Lexus LS 500h to feature Multi Stage Hybrid System

Lexus LS 500h to feature Multi Stage Hybrid System

Lexus has revealed the LS 500h will feature the brand’s Multi Stage Hybrid System in its powertrain, similar to what drives the LC 500h coupe. The hybrid version of the fifth-generation premium sedan is set to make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show later in March this year.

On the LC 500h coupe, there are two elements to the powertrain with the first being a 8GR-FXS 3.5 litre V6 Dual VVT-i petrol engine (294 hp/348 Nm) assisted by an electric motor. The motor gets its power from a lithium-ion battery pack (instead of nickel-metal hydride) that is 20% smaller and 20 kg lighter than the one used in the previous LS 600h.

The second is the Multi Stage Hybrid System, which mates a four-speed automatic to a traditional hybrid continuously variable transmission (CVT). The purpose of the “dual” transmission is to amplify the output from the V6 and electric motor combo, and allows for a progressive access to the electric motor’s torque.

Lexus LS 500h to feature Multi Stage Hybrid System

To do so, there are three virtual gears (CVT) between each of the automatic transmission’s physical gears up to the third ratio, which results in nine ratios. The auto’s fourth gear acts as a final overdrive ratio, and when all is put together, recreates a 10-speed transmission. Complicated? Most definitely, but it does make for some pretty intriguing tech.

Lexus promises a “linear, direct and continuous acceleration feel, making for a more rewarding driving experience” with its new hybrid powertrain setup, and touts many other additional benefits. These include improved throttle response, lower engine rpm during high-speed cruising, and the ability to cruise at higher speeds, with the petrol engine shut off – up to 140km/h.

We’ll have to wait for the full reveal of the LS 500h at Geneva to see if the powertrain is identical to the one on the LC 500h coupe. The LS 500h will join its non-hybrid sibling – the LS 500 – which gets a 3.5 litre twin-turbo powerplant that replaces its predecessor’s 5.0 litre naturally-aspirated V8.

GALLERY: 2018 Lexus LS 500

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.



  • heybadigol (Member) on Feb 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    That’s quite an interesting concept. Wonder if the driver can tell whether it’s fake stepped ratios in between the 4 speeds or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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