Following the global launch of the fifth-generation LS 500h earlier this year, Lexus has gone on to release in full the details of their flagship limousine. The juiciest bit is the powertrain, and it comes with paddle shifters. Makes no sense to have that in a limo, but sure, why not?
The LS 500h gets Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, which constitutes of a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 with Dual VVT-i petrol engine and two electric motors delivering a combined output of 354 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Transmission of choice is a sophisticated Multi Stage Hybrid transmission that marries a four-speed automatic and an e-CVT, sending power either to the rear wheels or all-four wheels.
We’ve detailed this system when it first debuted on the LC 500h. In short, the Multi Stage Hybrid transmission provides the best of both worlds – the efficiency of a CVT and the actual mechanical gearshifts of a cogged transmission. This innovative transmission mimics the shift pattern of a 10-speed gearbox and Lexus claims the direct yet linear acceleration from the e-CVT is free from the typical “rubber band” effect.
In “M” mode, drivers can bang up the gears just like a normal gearbox, but with a twist. Mounted behind the steering wheel are paddle shifters, which is a first for any Lexus hybrid cars. And it’s no slouch as well: the LS 500h would sprint from 0 to 96 km/h (that’s 0 to 60 mph) in 5.4 seconds. That’s just 0.9 seconds slower than the equivalent 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6! Oh, the Mercedes-Benz W222 S-Class manages the century sprint a heck slower too, at 6.8 seconds.
A lightweight lithium-ion battery pack gives the electric motor the juice needed to drive this full-sized sedan. The new battery pack is 20 percent smaller than the nickel-metal hydride unit found on the previous generation LS 600h.
Unique equipment on this LS 500h include a new stitching treatment and vibrant Kiriko glasswork (a type of Japanese cut glass) on the inner door panels. Other than that, the never-ending list of options found on the LS 500 is carried over to this hybrid model. Will it come to Malaysia? The LS most definitely will, but this hybrid variant may or may not.