After four years of rumors about a Lexus LS powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, the chief engineer of the flagship sedan says the carmaker's working on even more options. Toshio Asahi told Australia's GoAuto that three alternative powertrains — plug-in hybrid, full electric, and hydrogen — are "all on the table" for consideration. Asahi wouldn't give any timeframes, but whenever they arrive, additional drive options would fill out the LS range to better contend with the Germans.
Years of reports predicted this fifth-generation LS would get hydrogen power. A Motoring article at the end of 2014 forecast a fuel cell LS to arrive by 2017. In 2015 Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported that Lexus was considering a fuel cell option to arrive in 2020, around the time of the Tokyo Olympics. Later that year, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus showed off the LF-FC concept, powered by a cell and stack arranged for "optimum front-rear weight distribution for a sporty saloon." GoAuto said that during that show, a Lexus executive said an FCEV powertrain would end up in production "sooner than you think." The following year, Autocar reported we'd see a production version of the LF-FC "on sale before 2020" as a replacement for the LS, and last year, Lexus trademarked the name "LF-FC Concept."