Spy-Shots of a Lexus LS Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prototype Surface Online

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【Summary】As spy shots surface online, it looks like there's some truth to a rumored Lexus LS with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell powertrain.

Manish Kharinta    Sep 12, 2019 2:45 PM PT
Spy-Shots of a Lexus LS Hydrogen Fuel Cell Prototype Surface Online
A spy shot of the Lexus LS hydrogen-powered, fuel cell prototype.

For quite some time, rumors about a new Lexus LS EV equipped with hydrogen fuel cells were circulating in the auto industry. As recent spy shots of the hydrogen-powered electric vehicle have surfaced online, it looks like there's more truth to these rumors than initially expected. 

The fuel cell-powered Lexus LS is based on the Japanese automaker's LF-FC concept which first made its debut in October 2015. 

The heavily camouflage Lexus LS does not give much away, except for a partial glimpse into the headlight, taillight, and front grille design. We expect that the fuel cell-powered LS will receive a complete design refresh, which will include updated light clusters and a new grille design that will be a part of the Japanese carmaker's design language for its 2021 model year portfolio.

The fuel cell-powered Lexus LS might share a more advanced version of the powertrain featured in the next-gen Toyota Mirai. It's also expected that Toyota will offer a sport all-wheel-drive system as standard in the hydrogen-powered Lexus LS sedan.

In the LF-FC concept, the all-wheel-drive system is powered by what Lexus called "a high output power system" which sends the power to the rear wheels and to the in-wheel motors up front. Lexus called this setup its "innovative drive system", which regulates the power to offer optimum torque, handling and stability.

To maintain optimal weight distribution, Lexus positioned the power control unit at the front while the fuel cell stack was moved to the back in the LF-FC concept. The company also arranged the hydrogen fuel tanks in a "T-shaped" layout for the same reasons. It is unclear as to how much of this technology will eventually make its way into the production model.

The new Lexus LS will offer more cabin space than the Toyota Mirai and might even get a 5-seat layout instead of the 4-seat setup of the Mirai.

Both Lexus and its parent company Toyota have refrained from disclosing any further details about the powertrain it plans on using in the LS fuel cell sedan. 

However, we do expect that the all-new Lexus LS will hit the market as a 2021 model sometime next year.

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