Since 1997, when it launched the world’s first production hybrid car, the Prius, Toyota has been all about improving its green technology as well as making it available in other models across its range.
Now the Japanese giant is moving into what everyone agrees is the next step towards emissions-free vehicles: the fuel-cell technology. At last month’s Los Angeles Auto Show, it unveiled the Mirai, the first production hydrogen-powered car that emits nothing but water.
Following Prius’ paradigm, Toyota wants to introduce fuel-cell versions of its other models and one of the prime candidates, according to Motoring, is the Lexus range-topping LS limousine.
Like the Mirai, the LS FCEV will use the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), which will be configured to work within the luxury saloon’s more conventional layout. Its power unit will consist of a 150kW fuel-cell stack and a 220kW electric motor and its range will be around 240 miles (380 km).
One source said that the “green” LS will feature a fuel-cell unit under the front seat, a hydrogen tank under the rear seat and another tank under the rear parcel shelf. Additionally, the front section of the LS will be redesigned with bigger air intakes for improved cooling.
The Lexus LS FCEV will go on sale in 2017 and will sit above the hybrid LS 600hL. Toyota also has plans for other fuel-cell models, including a full-size SUV, in the next decade.