By turning their LF-LC Concept into a production car, Lexus have managed to put the luxury two-door segment on notice with the striking LC performance coupe.
Set to hit US showrooms in the Spring of 2017, the Lexus LC is meant to showcase the brand’s qualities in design, engineering and advanced technology that nowadays define any serious premium car-maker.
According to Lexus, though, the LC is more than just a “pretty face”. The Japanese automaker engineered it to deliver a special driving experience, honing every aspect of its performance, ride and handling in order to turn it into a sports car for the road.
Sticking with its design, it was chief engineer Koji Sato who argued in favor of the LC keeping true to the LF-LC concept that preceded it.
“While maximizing the fundamental taste of the LF-LC, we applied completely different specifications to create a design that goes beyond the concept—a design that will captivate you as soon as you see it. In my view, pursuing beautiful design and elaborating great performance is very similar. Beauty is the identity of Lexus’ design. Every feature on the LC is the result of an integrated approach to design and engineering. All the teams worked together—engineers and designers alike. This is why we have been able to create such a great car.”
The LC features a wheelbase measuring 2,870 mm (113 in) combined with very compact overhangs at 920 mm/36.2 in (front) and 970 mm/38.1 in (rear) that help its stance.
For the interior, Lexus engineers wanted to make sure that getting in and out of the LC would be easy and comfortable, which is why they claim to have given it generous legroom beneath the instrument panel. The overall goal was to create a luxury coupe that was both comfortable as well as driver-focused. In terms of detailing, even the shift knob is hand-crafted in order to ensure that highly tactile parts of the car would please the LC’s future owners. The rest of the cabin is a mix of leather, Alcantara and other premium materials such as Magnesium (found on the paddle-shifters).
Of course, if it’s the occasional gadget or advanced system you’re interested in, look no further than the LC’s 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, which according to Lexus can deliver concert hall quality sound.
“The audio system is able to make the cabin sound larger than it actually is, giving the listener the sensation of being in a concert hall rather than the interior of a vehicle,” added Sato.
On the safety front, LC drivers can rest assured they’re in good hands, as systems such as Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection, Pre-Collision Brake Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Vehicle Sway Warning and Intelligent High Beam constantly watch over them in traffic.
Powering the LC 500 is a naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine, good for 471 PS (467 HP) and 389 lb-ft (527 Nm) of torque. It allows for a 0-60 mph (96 km/h) acceleration time of less than 4.5 seconds. The LC 500h, on the other hand, uses a 3.5-liter V6 full hybrid powertrain, putting down 359 PS (354 HP) in total, with the help of a four-speed automatic gearbox mounted in the rear. It helps it get from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 5 seconds, or about half a second slower than the V8-powered LC 500.