The 2018 Lexus LS 500h, the full hybrid version of Lexus’ new flagship sedan, was unveiled recently at the Geneva Motor Show.
The car’s design successfully brings together the virtues of a long-wheelbase four-door sedan with a low, coupe-like profile, positioning the LS perfectly across the growing sedan and coupe segments.
The cabin has benefited from an equally new approach, focusing on “progressive comfort,” interpreting Japanese aesthetics and craftsmanship traditions in the context of an advanced, luxurious and innovative vehicle interior such as the unique door trim ornamentation.
Notably, the LS 500 was honored at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit with the EyesOn Design Award for Design Excellence – Interior Design.
The LS 500h is equipped with the new Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, which provides enhanced responsiveness and linear acceleration, particularly when accelerating from a full stop. The powertrain features a 3.5-litre V6 Dual VVT-i V6 gasoline engine and two electric motors, together delivering maximum system power of 354 hp with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds.
The LS 500h is fitted with a compact, lightweight, lithium-ion hybrid battery. It is 20 per cent smaller than the nickel-metal hydride unit featured in the current Lexus LS 600h, yet has a higher power density.
Using lithium-ion technology has also reduced the component’s weight, helping reduce the car’s overall mass, thus supporting overall fuel economy, emissions performance and handling balance.
It is the first Lexus hybrid battery to feature a satellite construction design, in which the cell voltage monitoring function has been made separate from the battery ECU.
This allows for efficient use of what would otherwise be empty space inside the battery pack to house the wiring harness and battery cooling blower, thus reducing the unit’s overall dimensions.
The cooling blower itself has been made more powerful and thinner in size.