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.
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.