Automotive

Lexus shifts gears with the 350-hp LC 500h hybrid

Lexus shifts gears with the 35...
Lexus LC 500h
Lexus LC 500h
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A peek inside the new LC 500h
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A peek inside the new LC 500h
A peek inside the new LC 500h
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A peek inside the new LC 500h
Lexus says that it carefully designed the cockpit around the driver
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Lexus says that it carefully designed the cockpit around the driver
The LC 500h features a next-generation touch pad
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The LC 500h features a next-generation touch pad
LC 500h interior
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LC 500h interior
Inside the new Lexus LC 500h
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Inside the new Lexus LC 500h
The steering wheel features a "change in cross-sectional shape throughout the rim circumference to accommodate variations in grip"
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The steering wheel features a "change in cross-sectional shape throughout the rim circumference to accommodate variations in grip"
The LC 500h features new magnesium alloy paddle shifters
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The LC 500h features new magnesium alloy paddle shifters
The LC 500h features a sporty roofline
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The LC 500h features a sporty roofline
Lexus LC 500h
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Lexus LC 500h
The triple LED headlamps are combined with the arrowhead DRLs
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The triple LED headlamps are combined with the arrowhead DRLs
The L-shaped LED lights create a 3-D look
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The L-shaped LED lights create a 3-D look
Lexus LC 500h
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Lexus LC 500h
The new LC 500h features the all-new Multi Stage Hybrid System
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The new LC 500h features the all-new Multi Stage Hybrid System
The LC 500h has bold, muscular rear fenders
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The LC 500h has bold, muscular rear fenders
Lexus spindle grille out in full force
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Lexus spindle grille out in full force
Lexus LC 500h
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Lexus LC 500h
Lexus LC 500h
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Lexus LC 500h
Lexus LC 500h
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Lexus LC 500h
The Lexus LC 500h will make its world debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show on March 1
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The Lexus LC 500h will make its world debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show on March 1
The LC 500h has 354 hp on tap
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The LC 500h has 354 hp on tap
Lexus' new hybrid system is designed for both efficiency and responsive, spirited driving
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Lexus' new hybrid system is designed for both efficiency and responsive, spirited driving
Lexus says that the LC 500h's 0-62 mph will be under 5 seconds
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Lexus says that the LC 500h's 0-62 mph will be under 5 seconds
Lexus LC 500h
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Lexus LC 500h
Lexus LC 500h
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Lexus LC 500h
View gallery - 25 images

There are long, drawn-out car teasers, and then there are super-quick campaigns that are there and gone in a flash. Lexus goes the latter route with the all-new LC 500h. Just days after announcing the new hybrid and showing the first photos, it has revealed the details on the car's all-new hybrid powertrain and design ... plus more photos of the sexy blue coupe.

Lexus developed the LC 500h's new Multi Stage Hybrid System with two goals in mind. First, it wanted to ensure a sporty, responsive driving experience by closely aligning engine speed with throttle input. Second, it wanted to give the system the best combination of power and fuel efficiency possible.

To fulfill those not-entirely-compatible goals, Lexus added a new four-speed automatic transmission to a familiar hybrid mix of 3.5-liter V6, electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. Mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission, the four-speed gearbox gives the driver a rawer, more satisfying connection between accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration than the typical CVT can muster. The driver can also switch the transmission over to manual mode for direct shifting, a first in a full-hybrid Lexus.

The new LC 500h features the all-new Multi Stage Hybrid System
The new LC 500h features the all-new Multi Stage Hybrid System

While the new transmission adds weight, Lexus says the extra poundage is completely offset by the lighter electric motor and battery, keeping the new Multi Stage Hybrid System the same weight as current hybrid technology. The total output of the hybrid system is 354 hp, a drop from the gas LC 500's 467 hp, but enough juice to ensure a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) "well into the sub-5 second range," which compares well to the LC 500's "less than 4.5 seconds."

The LC 500h may be a driver's car, but it's still a modern luxury car, meaning the latest in driver assistance. Lexus rolls features like a pre-crash safety system with pedestrian detection, all-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and auto high beams into the new Lexus Safety System +, which comes standard.

Toyota chief Akio Toyoda wants to make Lexus a badge that people are viscerally excited to own and drive, and the LC 500 is the first part of the plan. He let Lexus engineers loose on the new car with marching orders to optimize the weight and structure for a fast, sharp ride.

It all starts with the newly developed premium rear-wheel drive platform with its lowered, centralized concentration of mass. The powertrain is mounted just behind the front axle, and short overhangs pull mass off the vehicle ends, effectively pushing the wheels to the corners. Lightweight materials and components, including an aluminum hood, a carbon and glass composite boot lid, ultra-compact LED headlamps and an available carbon fiber roof, help pull the needle of the scale back while pushing the center of gravity lower.

The styling of the LC 500 cars remains remarkably true to the original LF-LC concept that inspired them. Debuted more than four years ago at NAIAS 2012, that concept wasn't originally meant for production, but the oohs, aahs and accolades eventually convinced Lexus to see it through.

Lexus says that the LC 500h's 0-62 mph will be under 5 seconds
Lexus says that the LC 500h's 0-62 mph will be under 5 seconds

From the front, the LC 500 looks as though it's been carefully hand-sculpted back, its every upper line pulled toward the rear. Lexus' signature spindle grille is bolder than ever, flanked by super-sharp triple-LED headlights connected to daytime running lamps.

On the sides, the doors have been gently tucked in, accentuating the bold front, strong rear fenders and large wheels. Vents at the arches lend a hint of power and speed. The roofline drops sharply while tapering into a taut rear, where the eye meets what might be the car's most interesting styling point – the shark tooth taillight surrounds.

The LC 500 series is clearly all about the driver, and Lexus has created a properly driver-focused interior. It's structured the driver's hip point as close to the center of gravity as possible for better driver-vehicle connection. The seat grips and steadies the driver while the shaped steering wheel lets him or her confidently grip the car right back. A next-generation touch pad and new multimedia package with faster software provide infotainment with support from the premium Pioneer audio system (an "audiophile-worthy" Mark Levinson system is available optionally).

Inside the new Lexus LC 500h
Inside the new Lexus LC 500h

Lexus showed the gas LC 500 at NAIAS 2016 in January and will debut the LC 500h in Geneva in just over a week.

Source: Lexus

View gallery - 25 images
4 comments
lyricsparoles.com
It looks good beautiful
Jason Catterall
Wow, 4 speed transmission? How delightfully 1983.
Eddy
Even though Audi use it I don't like that gaping front grille, I would rather see some metal to give the illusion of some frontal strength.
Mel Tisdale
Seeing as road vehicles are going through a period of revolution, why not apply Edwin Land's suggestion of having windscreens and headlamps etc. polarised at 90 degrees to each other? It is guaranteed to work because there is nothing to go wrong. All it would take would be the framing of a global convention. (Wear a pair of spectacles also polarised at 90 degrees to the windscreen and riding in a driverless car might prove not to be as frightening as it is currently almost bound to be!)