Is hydrogen the fuel of the future? Toyota certainly seems to think so, and a new report coming out of Australia indicates that Lexus will introduce a hydrogen-powered version of the next-gen LS.
Positioned at the very top of the LS lineup, the hydrogen-powered sedan will be equipped with an evolution of the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS) that is found in the 2016 Mirai, the group’s first full-production fuel cell car. The drivetrain will consist of a 201-horsepower fuel cell that will work in conjunction with a 295-horsepower electric motor, providing a total driving range of about 235 miles.
The fuel cell unit will be located under the driver’s seat, while the two hydrogen tanks will be mounted beneath the rear bench and under the parcel shelf, respectively.
The hydrogen-powered LS will tip the scale at about 4,600 pounds, making it roughly 440 pounds lighter than the current gasoline-electric LS 600h L. It will look nearly identical to its gas-burning counterpart but it will feature a model-specific front bumper with large air intakes that will cool the components that make up the hydrogen drivetrain.
If the rumor proves true, the hydrogen-powered Lexus LS will go on sale across the United States in 2017 with a base price of about $120,000.
Other hydrogen-powered Toyota and Lexus products will follow, including a large SUV that will return about 65 mpg. All told, Toyota hopes to sell 50,000 fuel cell-equipped cars worldwide by the year 2020.