2018 Lexus LC 500h: Geneva Debut For Hybrid Performance Coupe

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One of the most pulse-quickening debuts from the Detroit Auto Show last month was that of the lusty Lexus LC 500 Coupe, a model that takes aim at the Mercedes-Benz SL.

And while the LC 500’s gas mileage—almost certainly well below 20 mpg in the city, from its big, raucous, naturally aspirated 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8—was likely cause for many carbon-conscious motorists to roll their eyes, now Lexus is matching the racy sophistication in the sheetmetal with something a little more technologically smart (and hopefully considerably more fuel-efficient): a new-generation hybrid powertrain.

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While the automaker hasn’t released any details as of yet, this system, called the Lexus Multi-Stage Hybrid System, promises to be a generation ahead of the previous rear-wheel-drive hybrid system still offered in the brand’s GS and LS sedans.

Look for it to include a version of the 3.5-liter V-6—of course paired with a motor system and battery pack, all cleverly packaged within that fashionable profile and weight-conscious coupe body.

Based on the gains that Toyota and Lexus have achieved in their other vehicles—and the weight savings expected from this model’s lightweight body and new modular GA-L fundamentals—we wouldn’t be all that surprised if the LC 500h hybrid approaches an EPA combined 30 mpg.

The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is expected to reach dealerships in early spring 2017; look for the Lexus LC 500h a few months after that.

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