Since the turn of the year, Toyota has been very busy. The automaker has been axing models on its scion brand. While that is happening, they are busy expanding the Lexus brand. During the Detroit show earlier in the year, the automaker released the LC 500, a stunning looking and powerful coupe.
The automaker has followed that with a hybrid version which recently broke cover at the Geneva Auto show. The coupe becomes the 7th Lexus to get a hybrid drive-train and the first 2-door to get a blue badge on its snout. The model is christened the” 2018 Lexus LC 500h, the “h” denotes its hybrid drive-train.
2018 Lexus LC500h Exterior
The 2018 Lexus LC500h is identical to its conventional twin the LC 500 except for a few visual differences. Like other Lexus hybrids, the LC 500h features blue badges to set it apart from the conventional version. At the rear, the “LC500h” has received an extra ‘h” which stands for hybrid. Another “Hybrid” badge is featured behind its big air intakes in the side skirts. The idea behind the model is to give buyers a greener “Lexus” with an aggressive design.
Other features are similar to the conventional model. They include the huge spindle grille with a 3-D mesh design. Flanking the grille is a pair of stylish LED headlights, and vertical LED DRLs which add to its aerodynamics. The hood sits low and latches below the top of the headlights without a creating huge overhang. The hood looks sporty and muscular.
On the sides, the fenders stretch high touching the A-pillars. There is also a gentle body line that starts at the side of the door and runs to the rear just ahead of the rear wheel arches. Its side skirts look muscular and sit high at the rear; this also provides an airdam which allows air to the rear brake calipers.
At the rear, you will notice the dramatic roof line that meets an elevated trunk lid. Below the trunk lid is a pair of multi-layered taillights with a sequential L motif. The rear also features a plain diffuser with two dual exhaust tips with a chrome surround.
Dimension-wise, the vehicle is similar to the LC 500. It features a112.9-inch wheelbase, 187.4-inch length, 75.6-inch width and a height of 52.9 inches.
2018 Lexus LC500h Interior
The interior also mimics the conventional model. It features a 2-tier dashboard with soft surfaces upholstered in premium-quality Alcantara and leather. The center console and steering wheel are also wrapped in leather and Alcantara. The only changes are on the instrument’s cluster and infotainment system.
The LC 500h instruments panel displays information on the vehicle’s battery as well as on the regenerative braking system. On the other hand, the infotainment system includes additional options and menus on the hybrid drive-train.
The cabin is designed to have the driver sit as close as possible to the center of gravity which enables him to feel much feedback from the car. Its center console features a sport shifter. The hybrid coupe accommodates 4 passengers in a 2+2 setting which provides sufficient hip room and headroom, though legroom at the rear is a bit constrained.
The cabin is visually pleasant; this has been achieved without any accenting. Lack of accenting allowed Lexus to use brilliant upholstery design and materials including unique lines on doors.
Engine Specs and Performance
The 2018 Lexus LC500h coupe is powered by a new hybrid system dubbed the “Multi Stage Hybrid System”. The system has been crafted with a more engaging and sporty driving experience in mind. It features a 3.5 L V-6 gasoline mill which combines with a powerful electric motor backed by a 44.6 kW lithium ion battery pack.
The gasoline engine p produces 295 hp and 257 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor steps in to take power to 354 hp. With this power, the automaker estimates the coupe to hit 60 mph from standstill in less than 5 seconds which will be a half a second lower than the standard model which completes the same run 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The engine is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission gearbox which is mounted at the rear axle. The 4-speed gearbox is rather odd considering the automaker uses CVTs on all other Toyota and Lexus hybrids. The automaker however argues that the new transmission preserves the connection between engine speed and throttle better than a CVT.
Price and release date
Toyota didn’t reveal the price of the LC 500h during the launch as it is still too early. In addition, the automaker is yet to announce official prices of the conventional LC 500h.
However, expect the LC500h to cost more than its conventional twin. Here at ToyotaDriver.com we believe the price will be over $ 100,000. Make sure to check back for more updates.
When it comes out, the Lexus hybrid coupe will compete against the BMW I8S.