Car Tech

Lexus Explains Its Crazy Multi-Stage Hybrid Drivetrain

Video: The tech underneath Lexus’ new LC 500h is impressive, but it’s also very complex. Two separate but interconnected gearboxes — a dnyamically adjustable CVT and a four-speed automatic — are the most straightforward parts of this extremely high-tech sportscar’s engine and transmission setup.

The LC500h, launched at the Geneva Motor Show, pairs a 220kW 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a 44kW electric motor and lithium ion battery pack, all simultaneously delivering drive to the car’s rear wheels. Doing that through two extremely different methods of power creation — a linear electric motor that delivers instant torque from zero RPM and that tails off at higher rotational speeds, and a comparatively peaky V6 petrol motor — takes a lot of engineering. Here’s how it works.

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