Described by the Japanese brand as signalling “the next phase in the evolution of Lexus”, the LC500h is front-engined and rear-wheel drive, and is said to “deliver the sharpest and most refined drive yet from a full hybrid”.
The car is powered by a so-called Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System. The new hybrid powertrain mates a 295bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a four-speed transmission, and an electric motor that utilises an infinitely variable CVT transmission, which is programmed to deliver six physical gearchange sensations to the driver. Those sensations are matched to the engine's revs to deliver instant acceleration - unlike on current CVT systems.
The two systems combine to create, in effect, a 10-speed set-up. The gearchange times of the system are also said to match those of a dual-clutch automatic, but it is said to be more compact and lighter. Total system output is rated as 354bhp, meaning the LC500h can reach 62mph in less than five seconds.
Lexus Europe boss Alain Uyttenhoven said: "The engineers promise me that this will be a hybrid that will spin its wheels - even the LC's 21-inch ones - on dry asphalt. This is a hybrid system with instant torque and drivability."
The new model measures 4760mm long by 1920mm wide, with a height of 1345mm and a wheelbase of 2870mm, and sits as standard on 20-inch alloy wheels, although 21-inch rims are also available. Those dimensions make it longer, wider and lower than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé. Lexus says that despite the hybrid system’s extra technology, it weighs no more than the firm’s current hybrid set-up because of the use of its lightweight electric motor and lithium-ion batteries.