If you were never quite convinced that Lexus has what it takes to tackle German luxury marques, the 2017 Lexus LC 500 would like you to reconsider.
Just as the original LS 400 sedan sent ripples through the industry when it arrived in 1989, the LC 500 - a four seater coupe that carries the LF-LC Concept of 2012 into production with very few changes - stands out as the next bold move from Toyota’s luxury arm.
Built atop an all-new platform for Lexus, called GA-L (and which will underpin all of Lexus’ future rear-wheel-drive models), the LC 500 features a combination of high-strength steel, carbon-fibre framed doors with aluminum skins, and a standard glass roof, or optional carbon fibre.
In place of the hybrid-assisted V6 of the LF-LC, the production LC features a 5.0 litre V8 engine shared with the RC F and GS F producing 351kW of power at 7100rpm and 530Nm of torque at 4800rpm. Naturally aspirated for linear acceleration response, the engine’s aural signature is boosted by the use of exhaust sound-control valves.
Drive is delivered by a newly developed 10-speed automatic transmission developed in conjunction with Aisin said to be lighter and more compact than rival eight-speed automatics, while delivering shift-times comparable to a dual-clutch transmission.
Suspension is all-new, with a double ball-jointed multi-link arrangement, featuring lightweight forged aluminium control arms for more agile steering and suspension responses.
Chassis strength is boosted by the use of special engine compartment bracing, stiffened aluminium front suspension towers, and a ring structure near the rear guard to improve the rigidity of these twist-prone areas.
On the inside, the LC 500 Lexus adopts a new minimalist styling theme, combining the traditional Lexus touchpad multimedia controller with a new faster and more flexible infotainment interface.
Standard Pioneer premium audio, or optional Mark Levinson sound systems will be offered, while the showcar features tan leather and Alcantara across the seats, dash, doors, console, steering wheel, and headlining.
The inclusion of Lexus Safety System + integrates active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Automatic High Beam (AHB), and All-speed Active Cruise Control (All speed ACC).
Expected to go on sale in 2017, the LC 500 has already been confirmed by Lexus Australia, however no launch timing has been given yet.
"The LC 500 epitomises the new spirit of Lexus and will act as a lighthouse model for our expanding range," Lexus Australia chief executive Peter McGregor said.
Price and positioning for the LC 500 are yet to be confirmed, but for reference it measures 134mm shorter nose-to-tail than a BMW 6 Series coupe, while being 26mm wider, and riding on a 15mm longer wheelbase. We’ll bring you more details as the LC 500 makes it journey from show stand to showroom.
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