Following the world premiere of the V8-powered LC500, Lexus has unveiled the LC500h, which features the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid System, a next-generation hybrid powertrain specifically designed for performance vehicles like the LC.
The LC500h is enveloped by a glamorous exterior that represents a uniquely evocative, more fluid interpretation of Lexus’ L-finesse design philosophy. The coupe’s athletic profile is characterised by a sweeping roofline that tapers from the central position of the occupants, creating a uniquely human-centred silhouette.
The equally striking interior design (pictured below) reflects the exterior design theme of dynamic luxury, with a cabin that combines all the elegance, quality and sophistication of a Lexus premium coupe with high driving pleasure and comfort for the co-driver. Whilst the front passenger area is shaped to spread out towards the front, creating a comfortable and welcoming space, the driving position has been designed to invite spirited driving, and promote driver confidence through an intuitive control layout and ergonomic excellence.
All information displays have been carefully arranged in order of importance by their proximity to the driver’s sight line. The instrument binnacle itself houses a variation of the innovative driver’s meter with moving centre ring from the LFA, and the centre console features a next-generation touch pad for the Remote Touch Interface (RTI). The 2017 Lexus multimedia package debuts with the LC, and features faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and an updated graphic user interface.
Throughout the interior, the quality and finish of the upholstery, hand-stitched leather centre console and dash pad, and drape-forming Alcantara door trim, reflect a level of Takumi craftsmanship and attention to detail for which Lexus is globally renowned. The Multi Stage Hybrid System was developed with opposing goals in mind: to create a hybrid with a more sporting and engaging driving experience by closely aligning engine speed with throttle inputs, and to achieve the best possible balance of power and fuel consumption.
The new Multi Stage Hybrid System marries the elements of a traditional full hybrid powertrain (3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack) with a 4-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission.
The electric motor generates better acceleration feel than a conventional engine, and adding physical gears more closely aligns engine rpm with the driver’s inputs. The result is a much more direct connection between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration, and a 0-100 km/h timing well into the sub-5sec range.