2018 Lexus LC 500 Front Three Quarter Live
Four years ago, the Lexus LF-LC concept debuted at the Detroit auto show in front of a pleasantly surprised but very pleased crowd. Akio Toyoda took note of the reaction, turned to his Lexus team, and told them to bring the LF-LC to life. The design and engineering teams in Japan worked side-by-side and came up with this, the 2018 Lexus LC 500. The LC 500 has gotten a lot of deserved attention on the floor of the 2016 Detroit auto show, where we also learned a bit more about Lexus’ all-new coupe.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Wheel
1. Exterior design dictated a brand-new front suspension. Early in development, Lexus engineers knew they would need to completely redesign the front suspension after the low-slung hood wouldn’t fit over the V-8 engine and the chassis couldn’t accommodate 21-inch wheels. Lexus built a multilink suspension from scratch that will be carried over to future models. 2. Its active exhaust caused a lot of dispute. Higher-ups at Lexus wanted the engine to “bark” at startup, like a Ford Mustang would, but many engineers in Japan felt like that would set the 2018 Lexus LC 500 too far afield from classic Lexus models. Chief engineer Koji Sato set the record straight, said they would fit the coupe with an active exhaust, and supposedly the LC 500 sounds like a serious, badass performance car.
2018 Lexus Lc 500 Rear End
3. There could be a four-door coupe version in the future. While Brian Bolain, corporate marketing manager for Lexus, wouldn’t confirm that the LC would be the base for a four-door coupe from Lexus, he did say, “We’re very aware of the four-door coupe and find it to be an interesting area, and we’re considering it for future opportunities.” 4. Lexus benchmarked the BMW 6 Series, Jaguar F-type, Maserati GranTurismo, and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. And guess what? All four have high-performance variants. Here to hoping we see a 2020 Lexus LC F. 5. Its battery is in the trunk. Engineers had to put it back there to help hit a 52/48 percent front-rear weight distribution.
2018 Lexus Lc 500 Front Interior
6. The steering wheel rim varies in thickness and shape. It’s subtle but thoughtful design work that Sato says is noticeable during spirited driving.
2018 Lexus Lc 500 Headlight Detail
7. Its headlights use the smallest LEDs in the automotive market. And the trio of tiny lights looks absolutely fantastic. 8. Its front and side air ducts are for aerodynamics, not brake cooling. The four ducts—two on each side of the car, all forward of the wheels—minimize wind baffling and help stabilize the wheels and tires at high speeds.
2018 Lexus Lc 500 Front End Close
9. Most development happened on Southern California’s canyon roads. While the LC 500 raced around Fuji, Willow Springs, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, most development happened in the canyon roads surrounding Los Angeles. Bolain says to think of the LC 500 as “a grand touring car with the heart of a sports car.” 10. The taillights have a semi-reflective finish. When the taillights aren’t lit up, the treatment makes the plastic lenses look metallic, like big pieces of exterior trim. 11. It’ll come in 12 colors. Red is one of them, obviously. 12. Lexus engineers tried to replicate the knobs from $10,000 stereo systems for the LC 500’s interior. The metal-trimmed volume knob for the car’s audio system has a lot of heft as you turn it. 13. Its shift paddles are made out of actual magnesium. Not cheap plastic like you find on most faux sports cars. 14. There will be very few option packages. The optional carbon-fiber roof will likely be bundled in with something like an F Sport package. 15. It’ll likely go on sale in March 2017. And it won’t have a six-figure price tag.