Following the reveal of the LS 500 at the Detroit Auto Show, Lexus went on and pulled the wraps off the hybrid LS 500h version of their new flagship four-door model.
The new Lexus LS 500h is powered by the company’s latest Multi Stage Hybrid System, with the powertrain combining a 3.5-litre V6 petrol with two electric motors for a combined 354hp.
Based on the latest Lexus Global Architecture (GA-L) platform, the new LS 500h offers a lower center of gravity and a stiffer chassis which in turn allows the suspension to deliver supreme comfort levels.
Lexus has added a “four-stage shifting device” to the hybrid powertrain for a more direct response to driver inputs and a more dynamic driving experience, while retaining at the same time the characteristic smoothness and efficiency of the company’s hybrid models.
0-62mph or 100km/h comes in 5.4 seconds but the real trick in the latest Lexus hybrid powertrain is that it can keep the petrol engine shut down at speeds up to 87mph. The lithium-ion battery pack is 20 percent smaller than the nickel-hydride unit found in the outgoing LS 600h, yet has a higher power density.
As for that beautiful interior, Lexus says was inspired by Omotenashi, the Japanese concept of hospitality. The new front seats are 28-way adjustable, featuring heating, cooling and massage functions while the organically shaped dashboard hosts the 12.3-inch infotainment system. The rear seats also come with heating, cooling and massage functions while Lexus will also offer the option of power-controlled rear seats with a Shiatsu massage function and a raised ottoman leg rest.
The trim options are also inspired by Japanese culture, featuring natural woodwork and laser cutting technologies. These include the Art Wood/Organic, Art Wood/Herringbone and Laser Cut Special options with the latter emphasizing the contrast between precise metal lines and natural wood.
The new Lexus LS 500h features the company’s latest Safety System+ which extends the range of active safety systems available to the driver, helping this way in preventing accidents from happening. The Safety System+ covers the risks presented by four of the most common types of accident: rear-end collisions, collisions with pedestrians; accidents caused by lane departure and accidents at intersections. It also includes the world’s first intuitive pedestrian detection function with active steering.
The new Lexus LS 500h is expected to hit the European market at the end of this year.
Live images added to the gallery