The new Lexus LS 500h, set to debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, will feature the firm’s latest Multi Stage Hybrid system, promising more efficiency, better acceleration and a more driver-pleasing feel. It can also let the new LS cruise in full EV model with the engine off at speeds of up to 87 mph.


Lexus says throttle response has been improved, high-speed cruising revs are lower and responsiveness when pulling away from a standstill is much-improved. This is all facilitated by the new four-stage shift device that’s been added to the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain - consisting of two electric motors and a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine.

This new four-stage shift system is so advanced, claims Lexus, it’s able to replicate the sensations of the 10-speed automatic transmission fitted to the non-hybrid, twin-turbo Lexus LS 500. Acceleration is linear, direct, and continuous.

It’s not the first application of this latest Multi Stage Hybrid System. It’s already fitted to the LC 500h, the coupe version of the new Lexus LS saloon. Motor1’s Sebastian Blanco called it enjoyable and “not too different from the way the standard LC 500 feels”. But he did note “you still have that indeterminate momentary pause between pounding down on the gas pedal and feeling the car react.

“As someone who’s completely fallen in love with the instant torque of all-electric powertrains, the LC 500h felt like a step backward.”

The Geneva show will be the world debut of the new LS 500h, scheduled for 12.45pm local time on 7 March in Hall 4. The reveal follows the full global debut of the 2018 Lexus LS model at the Detroit Auto Show back in January.

Gallery: Lexus LS 500h Multi Stage Hybrid

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  • Lexus’s Multi Stage Hybrid System to feature in the powertrain of the new LS 500h flagship sedan, which makes its world debut at the Geneva motor show
  • High-performance hybrid system brings new level of driving pleasure, greater acceleration and traction, and higher efficiency
  • Higher cruising speeds achievable with petrol engine shut off – up to 87mph
  • Performance maintains the hallmark smooth, quiet and refined nature of Lexus Hybrid Drive

Lexus’s new LS 500h flagship saloon is to benefit from the company’s Multi Stage Hybrid System, a breakthrough technology that transforms the performance and driver appeal of hybrid power. The new model will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 7 March.

The system, first installed in the powertrain of the new LC 500h luxury coupe, brings multiple benefits in terms of improved throttle responsiveness, high-speed cruising at lower engine rpm and the ability to cruise at higher speeds, with the petrol engine shut off – up to 87mph (140km/h).

At the same time, overall fuel efficiency and emissions performance are improved, while preserving the smooth, quiet and sophisticated drive that is a hallmark of Lexus hybrids.

The Multi Stage Hybrid System 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. The result is more direct response to driver throttle inputs – a quality that is particularly noticeable when pulling away from stationary.

Although the system comprises a four-stage shift, its operation replicates the feel of driving with a 10-speed transmission, like that featured in the twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine-powered LS 500, with a linear, direct and continuous acceleration feel, making for a more rewarding driving experience.

The Lexus press conference will take place on March 7, at 12:45pm local time on stand 4211 in Hall 4 of the Palexpo exhibition centre.