When designers and engineers bring a car to market that sets new standards in styling and technology everyone takes note. The style on both the Lexus LC 500 and 500h (hybrid) is on point in every way. The new LC is a sensory experience, striking in silhouette and detailed to perfection.
Not long after the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500, Lexus introduces the LC 500h which features the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid System, the next generation of hybrid power trains specifically designed for performance vehicles. The LC 500h working it’s long wheelbase, with short rear overhangs and a very low trunk line gives the LC 500h the look of motion standing still.
Larger wheels sit away from the cabin while the door opens inwards to create a powerfully yet functional design statement. When you look at the front you find the latest interpretation of that spindle grille motif features chrome trim and a radical new mesh design of varying visual tension. The LC 500h’s unique lighting signature combines independent, arrowhead Daytime Running Lights with a triple LED headlamp unit.
At the rear, the sweeping cabin roofline tapers between broad, muscular rear wheel arches to reinforce the LC 500h’s wide, stable stance. The rear lamp signature is equally unique, a sequence of increasingly strongly lit L-shaped LED lamps that creates an exceptional three-dimensional impression. The outstanding driving dynamics of the LC 500h are also reflected in subtle yet functional aerodynamic measures. Front and rear wheel arch venting improve high-speed stability, and a rear diffuser and active rear spoiler further manage airflow during performance driving. The interior of the LC 500h reflects the same exterior design theme of dynamic luxury with a cabin that combines all the elegance, the front passenger area is shaped to spread out towards the front, creating a comfortable and large space, the driving position has been painstakingly created to invite spirited driving, and promote driver confidence through an intuitive control layout and ergonomic excellence. The information displays have been arranged in order of importance by their proximity to the driver’s sightline something more brands need to do. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System takes the elements of a traditional full hybrid power train a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine, a powerful electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack to a 4-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission. All this gave us a better acceleration feel than a conventional engine, and adding physical gears more closely aligns engine rpm with my inputs. The result is a much more direct connection between the gas pedal and acceleration. The LC 500h is also the first Lexus to benefit from the company’s all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive platform; part of a new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles. The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for future front-engine/rear-wheel-drive Lexus models.
Taking the LC 500h on a mini road trip from NYC to East Hampton gave us the opportunity to experience the car as a user might. First a garden party and then on to dinner, we enjoyed a grand charity event and the next day visited art galleries, all the while greatly enjoying the ride. Living with the LC 500h was slick and we got used to the stares from the other luxury car owners in our paths. Lexus 500h. Story by Josh Lewis. Photography by David Lewis Taylor.
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