place of the original coupe’s red, it’s under the bonnet that the biggest changes take place.
Gone is the LC 500’s 5.0 litre V8 engine and 10-speed automatic, and in its place a 3.5 litre V6 paired with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery, sending drive to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic.
Lexus claims the LC 500h will be capable of a 0-100 km/h time of under five seconds; it has shied away however from quoting fuel consumption figures.
Raw engine specs reveal the 3.5 litre naturally aspirated V6 produces 220kW of power and 348Nm of torque with a combined system output of 264kW, compared to the roaring V8 version with 351Kw and 530Nm.
The LC 500h debut’s the new Multi Stage Hybrid System, essentially ditching the CVT transmission of Lexus’ previous hybrid cars in favour of a four-speed automatic with Lexus claiming that “adding physical gears more closely aligns engine rpm with driver input”.
The Multi Stage Hybrid System will also be the first Lexus hybrid to offer ‘M’ Mode, allowing the driver to take control of manual gear shifts.
Built atop Lexus’ new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (dubbed GA-L for short), the LC will be the first future front engined rear wheel drive Lexus to utilise the new low-weight adaptable platform.
Like the LC 500 before it, Lexus has indirectly confirmed that the LC 500h is set for an Australian launch, but further details including pricing, specification, and launch timing won’t be revealed until closer to launch.
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