Lexus LS Could Get Electric and Fuel Cell Powertrains

Future Lexus LS variants may feature a host of alternative-energy powertrains. Namely, battery-electric and fuel cell powertrains are both on the table.

GoAuto spoke with LS chief engineer Toshio Asahi at the car’s local launch in Australia. There, he said both powertrains are on the table, as is a plug-in hybrid variant.

The potential for a fuel cell-powered LS isn’t farfetched. Lexus and parent automaker Toyota have a history with hydrogen fuel cells, including with the Toyota Mirai compact. The luxury brand also hinted at such a powertrain in the LF-FC concept in 2015, which also previewed the 2018 LS sedan. Furthermore, Lexus trademarked the “LS-FC CONCEPT” name last year, which is likely a precursor to a production model.

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Asahi wouldn’t go as far as confirming a fuel cell-powered Lexus LS, but he did say it’s expected to enter production, and much sooner than many believe.

The real shock is the possibility for a battery-electric LS. Toyota has been slow to embrace electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The Japanese automaker will reportedly attempt to play catch up and potentially leapfrog rivals with production solid-state batteries early next decade. Toyota also committed to selling an electrified version of every model it sells by 2025.

It’s unclear when or if we’ll see each powertrain variant make it to production, but Asahi did confirm a more powerful version of the 2018 LS Hybrid is in the pipeline.

A version of this story originally appeared on HybridCars

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