What Is It?
The 2018 Lexus LC 500h is a hybrid version of the all-new flagship coupe first introduced at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Imagine the big LS luxury sedan reinvented as a coupe with 20-inch (or optional 21-in) alloy wheels, then fill the cabin with upscale materials such as magnesium-alloy paddle shifters, a thin-film-transistor instrument cluster with high-resolution graphics and hand-stitched leather.
A total output of 354 horsepower is not that much for a range-topping car, but the 2018 Lexus LC 500h, built on an all-new rear-drive platform, uses various techniques and materials that help keep weight to a minimum and make that power more easily felt. It drapes aluminum door skins over a carbon-fiber frame. The roof is also carbon-fiber, while the hood and front suspension towers are fashioned from aluminum.
The drivetrain itself is an evolution of Toyota’s renowned hybrid setup. Called the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, it’s been developed to deliver what the company describes as the “best possible balance of power and fuel consumption.” A 3.5-liter V6 pairs up with a new, compact and lightweight electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack and a 4-speed automatic transmission (Toyota/Lexus usually offers a CVT). Lexus anticipates the sprint from a standstill to 60 miles per hour taking about 5 seconds, which is pretty darn quick. “The most sporting and engaging drive yet from a Lexus hybrid,” says the company.
To be announced.
When Can You Get It?
Some point in 2017, most likely.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
High-class coupes have traditionally been European specialties. It’s good to see Lexus get in on the act and equally gratifying to see a hybrid version.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe — The S-Class Coupe represents the main competition. It’s tech-rich and also available as a hot AMG model, but there’s no hybrid 2-door version — at least not yet.
2016 BMW 6 Series — The 6 Series is refreshed for 2016. It feels and sounds glorious, though not as sharp as smaller BMW cars, but that’s to be expected.
2016 Porsche 911 Carrera — It’s far more sporty than luxurious, but this latest generation of the 911 is bigger and more comfortable than any that’s gone before.
Used Bentley Continental GT — Opulent and potent, the Continental GT offers all-wheel drive, a handcrafted cabin and authoritative power.