Lexus LC500h Proves Hybrids Can Be Stunning

Lexus chose the 2016 Geneva Motor Show to show off its new LC500h for the first time. 

Proving that hybrid cars don’t have to be boring, the LC500h packs a 3.5-liter V6 mated to electric motors for a total system output of 354 horsepower. While that is lacking from the gas-powered car’s 467 hp, Lexus says the hybrid will run from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds, which puts it very close to the LC500, which does the deed in 4.5 seconds.

One of the more interesting bits of the car is the transmissions setup. Like conventional Toyota hybrids, a CVT that incorporates the two electric motors is used, but the difference is a four-speed automatic transmission is tacked onto the end. Lexus has installed the four speed to better align driver inputs with the engine’s rpm, something a CVT does poorly. It also allows the car to have a manual shift mode, though Lexus gives drivers 10-different “gears” to choose from.

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2016 Geneva Motor Show Coverage

Luckily, none of the LC500’s good looks are watered down for the hybrid version, as it still sports that gorgeous swoopy design. It’s a rather large car with a 112.9-inch wheelbase and is available with 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels.

Lexus still hasn’t divulged the weight of either LC, only saying that gas-powered car will weigh less than 4,100 lbs. Thanks to the batteries and electric motors, you can be sure the LC500h will add a decent amount of weight to that number.

Safety technology is also packed into this car, which will come with standard front collision with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane departure assist and automatic headlights.

The LC500h is expected in U.S. dealers by spring of 2017, shortly after the gas-powered LC-500 is released.

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