At the ongoing Geneva Motor Show, Lexus has unveiled the 2018 LS 500h, the hybrid version of its flagship sedan, which features the same Multi Stage Hybrid System used in the LC 500h coupe.

The LS 500h employs a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine with Dual VVT-i and direct injection, which provides 295 hp and 350 Nm of torque on its own. It is assisted by two electric motors that sources its power from a 310 V lithium-ion battery that is 20% smaller than the nickel-metal hydride unit used in the previous Lexus LS 600h.

Put together, the overall output from the hybrid system is rated at 354 hp, which is handled by the car’s Multi Stage Hybrid Transmission, which combines a four-speed automatic with a traditional hybrid continuously variable transmission (CVT) to recreate a 10-speed transmission.

Said transmission also benefits from an enhanced version of the artificial intelligence shift control that ensures the proper gear is selected based on the car’s acceleration, deceleration and lateral G trajectories. Drive is sent to either the rear or all four wheels, and the big Lexus will sprint from 0-96 km/h in 5.4 seconds.


The hybrid sedan, like the LS 500 and LC coupe, is built on the new new Lexus Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L), which promises enhanced stability and agility thanks to a lower centre of gravity and optimum weight distribution.

Styling-wise, the car is largely identical to the LS 500, with only minor differences between them. At the front, the prominent Lexus spindle grille and Z-shaped LED headlights/DRLs continue to be staple, but the side intakes now come with honeycomb mesh instead of slats.

The same is said of the LS 500h’s rear, where the exhaust outlets with chrome surrounds on the 415 hp/599 Nm, 3.5 litre twin-turbo V6 LS 500 have been covered up with a honeycomb mesh as well. Other details include a ‘Multi Stage Hybrid’ badge located just in front of the rear wheels on the vehicle’s sides, as well as a blue glow within the Lexus emblems.

No change in dimensions, with the LS 500h measuring 5,235 mm long, 1,900 mm wide, and 1,450 mm tall. The car’s 3,125 mm wheelbase means it is also 33 mm longer than the previous long-wheelbase LS 600h L.

According to Lexus, the all LS models embody the Japanese concept of hospitality known as omotenashi. As the company explains in the context of a luxury automobile, “it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and protecting them from hazards.”

This is met with a dedication to quality, precision and pride in perfection that is synonymous with Lexus’ Takumi craftsmanship. Therefore, you’ll find plenty of natural woodwork, hand-pleated door trims inspired by origami, and Kiriko glasswork on the inner door panels of the LS 500h’s interior.

We reckon buyers will spend most of their time in the rear seats, which feature multiple power adjustments, heating, cooling, and massage functions. Lexus even offers an optional rear seat arrangement that comes with an extending leg ottoman and “the most generous leg room of any LS generation.”

As for those who will be doing the driving, the LS 500h features the same dashboard layout, where the information displays are positioned for easy visibility. There’s also the 12.3-inch navigation display, remote touch infotainment interface and equally advanced powered seats to boot.

Safety and driver assistance systems are similar to the LS 500 as well, with the Lexus Safety System + and the Advanced Safety Package, the latter of which includes the Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering within the lane.