Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Lexus Press | posted March 02, 2016 08:25
Lexus LC 500h features new hybrid system and all-new platform
Lexus has officially released details of the hybrid trim of their latest flagship coupe, the LC 500h, just a little over a month after Akio Toyoda introduced it at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
Perfecting elements from the LF-LC concept, the LC 500h comes up with a more fluid interpretation of the L-finesse design philosophy.
The LC 500h has a 2,870 mm wheelbase with compact 920 mm front and 970 mm rear overhangs and a notably low bonnet line.
Coming with its own unique signature lighting, the LC 500h comes with independent, arrowhead Daytime Running Lights (DRL) with a triple LED headlamp unit in front and L-shaped LED lamps in the rear.
To keep it glued to the ground, the LC 500h uses the front and rear wheel arch to vent air and improve high-speed stability while the rear diffuser and active rear spoiler manages airflow during performance driving.
The LC 500h will come with either a choice of bespoke, 20" cast and 20" and 21" forged aluminium alloy wheels.
Its profile clearly shows the central position of the occupants and as with the RC series, the driver’s hip point is as close as possible to the LC 500h’s center of gravity to maximize feedback.
The information display has been arranged in order of importance relative to the driver’s line of sight. It also uses a variation of the driver’s meter with a moving center ring from the LFA and a newer version of the touch pad for the Remote Touch Interface.
A premium Pioneer system comes as standard equipment but audiophiles can opt for the Mark Levinson system if they so choose to.
Hand-stitched leather and Alcantara-trim adorns the cabin to reflect the Takumi craftsmanship Lexus is known for.
Using the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid System, the LC 500h aligns the engine speed with the throttle input to get the most power and best fuel consumption.
The LC 500h powertrain is a 3.5L V6 gas engine and a new lightweight and compact electric motor using a lithium-ion battery that sends power to a 4-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission.
Total engine output is 359 PS at 6,600 RPM while total torque is 348 Nm at 4,900 RPM.
While the electric motor provides better acceleration, the physical gears align the engine’s RPM closer to the driver’s input resulting better throttle response and acceleration.
The Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System is also the first to offer driver-initiated gearshifts on a Lexus full hybrid powertrain using the ‘M’ mode.
As the brand’s newest flagship coupe, the LC 500h debut Lexus’ all-new, premium rear-wheel drive platform, which will become the blueprint for future front-engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models.
It comes with a front mid-ship layout using very short front and rear overhangs in order to push the wheels to the edges of the vehicle. It also uses run-flat tires in order to eliminate the excess weight of the spare tire.
In order to lighter the weight of the LC 500h, it uses aluminum front hood and fenders, aluminum door skins mounted on a carbon fiber structure, a carbon and glass composite boot lid, aluminum front suspension towers, ultra-compact LED headlamps, available forged alloy wheels, carbon fiber roof and strategically located high-tensile steel body structures.
The LC 500h uses a front multi-link suspension system with two upper and two lower control arms, with double ball joints on each arm for more precise steering feedback.
Safety features include the Lexus Safety System + which combines a camera and millimeter-wave radar for a high level of detection performance, the Lexus Safety System+ also comes with a Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with a pedestrian detection function, All-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp technology.