All set to make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week, the Lexus LS 500h flagship sedan is no ordinary hybrid.
According to Lexus, the car will feature what is called a Multi Stage Hybrid System – a high-performance hybrid powertrain that helps to deliver faster acceleration, greater traction and improved throttle responsiveness, as well as an increased maximum cruising speed on electric mode (140km/h).
The Multi Stage Hybrid System, which will also be making its first appearance in the powertrain of the new LC 500h luxury coupe, adds a four-stage shift device to the LS 500h's Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, which features a 3.5-litre V6 dual VVT-i petrol engine and two electric motors.
In simpler words, what the system does is that it replicates the feel of driving with a 10-speed transmission, like that featured in the V8-powered LS 500 that was unveiled at last month's Detroit auto show.It also delivers a more direct response to driver throttle inputs - a quality that is particularly noticeable when accelerating from standstill. The result is a linear, direct and continuous acceleration feel, making for a more rewarding driving experience.
Now, we don't know if this is really a high performance hybrid system or just a gimmick but looking at Lexus' track record, it will most likely be a beast of a car.