2016 Lexus LC 500h detailed – new Multi Stage Hybrid System uses lithium-ion battery and a four-speed auto



Toyota will launch the all-new Lexus LC500h at the Geneva motor show on March 3, and it is being positioned as the flagship coupe in the Lexus stable. The sleek looking two-door is long and low, following the design inspiration of the LF-LC concept car.

Of note is the introduction of the Multi Stage Hybrid System that is installed in the 2016 Lexus LC 500h, designed to give the driver a better driving experience by providing better throttle response and balancing between performance and fuel consumption.

Comprising of a 3.5 litre V6 putting out 294 hp and 348 Nm torque is mated to an electric motor and 44.6 kW lithium-ion battery pack, that is then coupled with a four-speed automatic gearbox at the back of the hybrid transmission, the Multi Stage Hybrid System provides better acceleration feel, and the auto box provides more options for matching the engine speed to accelerator pedal movement. Lexus is targetting a sub-five second 0-to-100 km/h time for the LC 500h.

The system also features manually initiated shifts via ‘M’ mode, a first for Lexus hybrids, which allows the driver to change gears for better response and a sportier drive. The new system weighs the same as the current Lexus hybrid powertrain which was achieved by the use of a new lightweight and compact electric motor and a change to using a lithium-ion battery.

Another major change is the LC 500h’s new rear-wheel drive platform that is said to provide a luxurious ride with sacrificing driving dynamics. The powertrain is located behind the front axle line creating a “front mid-ship” layout, while the wheels are pushed out to the edge of the LC 500h’s body.

Together with the majority of the vehicles mass being placed as low as possible towards the centre of the LC 500h, weight has also been reduced by the use of high-tensile steel in the body, along with aluminium in the bonnet and fenders, plus carbon-fibre door structures and boot lid.

Comestically the 2016 LC 500h has a haunchy look, with front and rear wings housing 20 or optional 21-inch wheels under large flares. At the front independent, arrowhead Daytime Running Lights (DRL) sit under a triple LED headlamp unit, giving the LC it’s low bonnet line.

The luxury feel of the Lexus continues in the interior, with the quality and finish of upholstery, hand-stitched leather centre console and dash pad, and drape forming Alcantara door trim. An all new 2017 Lexus multimedia package debuts with the LC 500h, and features faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and an updated graphic user interface.

A full suit of driving aids will be included in the Lexus 500h. Dubbed the Lexus Safety System +, the system includes a Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with a pedestrian detection function, which helps prevent or mitigate the severity of collisions, All-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp technology.

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Mohan K Ramanujam

Coming with diverse and extensive experience in heavy engineering, Mohan enjoys making anything with wheels go fast, especially motorcycles. His weapon of choice is the Desmoquattro engine, and he has a penchant for anything with a dash of Italian design. Strangely enough, he insists he's a slow rider.



  • wiwiwiwiwiwiw on Feb 18, 2016 at 7:18 pm


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 15
  • horrayooi on Feb 18, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Toyota very proud of their obsolete 4 speed auto ( Vios also 4 speed auto ) Toyota engineers need to visit psychiatrist to cure the 4 speed problem. Something wrong with their brains.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 13
    • TopsyBoXyTurvy on Feb 18, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      Guys, before u laugh, read this:
      The hybrid transmission has an electric motor for motivation (and we’re guessing a second for charging) and a four-speed automatic mounted to its rear, which either means inside or aft and in series. Why add ancient tech to a new hybrid system? Lexus says it preserves the connection between throttle input and engine speed that gets lost in a CVT. And while four seems like an insignificant sum in the face of nine- and 10-speed autos, remember that it is an infinite increase in gear count compared to CVT-packing hybrids.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • shawal on Feb 18, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    i tot they’d execute sumthin sumwhere on d lines of 918 spyder / P1, electric motor to enhance d v8

    how is dis d flagship…..

    hopefully LCF will come with twin turbo v8

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
    • Warren Wong Yee Ket on Feb 19, 2016 at 12:42 am

      And maybe, just maybe, a dual clutch sequential box.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Sammy Loo on Feb 18, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Cannot deny that Toyota’s 4 speed auto gearbox is the best 4 speeder in the world. Silky smooth gear changing and is very responsive. It is better than some of the 6 speeders that are not responsive when you need the power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
  • alldisc on Feb 18, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Anyone knows Dominic Toretto’s muscle car automatic gearbox has how many gears? Less than 4.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • redidiot on Feb 19, 2016 at 2:09 am

      Probably dont need so many because of wide power band

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • alldisc on Feb 19, 2016 at 8:22 am

        aha. right answer. the new LC500h has a 3.5 litre NA engine giving 300bhp.

        but it also has an electric motor to give the extra boost when needed and also a fat torque at low end rpm. this car has a wide power band as well

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • sudonano (Member) on Feb 18, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I still would say, the i8 looks more cohesive in terms of design compared to the LC. Sure the LC looks good (Lexus design of late is a bit overcooked), but still, it’s not as good as the i8.

    And really – 4 speed automatic? Well, I guess we can now have Toyota Vioses with Lexus LC logos on them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9
  • What a beauty. Good to see Asian companies going toe to toe with more established European marques. Companies like Lexus and Infinity bring a unique kind of design and tech adding diversity and spice to what’s on the market dominated by western ideas thus creating more choices and more excitement for customers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • Makumbo on Feb 18, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    can you guys please grow some brains, it is a technical innovation from the largest automaker in the world. Thinking out of the box is what you call it. Not a blind chase for numbers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • flipper2uman (Member) on Feb 19, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Perhaps someone at Paul Tan could do an educational write up on this gear system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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