2017 Lexus LC 500h

2017 lexus lc 500h – DOC665597

It’s been less than two months since we entered a new calendar year and Toyota is arguably the busiest automaker out there. While on one hand it decided to axe the Scion sub-brand, on the other hand it is working on an expansion program for the Lexus division, which received a brand-new member at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. It is called the LC 500 — it’s drop dead gorgeous, and sports the RC-F’ s naturally aspirated V-8 under the hood. We’ve already speculated about the possibility of getting an LC F and LC 500 Convertible in the coming years, and Lexus has just announced that the luxury coupe will go hybrid.

The first derivative of the LC 500 family will break cover at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and, unsurprisingly, will be sold as the LC 500h. The new vehicle will expand Lexus’ hybrid lineup to no fewer than seven nameplates, but more importantly, it will become the company’s first two-door with a blue badge on its nose.

Lexus has yet to unveil specifics, but did release a few photos of the LC 500h, which is also based on the LF-LC concept. In addition, it announced that the hybrid coupe will debut alongside the LF-FC study, which made its first appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015. The LC 500h will break cover on March 1st, so make sure you stick around for the full rundown. Meanwhile, keep reading to find out what we already know about Lexus’ first hybrid coupe.

Exterior

Lexus LC 500h

Being based on the LC 500 we saw at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the LC 500h is of course identical to its gasoline-powered sibling save for a few minor details. Much like any hybrid Lexus out there, the LC 500h comes with blue badges front and rear to help set it apart from conventional versions of the same car. Likewise, the “LC 500” lettering under the trunk lid received an additional “h,” which stands for hybrid. Then there’s the “Hybrid” badge behind the big intakes in the side skirts. The wheels also seem to be identical to the standard model’s, but there are minor differences in the design. Again, Lexus’ aim is to give its customers a model that’s greener, but equally aggressive by design. And needless to say, the LC 500h is a complete success in this regard.

Everything else is as seen on the LC 500, meaning that the hybrid model sports the same bold and muscular design. Highlights include the massive spindle grille, the redesigned headlamps with the hockey stick-shaped LED daytime running lights, the wide rear fenders, and the big exhaust outlets underneath the trapezoidal rear fascia.

Interior

Lexus LC 500

Lexus has yet to publish photos of the car’s interior, but it’s safe to assume it will also be identical to the standard LC 500. Look for the same two-tier dashboard and soft surface sewn in high-quality leather and Alcantara, and tremendous craftsmanship all around. There will be minor changes compared to the regular model, but expect to find them only in the instrument cluster and the infotainment display.

The former should display additional info about the car’s battery and regenerative breaking system, while the latter should include a couple of extra menus and options related to the hybrid drivetrain. A “hybrid” badge could also find its way into the cabin, most likely on the passenger side of the dash. Lexus could also offer a new upholstery option exclusive to the LC 500h for customers who want to stand out.

Drivetrain

Lexus LC 500h

The brand didn’t give out specifics in this area, but it did say that the LC 500h will be equipped with Lexus’ next-generation hybrid powertrain. Dubbed the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, it will provide “enhanced driving pleasure, more performance, and greater efficiency.” We expect this drivetrain to combine a revised version of the company’s 3.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle V-6 engine and a brand-new electric motor. Although Lexus already has a V-8 hybrid in the LS 600h, it wouldn’t be a good option of the LC 500h given that the sedan can only achieve up to 23 mpg on the highway.

A V-6 and electric motor combination won’t be as powerful, but it should enable the coupe to achieve at least 35 mpg on the highway or maybe even close to 40 mpg. Don’t expect the hybrid to be as powerful as the standard, 467-horsepower model, but look for a total system output of at least 400 horses. Torque should be superior to the LC 500’s 389 pound-foot rating.

Prices

With the LC 500h still a few weeks away from its official debut, pricing is obviously a mystery. Making things that much more complicated is the fact the Lexus has yet to reveal pricing information for the standard LC 500. The only thing we know for a fact is that the hybrid version will be more expensive than the gasoline-only model. With that in mind, expect the LC 500h to fetch well above the $100,000 mark before options.

Competition

BMW i8

BMW i8

The size of the LC 500 allowed us to compare it to the commanding Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe, but since the Germans aren’t offering a hybrid yet, we have to look at smaller vehicles in this niche. The i8 might not be as roomy and luxurious as the LC 500h, but it has just enough oomph to qualify as a fast coupe. Power comes from a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder rated at 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque and an electric motor that generates 131 horses and 184 pound-feet. Total output sits at 362 horsepower and a whopping 420 pound-feet of twist, which enables the i8 to hit 60 mph in only 4.3 seconds, making it quicker than the gasoline-only LC 500. This German coupe can travel up to 372 miles with a full tank and a fully charged battery, while its electric motor has enough energy for 22 miles. Pricing for the i8 starts from $140,700.

Conclusion

Lexus LC 500h

Lexus did a tremendous job with the LC 500, creating a luxury coupe that has what it takes to compete against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It’s big, luxurious and powerful, and more importantly, it’s gorgeous to look at. Sure, it might not be as roomy as its German counterpart in the rear, but it sports a muscular yet elegant appearance not even the S-Class can match. The fact that Lexus will give it a hybrid drivetrain makes it that much better. In fact, until Mercedes launches a hybrid version of the S-Class Coupe, the LC 500h will be the only luxury coupe on the market using such a powertrain.

LOVE IT

  • Stunning design
  • Luxurious interior
  • Strong performance, enhanced fuel economy
  • No real competitor on the market

LEAVE IT

  • The BMW i8 is quicker
  • S-Class Coupe hybrid underway
  • Pretty expensive

Press Release

Lexus will unveil the hybrid version of its all-new LC luxury coupe at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The LC 500h is equipped with Lexus’ next generation hybrid powertrain, the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, providing enhanced driving pleasure, more performance, and greater efficiency.

Lexus LC 500h

The LC was first revealed at the 2016 North America International Auto Show. Its styling, performance and craftsmanship position the vehicle as Lexus’ flagship coupe. The LC also utilizes Lexus’ new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability.

Inspired by the acclaimed LF-LC concept that debuted in 2012, the LC represents a shift in Lexus’ engineering processes and design ideologies, and marks the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand. Its outstanding visual appeal has been unanimously praised following the Detroit reveal, and recognized by professionals who granted LC EyesOn Design awards for Production Car and Best Designed Interior at the 2016 NAIAS.

Lexus will also display the LF-FC concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. LF-FC is a visionary new vehicle that offers a peek into the design and technology direction of Lexus’ future flagship sedan. Initially revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the LF-FC is powered by a high output fuel cell system. It also features an advanced touchless human machine interface as well as automated driving technologies.

The Lexus Press Conference will take place on March 1 at 11:30 CET at the Lexus stand (number 4211) in Hall 4, Palexpo.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.