By on February 22, 2017

2018 Lexus LS at NAIAS Front 3/4, Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Lexus’ next-generation LS has already thrown design heritage out the window and kicked its traditional V8 to the curb, so why not add more totally new hardware?

For 2018, the brand’s redesigned flagship sedan will again offer a hybrid variant, but that last version is yesterday’s news. Lexus didn’t need to look far to find a replacement.

Two weeks ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut, Lexus has dished details on the fuel-sipping version of its redesigned roadliner. Though it may not come as a surprise, the automaker has confirmed that the Multi Stage Hybrid System found in the upcoming LC 500h coupe will gain a new application in the LS.

There’s no word that any changes have been made to the system, so it looks like a direct carryover. (Much like the platform both vehicles share.)

Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System

With a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 as its starting point, the system piles on the tech. Two motor-generators, each powering a front wheel, are fed by a battery pack above the rear axle, adding 44 kW of gas-free puissance that brings total system output to 354 hp. To put the power down, the LC 500h’s odd hybrid transmission joins its transplanted powertrain. The unit combines a continuously variable transmission and a four-speed planetary gearbox to mimic the feel of a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic.

Lexus promises “a linear, direct and continuous acceleration feel,” something no luxury flagship can afford to do without.

All-electric driving can be accomplished up to speeds of 87 miles per hour, the automaker claims. That’s in line with its statements on the LC 500h. Range, with the gas burner out of commission, remains to be seen, as does the LS 500h’s fuel economy figures and acceleration. Lexus pegs the new LS’s platform mate at 4.7 seconds to 60 mph, with combined fuel economy of 30 mpg and a highway figure of 35 mpg. Expect the LS to pack on several luxurious pounds over its coupe companion, so those figures could take a minor haircut.

The automaker, which has seen LS sales fall along with that of traditional full-size luxury cars, clearly hopes this powertrain will make it a standout in its segment. In the U.S., the model will face stiff competition, especially from Cadillac’s plug-in CT6.

[Image: © 2017 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars; Lexus]

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