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Lexus Considering Hydrogen Powered LS Variant?

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On: Sat, Dec 27, 2014 at 9:24AM | By: Carl Malek


Lexus Considering Hydrogen Powered LS Variant?

With the Mirai concept providing a compelling glimpse of what a hydrogen future would look like at Toyota, it appears that the Japanese firm is planning to adopt some of the Mirai's innovations in an upcoming Lexus LS variant. The hope is that it could serve as the perfect platform to debut the technology when it eventually makes its way to mass production in Toyota-badged models (like some of the other innovations that first got their start in the Lexus LS).

The alleged LS offering would be postioned above the existing LS 600h L gasoline-electric hybrid, according to a statement to Motoring by several unnamed sources within the company. Perhaps due to the requirements and hardware of the hydrogen-related components, the new fuel cell vehicle would be offered only on the LS's long wheel base variant with performance coming from a 295-horsepower electric motor with a driving range of about 240 miles. While this would make it much less powerful than the current V8 hybrid, it would be 440 lbs lighter which would help maximize its fuel economy versus acceleration figures. The sources also speculated the LS FCV would stand out by offering larger air intakes on the front end, as well as two hydrogen fuel tanks which would be placed at strategic points in the vehicle while the fuel cell would be nestled underneath the front seats.

Pricing for the FCV LS would accordingly reflect its futuristic engineering and status as a flagship vehicle with a possible MSRP of just over $100,000. Look for production (if approved) to be limited to its home market of Japan if it arrives in the next three years with the model; it could be exported to the United States and other markets if demand for the model is strong enough. Considering the LS's role in bringing many modern technology advances to mainstream Toyota models, look for some variation of the FCV's fuel cell hardware to eventually trickle down to select members of the Toyota stable, including the Avalon range-topping sedan, Highlander SUV, as well as the Camry mid-size sedan.

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