FOR Japanese luxury car maker Lexus, the arrival of the new flagship LC 500 and LC 500h, available from today, represents the biggest evolution of its brand since Toyota gave birth to it in 1989.
Featuring avant-garde styling, superb craftsmanship and ground-breaking engineering and technology, the grand touring 2+2 coupe was born out of the acclaimed LFA-LC concept and combines performance, responsiveness and comfort.
The dynamic luxury theme of the LC’s radical yet elegant exterior is carried through to the luxurious cabin with a driver-focused cockpit and appointments that exude sophistication, luxury and intricate attention to detail.
Underneath the beauty is a new GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) platform, which is pivotal to the new LC’s dynamic performance, while advanced materials and fabrication techniques used in the LFA supercar – including ultra-high-tensile steels, aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic – can also be found in the LC.
The LC features two unique Euro 6-compliant power trains: the latest development of the company’s naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine in the LC 500 and the revolutionary performance-oriented Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System in the LC 500h.
The high-revving V8, featuring direct injection and an exhilarating exhaust note, is matched to the world’s first 10-speed direct-shift automatic transmission for a premium car, delivering maximum power of 351kW and peak torque of 540Nm.
The hybrid-powered LC 500h delivers combined output of 264kW from its 348Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, 300Nm motor generator and compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery – the first of its kind in a Lexus.
It is the first model to benefit from a 10-ratio multi-stage shift device that advances the smoothness, efficiency and environmental performance for which Lexus is renowned, sipping just 6.7 litres/100km, compared with an impressive 11.6 litres/100km for the V8.
Longer, wider and lower than the Lexus RC F, the eagerly awaited LC luxury coupe hits the road at $190,000 (plus on-roads and other costs) for both the V8 and full hybrid versions.
Standard features include full LED lighting, glass panoramic roof, flush door handles, large colour head-up display, two-zone climate control, new adaptive variable multi-link front and rear sports suspension and 21-inch forged alloy wheels with run-flat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
A luxurious interior presents semi-aniline leather-accented upholstery, a single instrument dial with an eight-inch multi-information display, heated and ventilated front seats with 12-way power adjustment and memory function, sports pedals, magnesium alloy paddle shifters, six drive modes, and stainless steel scuff plates.
The LC debuts the latest Lexus audio and multimedia system with a 10.3-inch display, enhanced voice recognition, satellite navigation with SUNA Live Traffic, Lexus Enform connected mobility and, with compatible smartphones, Siri Eyes Free and Miracast.
A bespoke Mark Levinson premium sound system was developed by specialists who measured sound frequencies throughout the cabin to determine the precise locations of the 918-watt system’s 13 speakers.
As a complementary measure, the introduction of active noise control quietens the cabin by detecting the sound of the engine coming into the vehicle and cancelling certain frequencies, using anti-phase sound from the audio speakers.
Every LC is also equipped with Lexus Safety System+, featuring Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collison Safety System, Lane Keep Assist, Sway Warning and Automatic High Beam, plus a Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, reversing camera, eight airbags and tyre-pressure monitor.
Other advanced technology includes Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management that integrates stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, electric power steering and other systems. A four-point pop-up bonnet has been newly developed for Lexus to maintain a sleek, sporty bonnet profile while offering improved pedestrian protection in the event of an impact.
Customers who wish to add an extra performance focus can select a $15,000 enhancement pack featuring Lexus Dynamic Handling with technologies that incorporate four-wheel steering and variable gear ratio steering.
The pack includes an active rear spoiler that deploys automatically at 80km/h to manage airflow during performance driving, a carbon-fibre roof (in place of the glass roof), combination leather-accented and Alcantara upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable sports front seats and carbon-fibre scuff plates. The LC 500h also gains a limited-slip differential, which is standard on the V8.