New hybrid luxo-limo Lexus LS500h marries 3.5 V6 with electric motors and can rocket to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds
Lexus has removed the secretive veils of the hybrid version of its new Lexus LS limousine, the new Lexus LS500h. The new LS500h marries Lexus’ brilliant 3.5 litre petrol engine and two electric motors. Combined output is 264kW and the LS500h will hum its way to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds.
Performance from Lexus’ Multi Stage Hybrid system is said to be stronger than ever, with the LS500h now able to accelerate up to 140km/h on electric power along. Interestingly, especially for a hybrid, the continuously variable transmission – this is not the interesting part for a hybrid – but it has 10 steps, designed to represent a 10 speed automatic transmission with shift paddles for greater driver involvement.
A system which Lexus calls Driver’s Mind Index adapts the LS500h shifting patterns according to different driving styles.
Handling is said to be equally engaging, with adaptive air suspension along with the coordination of the braking, steering and stability systems, by an electronic brain called the Lexus Dynamic Handling system.
Being a full-size luxury limousine, there’s a raft of active safety technology, and sure enough on the LS500h there are cameras around the car and will automatically apply the brakes should a pedestrian step out onto the road.
As one would expect from a Lexus, the interior is lush and whisper quiet and the dashboard is said to be designed so the driver can access any of its functions without changing their posture. There’s also a huge 12.3inch navigation display, and an outlandishly large 24inch colour heads up display.
The front seats are heated, cooled and they’ll give you a relaxing massage. Should you have a driver, there’s an optional rear seating arrangement that includes ottomans.
In keeping in Lexus tradition, there’s a thumping Mark Levinson stereo, which is said to immerse passengers in a concert-like 3D audio experience.
Details on Australian-bound Lexus LS500h models will be revealed when they come to hand.