I first saw the Lexus LC 500 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. I was instantly smitten. The new flagship performance coupe showcases the qualities of design, beauty, engineering and advanced technology that define it as a premium vehicle. The LC 500 isn’t simply a car that looks good. It has been engineered in every dimension to deliver a very special driving experience.
The coupe’s athletic profile is characterized by its sweeping roofline, which tapers rear-ward from above the centrally positioned cabin to create a distinctive silhouette. Chrome-plated moldings along the side of the glass roof amplify the elegant coupe profile, their rear edges shaped to echo the lines of a traditional Japanese sword. The blacked-out finish to the roof and rear pillars creates a floating effect that visually separates the roof from the rear spoiler.
The prominent front and rear spoilers flare away from the center of the car, housing wide, large-diameter wheels, while the door panels are pulled inwards, creating a powerful three-dimensional form that mirrors the spindle shape of the Lexus grille.
The LC 500 can be outfitted with 20-inch cast aluminum or available 20 and 21-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels.
The dynamic luxury theme of the exterior is carried through into the LC’s 2+2 cabin. This space is designed to provide sophistication and intricate attention to detail with a driver-focused cockpit.
Particular attention has been paid to the steering wheel design, with a change in the cross-section around its circumference to allow for variations in grip and twisting of the wrist. New, larger magnesium alloy paddle shifters allow for easier hooking with the fingertips and a substantial feel when used.
Driving-related switches and controls are arrayed in a control zone that is concentrated immediately around the steering wheel. These include the paddle shifters, steering wheel combination switches, Drive Mode Select switch, starter button and shift lever. The center console features the latest-generation Remote Touch Interface touchpad control, with quick and intuitive operation.
The performance heart of the LC 500 is Lexus’ high-revving (maximum 7,300 rpm), normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 gasoline engine. Maximum power of 471 hp delivered at 7,100 rpm, with maximum torque of 398 lb.-ft. generated at 4,800 rpm. This gives the LC 500 a zero to 60 mph sprint time of less than 4.5 seconds.
The LC 500 is equipped with Lexus Safety System+, a collection of active safety features that can help the driver avoid an accident, or help lessen the consequences of a collision. The system uses a camera and a millimeter-wave radar to monitor the road ahead for potential hazards and collision risks. This provides the LC with a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, which is designed to detect vehicles and pedestrians under certain conditions, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, a Sway Warning function, and Intelligent High Beam system (IHB).
The Lexus LC 500 will go on sale in the U.S. in Spring 2017.