2018 Lexus LS 500h Debuts at Geneva Motor Show

Hopefully the price of this massive luxury sedan won’t be more than the outgoing LS 600h’s MSRP of $120,000.

byMax Goldberg| PUBLISHED Mar 8, 2017 11:29 AM
2018 Lexus LS 500h Debuts at Geneva Motor Show

Lexus has received a lot of flack for the outrageous starting price of its outgoing LS 600h ($120,000), but we have to say the new LS 500h is handsome, despite the polarized opinion on its looks among the automotive world.

On Tuesday, Lexus debuted the 2018 LS 500h, with its Multi Stage Hybrid System, at the Geneva Motor Show and the numbers are rather impressive. Using a detuned version of the 3.5-liter V6 and twin electric motor combination found in the LC 500h, the LS 500h produces a combined 354 horsepower. This may seem like a fairly conservative number for such a large luxury sedan, but the Japanese automaker reports that the LS 500h will hit 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, a 10th of a second quicker than the outgoing LS 600h. This is most likely thanks to the 20 percent-smaller battery than the nickel-metal hydride unit found in the old LS 600h.

The LS 500h's Multi Stage Hybrid System adds a "four-stage shifting device" to the LS 500h’s powertrain to ensure smooth and responsive performance. Lexus explains:

In a conventional full hybrid vehicle, engine output is boosted by the electric motor via a reduction gear, but with the new Multi Stage Hybrid System the power from the V6 engine and the hybrid battery can be amplified by the four-stage shifting device, allowing much greater drive power to be generated when accelerating from stationary and achieving a 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds.

The design of the system places the multi-stage shift unit immediately behind the power split device, on an axis aligned with the engine crankshaft. Although the unit has four speeds, the D range has a simulated shift control pattern that delivers the feel of driving with a 10-speed gearbox. As vehicle speed rises, engine speed increases with a linear, direct and continuous acceleration feel, free from the “rubber band” effect witnessed in some continuously variable transmissions. In the 10th gear range, the CVT control allows for high-speed cruising at lower engine revs for quiet, smooth and fuel-efficient performance.

Other than hybrid badging and a few hybrid-related buttons on the interior of the vehicle, the LS 500h looks no different than the standard LS 500. The same goes for the NX and RX hybrids compared to their standard counterparts.

There's still no word on pricing on the LS 500h or LS 460, but The Drive will be sure to keep you up-to-date on any new developments.