The new 2018 Lexus LS 500h hybrid V6 makes V8 power

Only a few horsepower shy of the V8-powered LS 460.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
With hybrids en vogue in Geneva, Lexus has taken the opportunity to debut the all-new 2018 Lexus LS 500h. The V6 is paired to two electric motors for a healthy total of 354 horsepower, just not far off the a V8-powered LS 460. It is down quite a bit from the outgoing 438-horsepower LS 600h but still enough to send the LS 500h to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds.

The hybrid system is similar to the one in the new LC 500h coupe, which combines the traditional Toyota hybrid two-motor CVT with a 4-speed automatic for better responsiveness, less of the "rubber band" CVT sensation, and (of course) greater efficiency. It should also help keep the LS 500h relatively quiet at full bore, keeping it in line with the "whisper quiet" mantra of the new LS. The new lithium-ion battery pack is 20 percent smaller than the outgoing nickel-metal battery, though Lexus claims power density has been improved.

Styling changes to the hybrid are minor. It still features the love-it-or-hate-it spindle grille that's permeated throughout the Lexus lineup, but other than a handful of hybrid badges and the typical blue ring around the badge, it's hard to spot the difference between the models. The interior appears to have a few minor trim changes, including some new reptile scale-like door panels.

While fuel economy hasn't been announced, expect improvements over the outgoing model's 19 city/23 highway rating. Look for more news on fuel economy and pricing in the next few months.

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