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Lexus LC 500h: The Hybrid We All Want To Drive

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2003
Lexus LC 500h: The Hybrid We All Want To Drive

Lexus has announced the full details on its 354-hp LC 500h coupe. When we heard that Lexus would build a hybrid variant of its LC coupe, we hoped it would feature the 5.0-liter V8. But while those two extra cylinders didn't make the final cut, the hybrid drivetrain has some unconventional features that make it unique.

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Lexus's Multi Stage Hybrid System combines a 3.5-liter 295-hp V6 with a 59-hp electric motor to make 354 total horsepower, sent to the rear wheels. Unlike other Toyota and Lexus hybrids, the LC 500h's engine drives a conventional four-speed transmission mounted behind the hybrid electric motor. This allows for manual paddle shifting in "M Mode," a first for a Lexus hybrid, and the automaker says this drivetrain layout gives a more direct, one-to-one relationship between the accelerator position and vehicle speed, eliminating the strange motor-boat tendencies of other hybrids. Lexus says the LC 500h will do 0-62 mph in less than five seconds.

Onboard, the LC 500h is fitted with your typical Lexus safety features, like pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assists.

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On the outside, we're smitten with the coupe's low hood and athletic stance. Sharing bodywork with the striking LC 500, it looks muscular and agile. With Lexus committing to a hybrid variant of its new flagship coupe, it joins the company of high-end performance hybrids like the Porsche Panamera and the BMW i8. This is the future, and you can count us in.

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Photo Credit: Toyota

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