Immediately identifiable as a Lexus, thanks to its hallmark spindle grille and dynamic character lines, the 2018 LC represents the most passionate expression of the brand’s design direction.
The grille itself features a unique mesh texture that changes visual tension as it spreads across the front of the car. Independent L-shaped daytime running lights beneath new ultra-compact Triple LED headlamps create the distinctive LC front lighting signature. Functional venting serves aerodynamic stability and cooling.
The Lexus LC 500 debuts the first 10-speed automatic transmission for a luxury automobile. Smaller and lighter than some 8-speed units, this new transmission executes shifts at speeds rivalling dual-clutch transmissions, yet with the seamless performance and smoothness of a torque converter automatic.
Very quick downshifts eliminate lag in G response.
The combination of a large glass panel and blacked-out rear pillars creates a floating roof appearance, and chrome-plated mouldings along the edges, which echo the lines of a traditional Japanese sword, amplify the effect.
The body’s substantial, “planted” look stems from prominent quarter panels that flare away from the centre of the car and door panels that are pulled inward. The flowing lines maintain a consistent tension in the body panels through to the rear, where very slim tail lamps use mirrors to create a three-dimensional sequence of L-shaped graphics.
The sweeping roofline tapers rearward between muscular, sloping fender tops, underscoring the car’s wide and stable stance, and the Lexus spindle shape is repeated in the rear fascia. Large ducts feed air into the rear wheel arches, the airstream exiting smoothly across the tyre sidewall to bolster straight-line stability and steering responsiveness.
Upon start-up, exhaling through the variable Active Exhaust, the 5-litre naturally aspirated V8 issues a clarion call to driving enthusiasts. Based on the engine in the Lexus RC F high-performance models, the LC 500 version raises the output to 351kW and 450Nm of peak torque.
The LC 500 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in less than 4.7 seconds.
This 5-litre V8 is a well-proven performance engine, with a low-mass reciprocating assembly, using lightweight forged connecting rods, along with titanium intake and exhaust valves to allow a 7,300-rpm redline. The 32-valve cylinder heads, equipped with performance-tuned Variable Valve Timing (VVT-iE), take full advantage of the engine’s low internal friction and aggressive valvetrain specs.
The D-4S injection system uses direct fuel injection that allows a high compression ratio, augmented by port fuel injectors to enhance low-speed response.
Under acceleration, the LC 500 V8 reveals its character in a continuously rising power curve, with the maximum power of 351kW developed at 7,100rpm and the torque peak of 540Nm at 4,800rpm.
The fast-revving V8 issues a stunning soundtrack amplified by a special resonance tube connecting the intake to the firewall, plus a standard Active Exhaust that rumbles and roars like a high-performance GT should. The driver can adjust the natural exhaust sound level via the Drive Mode Select system.
The V8 is also a good citizen, switching to the Atkinson cycle to enhance fuel efficiency at cruising speeds and Otto cycle for higher performance levels when accelerating.
“It is a huge feat for Lexus to have succeeded in turning its amazing LF-LC concept into an uncompromised production car. This would not have been possible without cooperation between the design and engineering teams who worked in tandem throughout the development process.
“Not only has Lexus delivered a design with high visual impact, it has also developed ground-breaking engineering and technology for the LC 500. This isn’t simply a car that looks good – the LC 500 has been engineered in every dimension to deliver a very special driving experience,” says sales and marketing senior vice president of Lexus South Africa Calvyn Hamman.