Lexus LC 500 coupe takes on the cream of German sportsters
15 Dec 2016
With the striking new LC 500 coupe from its upmarket Lexus brand, Japanese maker Toyota hopes to woo buyers who might otherwise be eyeing a BMW 6 Series coupe or an entry-level Porsche 911.
The swoopy shape of the LC with its sharply-angled front and sporty meshed grille is unusual for this sober brand which is more famous for bland limousines.
The sharp look highlighted by arrowhead daytime running lights owes a lot to a LF-LC show concept first revealed four years ago.
With the new flagship model, which replaces the LFA supercar dropped in 2012, it seems Lexus is trying to get affluent young buyers interested in the brand.
Its focus on comfortable long-distance cruising may even give the Lexus LC 500 an edge over rival products from its the big three German brands, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
Expect to see the LC in showrooms during 2017. Prices for the cars have yet to be confirmed but will probably start at around 100,000 euros (106,000 dollars).
Power under the bonnet for the stock LC comes the 477-horsepower naturally-aspirated engine.
The 4.76-metre coupe needs only 4.4 seconds for the sprint from zero to 100 kilometres per hour and top speed is a claimed 270 km/h.
The V8 delivers its ample power to the rear wheels through a 10-speed direct-shift automatic gearbox.
Also being offered is a hybrid petrol-electric variant called the LC500r. At its heart is a 220-kilowatt 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine working in tandem with a 44.6 kW electric motor which gets its electricity from the lithium-ion battery.
This greener version uses a four-speed CVT gearbox and will still hit 100 km/h from zero in under five seconds.
Toyota claims the taut handling of the LC models is down to the rigid bodywork, which delivers the highest torsional stiffness of any Lexus model to date.
The futuristic exterior of the grand tourer is not matched inside, since the LC 500 is not meant to be a white-knuckle driver's car.
Instead it pampers the driver with creature comforts and tech gadgets. Leather prevails along with goodies such as a new digital instrument cluster, next-generation infotainment and centre-console sat-nav.