Lexus trademark reveals future LS fuel cell concept

2018 Lexus LS500h

2018 Lexus LS500h

Lexus seems to have something green planned for the near future, judging by a new trademark filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Lexus has moved to protect the “LS-FC CONCEPT” name from others, for use with “automobiles and structural parts thereof.” It likely hints at a fuel cell variant of the recently revealed Lexus LS flagship sedan.

The “FC” suffix was previously used for the LF-FC Concept in 2015, which featured a fuel cell propulsion method and previewed the latest LS’ design language. Toyota’s signature fuel cell system thus far has been the Mirai’s, meaning an LS-FC concept could use said fuel cell stack to preview a production model to come. Back in 2015, Lexus was said to be using the then next-generation LS as a basis for its first fuel cell vehicle. Such a car would become the brand’s technological showcase, sporting both a lofty price tag and considerable engineering. 

If the LS-FC concept pulls even more from the previous LF-FC, all-wheel drive seems likely, thanks to electric motors at each wheel.

2018 Lexus LS500h

2018 Lexus LS500h

2018 Lexus LS 500h, 2017 Geneva Motor Show

2018 Lexus LS 500h, 2017 Geneva Motor Show

2018 Lexus LS 500h, 2017 Geneva Motor Show

2018 Lexus LS 500h, 2017 Geneva Motor Show

Lexus has been eying a 2020 introduction date for a fuel cell flagship sedan, which parent company Toyota hopes will help celebrate its goal of 30,000 fuel cell sales by the same year. The year 2020 also happens to be important for Japan as it will host the Olympic games. A fuel cell-powered luxury sedan released at that time could earn Lexus some high-profile marketing on a global stage.

We already know that Lexus will offer the fifth-generation LS as the LS 500 with a 415-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6, as well as the LS 500h, with two electric motors and a 3.5-liter V-6 for a total of 354 horsepower. We also know that a second green LS is coming. The luxury brand inadvertently spoiled a surprise by sharing a photo showing an “EV Mode” for the 2018 LS, confirming a plug-in hybrid is right around the corner. A fuel cell variant would make a third green version of Lexus’ newly bold flagship sedan.

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