CARS.COM — The 2018 Lexus LC 500h is the hybrid version of the striking sports coupe, and while the LC 500 relies on a 5.0-liter V-8 for its power, the LC 500h gets something else entirely. With this specific powertrain comes an identity crisis: Is it more of a sports car or more of a hybrid? How well does it satisfy both aspirations?
Related: 2018 Lexus LC 500: Our View
Most people have moved past thinking of “hybrid” as a dirty word when it relates to performance cars. The Acura NSX and BMW i8 use their hybrid drivetrains to improve both efficiency and performance, and the LC 500h has the same aspirations. It has some work to do to get there.
In our review of the LC 500, I said that it’s more of a grand touring car than a sports car, and the LC 500h adds more weight (4,435 pounds versus 4,280 pounds) and makes less power. Like the LC 500, the LC 500h shares a lot of its powertrain components with other vehicles already in the Lexus lineup: the RX 450h and the GS 450h. All three hybrids use a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine, dual-electric motors and a continuously variable automatic transmission along with a lithium-ion battery pack. However, in the LC 500h, it gets some major updates and makes more power, with a combined system output of 354 horsepower.