The North American International Auto Show also included the teased premiere of an all new Lexus model – which indeed turned out to be the spectacular LF-LC concept production model transformation as the LC 500.
This model looks entirely spectacular and could qualify as a more accessible successor of the LFA crown jewel – essentially becoming the Japanese luxury brand’s flagship sports coupe. We were growing long in the tooth expecting no less than four years to mature this model for production duties but it’s now here to make “the strongest statement yet about the brand’s future product direction.” The exterior design shows the close relationship with the concept it preceded as most of the elements were fortunately transferred to the LC 500 – a front end with a massive grille and new 3D mesh design, stylish triple LED headlights, with integrated L-shaped daytime running lights. We also see a muscular side profile with a sloping roofline, short overhangs and a low hood while the back end treats us to slim lamps with a “unique lighting effect that helps convey a sequential L motif.” Also on point are the 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels or the active rear spoiler.
Moving inside the cockpit we can see the engineers made the driver’s position sit as close as possible to the vehicle’s center of gravity, being designed to be “the most communicative to the driver.” We see Alcantara leather all around while the Lexus Takumi craftsmanship adorns the door panels, center console, and dash pad structures. The LC 500 uses the company’s all new “premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform” which is an integral part of the GA-L new corporate global vehicle architecture and the engineers on this occasion worked towards having the mass of the vehicle, including engine and occupants, sitting as close to the ground as possible and in a central position.
Weight saving techniques include using run-flat tires as they discarded the spare wheel and a relocation of the battery to the trunk for better weight distribution. That all bodes well with the engine under the hood – the 5.0-liter V8 mill sourced from the RC F and GS F. A 32-valve naturally aspirated unit, it will come with 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, delivered via a new 10-speed automatic transmission to the rear axle. The power is enough to propel the high performance luxury coupe to 60 mph (96 km/h) in no more than 4.5 seconds.