The green luxury sedan comes with 354 horsepower of system output.
Following the world premiere of the all-new Lexus LS at the Detroit auto show in January, the sedan is debuting in its most eco-friendly version in Geneva. The hybrid LS 500h is built on the same Lexus Global Architecture―Luxury (GA-L) platform, which provides a lower centre of gravity and better weight distribution compared to the previous generation.
But let’s get straight to the point. Conceived as the new global pinnacle of the Lexus brand, the sedan features the automaker’s latest Multi Stage Hybrid System, which combines a 3.5-litre V6 Dual VVT-i gasoline engine with two electric motors for a system output of 354 horsepower.
The new system, Lexus promises, will deliver a more direct response to driver inputs, thanks to the so-called four-stage shifting device. It allows “much greater drive power” to be generated when accelerating from stationary, thus achieving a 0-100 kilometre per hour (0-62 mile per hour) time of 5.4 seconds. What’s more, high-speed cruising happens at lower engine rpm and the vehicle is possible to run at speeds of up to 140 km/h (87 mph) with the gas engine shut off.
The transmission has been retuned and benefits from an improved version of the AI shift control, also used in the conventional automatic transmissions, providing linear, direct, and continuous acceleration. There’s also a device Lexus calls Driver's Mind Index, which adjusts gear shifts to suit the driver's style and behavior.
The electric energy of the hybrid is supplied from a compact, lightweight battery pack, which is 20-percent smaller than the nickel-metal hydride unit featured in the current Lexus LS 600h. Yet, it has a higher power density.
Other notable features of the 2018 LS 500h are the Lexus Dynamic Handling package, which improves the performance thanks to finely tuned co-ordination of braking, steering and stability systems. Also, the Lexus Safety System+ pack is on board, featuring advanced safety and assist system, like the intuitive pedestrian detection function with active steering, a world’s first according to Lexus.