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2018 Lexus LC 500h


It is hard to miss a Toyota model in any International Auto Show across the globe. This year alone the automaker has been busy showcasing facelifts, new models and concepts. Earlier in the year at Detroit, the automaker released the Lexus LC500, a striking and powerfully equipped coupe. Recently, the automaker released 2018 Lexus LC 500h, a hybrid version of the coupe, which was displayed at the Geneva Auto Show. However, we will have to wait a little bit longer before we see the model on public roads. Read along to find out what Toyota offers on the hybrid version of the LC500 coupe.

2018 Lexus LC 500h Exterior

Except for a few visual differences, the 2018 Lexus LC 500h looks identical to the LC 500. The models are also identical in terms of their measurements where they both stretch 187.4 inches long, 75.6 inches wide and have a height of 52.9 inches. They also share an 112.9-inch long wheelbase. The LC500h features a host of blue badges that tell it apart from the conventional variant. In addition, the rear fascia has an “h” lettering to denote its hybrid status. There is also another “Hybrid” badge placed behind its gigantic air intakes.

Other features mimic those of the conventional LC500. At the front, the hybrid features the same gigantic spindle grille that has a 3-D mesh design.  The grille is flanked by LED headlights as well as vertically shaped LED DRLs, which help to improve its aerodynamics. The coupe’s hood is also placed low; it latches below the headlights without leaving a large overhang. This has resulted in a sporty and muscular stance.

Moving over to the sides, the vehicle’s fenders extend almost touching the A-pillars. The coupe also features a slight bodyline that commences at the side of the door, stretches to the rear, and terminates ahead of its rear wheel arches. On the sides, the fenders stretch high touching the A-pillars. In addition, a gentle body line starts at the side of the door and runs to the rear just ahead of the rear wheel arches. Its side skirts are muscular and feature an airdam that channels air to the rear brake calipers.

The rear, the model features a dramatic roofline that stretches to meet the prominent trunk lid. The rear also features multi-layered LED taillights that have an L shape. You will also notice a plain diffuser along with dual exhaust outlets that have chrome surround.

 

2018 Lexus LC 500h Interior

The interior f the LC500h is identical to that of the conventional LC500. It is characterized by a two-tier dash. The dash is upholstered in leather and Alcantara. In addition, its steering wheel and center console are also upholstered in Alcantara.

However, the hybrid features a different infotainment system and instrument cluster. The infotainment system features extra menus and options to operate the hybrid drive-train, options that are not possible on the LC500.  On the other hand, its instrument cluster displays information about the coupe’s battery and about its regenerative braking system.

The cabin is specifically designed to have the driver sit close to the ground. The model also adds a sport shifter. Its seating arrangement accommodates four passengers in a 2+2 seating arrangement.  This seating arrangement means the rear passengers will have plenty of headroom and hip room. However, legroom is a bit tight for the rear passengers.

Overall, the cabin looks attractive. I must give credit to Toyota designers for designing quite a stunning cabin without using any accenting which allowed the automaker to play around with upholstery design.

Engine specs and performance

The hybrid drive-train is the most significant difference with the LC500. The LC500h is motivated by a new system the automaker has christened as the “Multi Stage Hybrid System”.  The system offers a sporty and more engaging driving experience. It pairs a 3.5 L, V-6 petrol mill with a 44.6kW lithium-ion battery pack.

The petrol mill is capable of producing 295 horses and 257 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the electric motor adds 59 horses to bump output to 354 horses. Although official acceleration results are not yet out, Toyota estimates that the coupe will run from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds, a  second slower than the LC500.

The engine is paired to a 4-speed automatic gearbox that channels power to the rear wheels. However, this is a bit odd for the automaker considering other Lexus and Toyota hybrids use CVTs. Toyota, however, says that the 4-speed provides a better connection between throttle and engine speed better than the CVT system.

Price and release date

During the release, Toyota did not say anything about its price.  Anyway, it is too early for the automaker to release the prices as the model is expected to hit dealerships in late 2017. The automaker has not released pricing details of the LC500 either. However, I think the model will attract in excess of $100,000. Keep it here for more updates on the new Lexus coupes.

Competition

The new LC500h like its twin, the LC500 will battle with the likes of Mercedes S-Class coupe, BMW 6-Series and Infiniti Q60. However, only Lexus offers a hybrid coupe, which might place the model at a competitive advantage.

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