Lexus pulled the wraps off the new LC500, introducing the company into a new, more dynamic era.
Driven by Akio Toyoda’s will to make Lexus a more passionate and distinctive brand, the company took the LF LC concept and brought it to production, creating one of the most refreshing models we have seen from them.
Based upon an all-new platform called GA-L which will also spawn the company’s future front-engined/rear-wheel-drive models, the LC500 wants to offer a sharper driving experience thanks to the positioning of the engine and cabin closer to the center and lower in the chassis. This makes the new Lexus LC500 a front mid-engined coupe.
Lexus claims that the unibody of the new LC500 is the stiffest they had to engineer and produce and that means even stiffer than the carbon chassis of the LFA. That was possible with the strategic use of lightweight, high-strength steel in the platform along with special braces in the engine compartment, the adoption of aluminum front suspension towers and the addition of a ring structure near the rear fenders.
A carbon-fiber roof, aluminum door skins mounted on the inner carbon-fiber door inner structure and a composite trunk floor help in distributing the weight 52/48 between the axles, with Lexus not announcing a curb weight figure yet.
One of the main highlights is the multilink suspension system. Lexus has installed double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms, optimizing this way the geometry of the suspension, increasing the wheel control and providing with a more precise steering feel.
Lexus says that the LC500 is a “world-class luxury sports coupe that exhibits razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability” giving us a first idea of the new model’s character.
A character which is enhanced by the high-revving 5.0-litre V8 engine which makes 467hp and 389lb ft of torque, a unit known from the GS F and RC F models. With a dual intake inlet improving the soundtrack and breathing, the engine is expected to provide a vivid aural signature, thanks also to the active exhaust flaps which are controlled by the driving modes of the car.
The newly-developed 10-speed Aisin automatic gearbox is said to offer shift times that rival those of a dual-clutch unit. The gearbox itself is also physically smaller and lighter than some of the eight-speed transmissions of the market while a new electric control system anticipates the driver’s inputs by monitoring acceleration, braking and lateral g forces.
Lexus says that the new LC500 is able of a 0-60mph time in less than 4.5 seconds. The brakes feature 6-piston brake calipers at the front and four-piston ones at the rear. Customers will be able to choose between two sets of 20-inch alloys and one set of 21-inch alloys.
As you would expect from a Lexus, the cabin offers a beautiful mix of leather, alcantara and other expensive materials like magnesium for the paddle-shifters on the steering wheel. The overall styling is clearly inspired by the LFA but that’s far from being a bad thing. Customers will have the option of sport seats which offer additional bolstering and lateral support while the standard ones are the best choice for long-distance travelling.
“The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “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”.