In January this year Lexus revealed their stunning new LC500 coupe at the Detroit Motor Show. Essentially a road-going version of their LF-LC Concept from a 2012, the LC500 was met with praise the world over.
For the Geneva Motor Show Lexus have given their LC Coupe a fresh lick of paint and a new powertrain. Gone is the RC F derived 5.0-litre V8 and in its place is a 3.5-litre V6 mated with an electric motor and lithium ion battery.
Lexus claims the LC500h is their most dynamic hybrid yet and that’s due to the new Multi Stage Hybrid System they’ve developed for this car. The big difference here is whereas most hybrids use CVT gearboxes, the LC500h has one with actual gears. A 4-speed auto is mounted at the rear, which Lexus claims “gives drivers the ability to initiate direct and responsive gear shifts for the most sporting and engaging drive.”
Because of the lightweight and compact lithium ion battery offsets the extra weight of the automatic gearbox, Lexus claims this new Multi Stage Hybrid weighs as much as a conventional hybrid system with a CVT.
While that doesn’t sound quite as heart racing as a 5.0-litre V8, the hybrid system is still good for 354bhp/264kW, 348NM of torque, and a 0-100 km/h time of under 5 seconds.
The LC is also the first Lexus to sit on the GA-L platform, a new rear-wheel drive platform that will form the base for future Lexus models – including the replacement for the LS sedan.
With Lexus saying the LFA replacement has been put on hold in favour of more “affordable performance”, it’ll be interesting to see where else they go with the LC model. They’ve now revealed a hybrid version, they have a standard V8 car… How about combining the two and making a V8 hybrid LC F? Surely Toyota/Lexus would be keen to jump on the high performance hybrid bandwagon.