2017 Lexus LC500 Photo 1
Latest Lexus flagship debuts in Detroit
In 2012, Lexus showed off an aggressive looking LF-LC Concept, and at this year’s Detroit auto show, we got to see those ideas turned into a production vehicle. According to Lexus, the LC 500 is a “new dawn” for Lexus, and that makes sense considering it sits on a brand-new architecture.
The new platform is the marque’s global rear-wheel-drive set-up, which will find its way under any RWD/front-engine Lexus in the future. Engineers focused on weight distribution by moving the engine just behind the front axle and lowering the center of gravity in order to make the LC 500 handle as well as possible. It’ll also come standard with run-flats, so there won’t be a spare anywhere to slow you down.
Extensive use of lightweight materials further manages weight: Carbon fiber in the roof, aluminum door skins with a carbon-fiber inner structure and a composite trunk floor all help get the curb weight down. A fiberglass roof comes standard. A high-strength steel structure ties this all together, and it apparently has higher torsional strength than the Lexus LFA.
2017 Lexus LC500 rear
Power? Well, it’s the same 5.0-liter V8 that Lexus throws in its RC-F coupe and GS-F sedan. That’s not awful, considering the output of the 32-valve V8 is 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. Behind the V8 is a 10-speed automatic trans that is supposed to shift as quickly as a dual-clutch, but we’ll be the judge of that. Lexus says this car should jog from 0-60 in under 4.5 seconds.
A dual-ball joint multi-link suspension helps keep the Michelin Pilot Sports planted firmly to the ground. Slowing this beast down are six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear.
While this is decidedly a sports car, it’s also a pampered, premium mode of travel. Available Alcantara covers the seats, and an available Mark Levinson audio package should take care of your music needs nicely. A safety package is also available, with lane-keep assist, automatic high beams and a dynamic cruise control.
No word on price or availability, but we imagine it’ll come later on in the year, and it sounds expensive.