Lexus Ponders More Drivetrains For Flagship LS Sedan


A full EV and F performance version may be on the table.

For 2018, Lexus has armed its flagship LS sedan with new drivetrains to give it more of a fighting chance against other luxury models from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. The LS 500 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 producing 415 horsepower and the LS 500h produces 354 hp from its V6 hybrid drivetrain. Even though Toyota was among the first companies to embrace hybrid tech, Lexus has been hesitant to move forward with EV technology. In an interview with Go Auto, Lexus hinted that the current LS may finally add a more electrified drivetrain to the brand.

A wide range of options -including a full EV, plug-in hybrid, and hydrogen fuel cell - are all "on the table" for production according to LS chief engineer Toshio Asahi. Asahi also revealed that the company is working on a more powerful version of the LS hybrid. The current hybrid is already pretty quick given its size, hitting 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. “Of course, we are considering how to improve the hybrid system, so in terms of power, we are looking how to improve that,” Asahi said. The idea of a hydrogen fuel cell model is intriguing as well, though a lack of hydrogen filling stations in the U.S. puts a damper on our excitement.

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Lexus has dabbled with the idea of a hydrogen car in the past, but the concept won't be viable until there are more accessible filling stations. Unfortunately, Asahi didn't give any details about the rumored LS F, which could share a 600 hp twin-turbo V8 with the rumored LC F. All we know is, Lexus has big plans for the LS, and that's good news.

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