WHEN Lexus first showed off the LF-LC concept back in 2012, it dropped jaws with its evocative, swoopy GT coupe design.
Turns out, it wasn’t just a concept design. Meet the 2017 Lexus LC 500, a luxurious muscle coupe packing 467 horses.
At the LC 500 unveiling at the Detroit Auto Show, Lexus chief branding officer and Master Driver Akio Toyoda kicked off his remarks by reading a list of descriptions of Lexus from the motoring press.
Words like “boring” and “bland” were featured.
With the LC 500, Toyoda hopes to abolish that impression entirely.
“Everyone, including the engineers, wanted to keep this car as close as possible to the original concept,” Toyoda remarked.
Looks like they just about nailed it.
Powered by the same naturally aspirated 5-litre V8 found in the RC F and the GS F, the new LC 500 wears styling that’s shockingly similar to the original concept car. That swoopy body rests on an all-new, rear-wheel-drive platform dubbed GA-L.
Lexus says it prioritised a low centre of gravity and excellent weight distribution in this first iteration of the chassis, which along with aluminium, carbon-fibre, and composite bodywork, provides the LC 500 with a 52/48 front/rear weight distribution.
“The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Toyoda.
“A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market.
This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”
The LC 500’s 467 horses and 389 lb.-ft. of torque are sent through an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Six-piston front and four-piston rear brake callipers counteract a claimed 0-60 sprint of “less than 4,5 seconds.”
But don’t think this is a bare-bones speeder.
Lexus wants this four-seater to offer both performance and luxury, and the stylish interior, with its optional Mark Levinson audio package and a host of next-generation safety features ensures pampering to go alongside the power.
Lexus tells us the LC 500 coupe will come to market some time next year; an LS sport sedan based on the same platform will follow.
Considering how nicely Lexus made the transition from concept to production car, we can only hope there’s an LF-LC Vision Gran Turismo-inspired racer in the works.— Roadandtrack.com
. . . Coupe headed for SA in 2017
Meanwhile, IOL Motoring reports that Lexus is aiming to create a stir in the luxury coupé market with its new LC 500, which is due in SA in about a year from now.
Given its size, the new brand flagship is likely to be positioned somewhere between the BMW 6 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé and yet despite the fact that it’s positioned as more of a grand tourer than outright sports car, this new Lexus has its fair share of racy elements.
Its designers positioned the wheels as close to each corner as possible and practically perfected the weight distribution at 52:48 F:R, even positioning the drivetrain’s mass behind the front axle and plonking the driver as close as possible to the vehicle’s centre of gravity, where it feels the most engaging.
The LC 500 is the first Lexus vehicle to sit on the firm’s new premium rear-wheel drive platform that will also underpin the next LS and GS sedans.
Powering the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission is the same normally aspirated 5-litre V8 that does duty in the RC F.
The high-revving motor kicks out 348kW and 527Nm, allegedly allowing the LC 500 to sprint from 0 –96km/h in under 4,5 seconds.
The LC’s exterior design, with its low, wide stance and dramatic curves, was inspired by the LF-LC concept that made its debut at the same show four years back.
The cabin follows a similarly daring theme while many of its surfaces employ the detail-obsessed Takumi finishes.
Gadgets include the All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise control with stop-and-go traffic function as well as Automatic High Beam and a Pre-Collision System.
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