Just days ago, Lexus confirmed that the LC 500h, the hybrid version of the flagship LC 500, would debut in Geneva. Today, the Japanese automakers spoils its unveiling by revealing all the important info on it nearly a month in advance.
The most hotly debated unknown feature of the LC 500h is its powertrain, and Lexus confirms that I was completely wrong in this department. I expected the 5.0-liter V-8 with an electric drive unit to increase output and efficiency, but Lexus instead went with the 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid powertrain. The 3.5-liter engine produces 295 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque on its own, but the electric motor pushes the output to 354 horsepower. Handing the shifting duties will be a four-speed auto gearbox mated to the rear of the hybrid transmission
While this output isn’t shabby, I honestly expected something a little higher performing than the base LC 500. On the track, the LC 500h can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in fewer than five seconds—roughly a half second slower than the LC 500.
With the exception of the “LC 500h” and “Hybrid” badges, the LC 500h is nearly indistinguishable from the base LC 500.
Safety is a priority for Lexus and it shows in the LC 500h. The standard safety bits on this car include the Lexus Safety System+ package, which comes with a pre-crash safety system, a pedestrian-detection system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic headlights.
Lexus didn’t announce the LC 500h’s release date, but given the LC 500 will launch in mid- to late-216, look for the LC 500h to launch in late-2016 or early 2017. We’ll bring you more details once they become available.