Lexus is no fan of electric cars, but hybrids? That’s an entirely different story, with the Japanese automaker continuously increasing its offering of gas-electric vehicles. Lexus Enthusiast scooped a trademark filing for the LC 500 and LC 500h, which hints at a possible hybrid sports coupe in the near future.
Likely based on the extremely well-received Lexus LF-LC coupe concept, the 500 designation likely points towards a 4.0 liter V6 as the source of motivation. Why? Well it falls within the Lexus naming convention for one, where the GS 450h uses a 3.5 liter V6 hybrid, and the LS 600h is motivated by a 5.0 liter V8 hybrid drivetrain. A 4.0 liter hybrid with more of an emphasis on performance would slot neatly in the current lineup, and add an exciting new model to a brand that’s grown increasingly bland since the luster of the LFA wore off. With Lexus filing a trademark for the LC 500 and LC 500h moniker in the US, Canada, and Australia though, it seems like a new sports car is definitely on the way.
There is, however, another tantalizing possibility; a 2.5 liter four-cylinder gas engine coupled to a next-gen hybrid system making up for the other 1.5 liters of potential power capacity with electric motors. This is the case with the CT 200h, where a 1.8 liter engine combined with an electric motor offer 134 horsepower, equivalent to a conventional 2.0 liter engine. While Lexus and Toyota have been on something of a two-faced crusade against electric vehicles, their efforts into more fun and efficient hybrids haven’t slowed one bit, and the LC 500h could be the most exciting yet.
It’s almost enough to forgive them for outright lying about the BMW i3 in a recent advertisement.