Lexus' head-turning LC coupe will go hybrid at the Geneva show

Lexus LC 500h
Toyota-owned Lexus has announced it will travel to next month’s Geneva Auto Show to introduce a hybrid version of the head-turning LC coupe that was presented earlier this year at the Detroit show.

The fuel-sipping model is called LC 500h. Lexus is keeping official technical details under wraps for the time being, but a source close to the car maker told Australian website Motoring that the coupe’s gasoline-electric drivetrain will consist of a 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 308 horsepower and a compact electric motor programmed to develop 217 ponies. Working together, the two power sources could crank out over 470 horsepower.

To put that figure into perspective, the non-hybrid LC 500 uses a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine that sends 467 horsepower to the rear wheels via an industry-first 10-speed automatic transmission. In other words, the hybrid is shaping up to be more powerful than its V8-powered sibling, but it’s also expected to be markedly heavier because it’s fitted with a bulky battery pack.

It takes a well-trained eye to tell the 500h apart from the 500 without popping the hood. When viewed from the outside, the two models are identical save for a “500h” emblem on the rear fascia and a small “hybrid” badges glued to the body right in front of the rear wheel arches. Lexus hasn’t shown the 500h’s cabin yet.

Lexus is expected to reveal a full set of details about the LC 500h during the Geneva show, and the gasoline-electric luxury coupe will go on sale nationwide as a 2017 model in the coming months.

What’s next?

The LC 500h’s hybrid drivetrain will also be offered on the next-generation LS, which is expected to make its public debut before the end of the year. In 2018, the LC lineup will again be expanded with a range-topping, F-badged model aimed right at the BMW M6. The aforementioned source told Motoring that the LC F will boast a roughly 600-horsepower evolution of the 500’s V8 fitted with a pair of electric turbochargers, and it will wear a muscular-looking body kit.

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