2016 Geneva Motor Show

The Lexus LC 500h Is A Sexy And Sporty Hybrid With A Confusing Transmission Choice

You'll see what we mean.

Ahead of the Lexus LC 500h’s debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the automaker has released some of the hybrid’s powertrain figures and it looks promising. Unlike other Lexus hybrids, the LC 500h features a Multi Stage Hybrid System that is engineered for performance, which makes sense since the it is supposed to be aimed at enthusiasts. While we were hoping the LC 500h’s hybrid system included a V8 engine, it looks like Lexus went with something that’s a little more eco-friendly.

The hybrid system combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with an electric motor for a total of 354 hp. The 3.5-L V6 produces 295 hp on its own, while the electric motor generates an additional 59 horses. All power is sent to the rear wheels. While the Multi Stage Hybrid System sounds like modern technology, the LC 500h’s engine uses a conventional four-speed automatic transmission that is mounted behind the electric motor. That’s right, Lexus took technology from the ‘90s and put it into its hybrid of the future. Lexus states that the four-speed automatic transmission helps preserve the connection between throttle input and engine speed that is usually lost in a CVT. The dated transmission allows the car to use paddle shifters in “M Mode,” which is a first for a Lexus hybrid.

Despite the dated technology, Lexus claims the hybrid can get to 62 mph in less than five seconds. Ignoring the transmission, the car is fitted with all of the latest technology, which includes pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. The inside of the hybrid is just as good-looking as the exterior with a next-gen touchpad for the Remote Touch Interface and Lexus multimedia package that enables future enhancements and updated graphic user interface. From the outside, the LC 500h looks promising, but the automaker has also worked on the hybrid’s platform to ensure that the coupe is sporty and comfortable. It is the first car to use the brand-new rear-wheel-drive platform, which is referred to as GA-L.

The architecture focuses on keeping the engine and the majority of the mass as low as possible. The hybrid also gets a host of weight-saving features that include an aluminum hood, carbon-fiber door structures, aluminum fenders, an available carbon-fiber roof, aluminum front suspension towers and more. So far, the LC 500h sounds like a winner—besides the four-speed transmission. The hybrid will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

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