Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
8/30/17 11:20 a.m.
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An extreme performance coupe that can achieve 35 MPG? Meet the 2018 Lexus LC 500h. As the name would suggest, this sleek sports car is a hybrid. And while most hybrids are all bout efficiency, this one balances that act with performance. How much performance? It can zoom from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.

Note that the torque number quoted in the sidebar is just the torque rating for the gasoline engine alone, while the horsepower rating is for the combined hybrid system.

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MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
8/30/17 12:02 p.m.

That looks like the only Lexus to make that new corporate grille look good.

But anybody who wants to make a complex touch screen interface for their car needs to be forced to spend five months commuting in the most worn out Buick Reatta still on the road. Seriously wrong tool for the job. I want climate controls I can operate blindfolded.

Cblais19
Cblais19 New Reader
8/30/17 12:05 p.m.

I saw a pair of the V8 ones getting prepped for their new owners at a Lexus dealer here. A truly gorgeous car, that interior is absolutely lovely as well.

sesto elemento
sesto elemento SuperDork
8/30/17 9:34 p.m.

So dope.

chuckles
chuckles Dork
8/30/17 9:49 p.m.

Six figures?

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
8/30/17 11:27 p.m.

I got to drive an RC-F recently. Lexus has stepped up their interior game a ton. Their everything game, really.

Cblais19
Cblais19 New Reader
8/31/17 7:08 a.m.
chuckles wrote: Six figures?

Technically just under, the ones I saw at the dealer (and those were non-hybrids) had a nominal MSRP of $98/99k, but I think it starts in the mid $80k range with the hybrid.

hobiercr
hobiercr Dork
8/31/17 8:55 a.m.

The V8's are high 80's, the hybrids are about $10K more.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
8/31/17 10:04 p.m.

Our presser had a sticker of $102,XXX.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
8/31/17 10:38 p.m.

Lexus was the first brand to launch a concept that is now completely mainstream at the very top price brackets of autodom: The performance hybrid. The 2005 GS450h was the first to try to sell hybrid tech as something that both increased performance and exclusivity. You can argue about the appeal of the car itself (i loved mine) but you can't argue with the fact that pretty much all the most exclusive high performance cars in the world now use hybrid powertrains.

I think the LC500h is sort of bold for asking 'big bucks' for a powertrain that will come across a spec sheet as underpowered and old at first glance. I hope it succeeds in spite of that, because i suspect it has an excellent driving experience and real-world performance that exceeds the expectations the HP number sets. In fact, i wonder if it doesn't actually punch above the weight of its expecations while the gas LC500 underdelivers. In spite of its 10spd auto, the gas car apparently is geared such that you only ever use 4 of the gears at WOT under 100 mph, and first gear is tall. Could this be part of why the gas car only manages .3s better in 0-60 with 130 more hp? Given that these ~4200lb cars aren't primarily drag cars anyway, i have to wonder if the hybrid might not have gearing more suited to having actual fun in 'normal' speed ranges. Sound could be a big factor and a lot of reviewers are raving over the gas car's exhaust sound. I haven't heard a hybrid review mention it yet, so maybe it's a letdown. I've definitely heard some Lotus Evoras make nice noises with a very similar engine..

I think the new hybrid trans presents some really interesting possibilities in a couple of respects. The old '2-spd' cvt auto in the GS450h (whose drivetrain this is a development of) made it a fast car that nevertheless wasn't responsive or sporty in the drivetrain department. If this new auto is that much more fun to drive it could make the GS hybrid massively more entertaining. We already know the GS-F is a pretty damn good car. It'd be nice if the GS450h F-Sport was nearly as much fun to drive and nearly as fast such as it appears to be in the LC line. The other thing is wondering whether this version of the hybrid drivetrain can hang with the full torque of the 5.0 v8 and be used in conjunction with it. The old GS450h hybrid drivetrain was hooked to Lexus' 440hp 5.0 v8 in the past in the LS600hL, but it pretty clearly couldn't make full use of the v8's torque as the gas engine wasn't allowed to rev up to the happy part of the powerband until the car was already rolling pretty fast. That's why in spite of having a combined total of like 600+lbft of torque and awd (hello Tesla P100D) it was actually slower to 60mph than the 2wd GS450h. IF the new hybrid trans can actually handle the full na torque of the gas V8, it could make a very interesting combo in a future model.

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