The hybrid version of Lexus' LS 500 will premiere March 7 at the Geneva auto show. We have little official information from Lexus, but we can garner a few bits from what we know about the gasoline-powered LS 500, the last LS hybrid and the LC 500h that we just drove.
The 2016 LS 600h came with the company's big 5.0-liter V-8 that generated 389 hp, two electric motors and a sealed nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total system power was 438 hp. Fuel economy was an impressive 23 mpg on the highway.
We're sure the next hybrid won't get the V-8, especially with the new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 coming in the 2018 LS 500. We'd also expect more than 23 mpg with the next flagship, considering the last LS hybrid was working with slightly older technology.
The new LC 500h coupe, using the same platform as the new LS, gets Toyota's naturally aspirated V-6, with two electric motors for a total of 345 hp. That car has a planetary gear set between the motors that works with the first as a conventional continuously variable transmission.
The hybrid powertrain sits at the back end of the transmission, just before the driveshaft. It gets more confusing from there, so check out that first drive to get the full scoop on its powertrain, which could carry over unchanged into the LS.
We'll find out more details next month.