The Lexus LC 500 sports coupe that made a splash at the Detroit auto show will also make an appearance at the 2016 Geneva auto show in March. This time, however, it will be the LC 500h model with hybrid power under its long hood. The company promises the LC 500h will be faster, more fuel efficient, and will provide “enhanced driving pleasure” compared to the standard LC 500, which is already slated to boast 468 hp and a 0-to-60-mph time below 4.5 seconds.
Where the standard 2018 Lexus LC 500 uses a 5.0-liter V-8 engine and ten-speed automatic transmission, the 500h version will have some combination of gasoline and electric drivetrains. It’s not yet clear what powertrain would be used. The Lexus LS 600h does use a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with its hybrid driveline, but as Lexus says the 500h will have a “next-generation… Multi-Stage” hybrid powertrain, there’s no guaranteed the LC’s setup will be related to the LS’s. It’s possible that Lexus will follow the lead of other hybrid sports cars and supercars, like the Acura NSX, BMW i8, and Porsche 918 Spyder, and use electric motors at the front wheels for a hybrid all-wheel-drive system.
The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is expected to go on sale in March 2017. It is built from a combination of lightweight materials like high-strength steel, composites, and carbon fiber, resulting in a low center of gravity and a 52/48 weight balance. On the outside, Lexus managed to translate many of the wild design cues of the 2012 LF-LC concept to production, with striking curves on the dramatically shaped coupe bodywork. Within the 2+2 cabin, look for handsome leather upholstery, a giant tachometer in front of the driver, and plush carpeting. To keep up with the 5.0-liter V-8, the LC 500 also has six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes, Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP tires on 20- or 21-inch wheels, and an optional active rear spoiler.
Visual differences for the LC 500h so far appear limited to “Hybrid” badging ahead of the rear wheels and an LC 500h badge on the trunk.
Check back in March to find out more about the Lexus LC 500h hybrid.