2017 Lexus LC 500h features the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid System

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 18, 2016

The new Lexus LC 500h, a hybrid version of the all-new LC luxury coupe will be unveiled in the coming 2016 Geneva Motor Show -- featuring the company’s recent breakthroughs in hybrid technology. The new hybrid promises better efficiency, performance and improved driving experience thanks to the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, Lexus’s next generation hybrid powertrain.

On the other hand, the flagship luxury coupe, the all-new LC was recently debuted during the 2016 North American International Auto Show. With its premium styling, fine craftsmanship and dynamic performance, it is easy to gauge that this luxury coupe showcases Lexus’ latest architecture and design philosophy.

The LC is inspired by the LF-LC concept that was first unveiled in 2012, which marked a shift then in Lexus’ design language and engineering philosophy. The impressive visual styling of the concept was praised and recognized as evidenced by the awards this concept has received: LC EyesOn Design awards for Production Car and Best Designed Interior at the 2016 NAIAS.

Meanwhile, Lexus will be showcasing another car, the LF-FC concept in the same 2016 Geneva Motor Show. This new concept is touted as a sneak peek into what the company’s future flagship could look like and was first unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

This concept car is considered revolutionary because it is powered by a high output fuel cell system and features high tech touchless human-machine interface as well as automated driving capability.

Exterior Design

Just like the Lexus LC 500, the Lexus LC 500h is inspired by the LF-LC concept that was unveiled in 2012. It features a form achieved by blending dynamic coupe proportions and innovative elegance – while staying true to the key design elements and proportions of the LF-LC concept.

The exterior of the LC 500h represents a distinctly suggestive yet more fluid interpretation of the brand's L-finesse design philosophy. It features a long wheelbase of 2,870 mm (112.9 inches), a front of 920 mm (36.2 inches) and rear overhangs of 970 mm (38.2 inches), as well as a low bonnet line.

The front end of the Lexus LC 500h features the latest version of the spindle grille motif, featuring a chrome trim and a new mesh design with varying visual tension. Moreover, the front end of the LC 500h features a lighting system made up of arrowhead Daytime Running Lights (DRL) as well as a triple LED headlamp unit.

The design and ultra-compact engineering of this lighting system contributes to the LC 500h's low bonnet line and short front overhang. At the sides, the LC 500h features a sporty profile with a sweeping roofline tapering from the central position of the occupants to pave way for a silhouette that’s human-centric.

Furthermore, the LC 500h comes with front and rear wings housing large diameter wheels – bespoke, 20-inch cast and 20-inch and 21-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels -- as well as door sides pulled inwards to create a spindle architecture shape that mirrors the brand's signature spindle grille.

On the rear, the LC 500h comes with a sweeping cabin roofline tapering between its muscular rear wheel arches. The hybrid coupe also has a lamp signature made up of an array of L-shaped LED lamps that are increasingly intense to achieve a 3D impression.

Interestingly, the LC 500h is able to provide remarkable driving dynamics thanks to a number of subtle yet functional aerodynamic elements like the front and rear wheel arch venting for better high speed stability, as well as a rear diffuser and active rear spoiler for improved airflow during performance driving.

Interior Design

Inside, the LC 500h features an interior that carries on the exterior design theme with an exquisite delivery of quality and elegance as well as passenger comfort and driving pleasure. The LC 500h features a driver's cockpit with an intuitive control layout and ergonomic structure as well as a front passenger area shaped to stretch towards the front, thereby offering a welcoming yet comfortable space.

Lexus engineered the driver's hip point to be as close as possible to the vehicle's center of gravity to optimize feedback between the vehicle and the driver. Moreover, the seat's holding performance has been improved by concentrating on the cross-section design. Amazingly, the information displays have been arranged according to their level of importance – the more important they are, the closer they are to the driver's sight line.

Contained in the instrument binnacle is a driver's meter with a moving center ring derived from the LFA. Furthermore, the center console comes with a next-generation touch pad for the Remote Touch Interface (RTI).

Lexus fitted the LC 500h with a newly designed steering wheel that now features a revised cross-sectional shape on the rim circumference, thereby allowing the wheel to adapt to various grips. Lexus also comes with a larger magnesium alloy paddle shifter now shaped for easier reach.

Fascinatingly, the LC 500h is endowed with the new 2017 Lexus multimedia package, now featuring an updated graphic user interface as well as faster and more flexible software that allows for future improvements.

Superb in-cabin sound experience comes courtesy of an available Mark Levinson audio package and the standard Pioneer audio system. Luxurious comfort is provided for by high-quality upholstery, hand-stitched leather center console and dash pad as well as a drape-forming Alcantara door trim.

Powertrain

Here comes the hybrid version of the flagship coupe of the Lexus lineup. Following its unveiling at the 2016 North America International Auto Show by Akio Toyoda, the new V8-powered Lexus LC 500 will be at the top of the premium brand's lineup with its performance, styling and craftsmanship.

Now, Lexus is presenting a version of the LC 500 powered by the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid System, representing the next generation of hybrid powertrains especially developed for performance vehicles.

Lexus developed and created the Multi Stage Hybrid System to create a hybrid that could provide a more engaging driving experience by aligning engine speed with throttle inputs while at the same, it offers an ideal balance between power and fuel consumption.

This system is made up of a 3.5 liter V6 petrol engine and a dynamic electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, as well as a four-speed automatic gearbox placed at the rear of the hybrid transmission. This setup has its advantages. The electric motor could provide a better acceleration feel than a typical engine.

On the other hand, the extra physical gears mean that engine rpm could be aligned closer to the inputs of the driver. This setup allows a more direct link between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration while enabling the LC 500h to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in around five seconds.

While the addition of the extra automatic transmission means added weight, the LC 500h comes with a lightweight and compact electric motor and a lithium-ion battery – which means that the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System has the same weight as the current hybrid powertrain. Moreover, the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System comes with the ‘M’ Mode, while allowing drivers to directly and responsively shift the gears themselves.

Press Release

LEXUS AT THE 2016 GENEVA MOTOR SHOW

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.

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.

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