What’s a Lexus LC500 then?
The deeply sexy LC500 is Lexus’s new flagship luxury four-seater coupe, aimed squarely at the Porsche 911 and BMW 6-Series.
What do I need to know?
That the LC500 could be the start of a revolution for Lexus. The Japanese brand wants to build more exciting cars and this is the first step on that path.
As first steps go, it’s on-par with Neil Armstrong’s one giant leap. Not least because it looks absolutely stunning, little changed from LF-LC concept shown in 2012. Some of the details are a bit overwrought, but the proportions and those bulging wheelarches are just gorgeous.
But there is rather more going on here. Beneath the LC500 is a brand new platform – dubbed GA-L – that will eventually underpin all front-engined, rear-wheel-drive Lexuses. The chassis moves the engine and passengers – the heavy bits – lower and more centrally, better placing the centre of gravity and improving the handling. Indeed, Lexus claims the LC500 has “razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability.”
Other weight saving measures include an optional carbonfibre roof panel (glass is standard), carbon door frames with aluminium skins and a composite boot floor.
Under the bonnet is a rev-happy, 467bhp, 389lb/ft 5.0-litre V8 shared with RC F and GS F, hooked up to a ten-speed automatic gearbox. Lexus claims shift times match that of a dual-clutcher and that the ‘box can anticipate the driver’s inputs by monitoring acceleration and braking.
According to Lexus, the 0-62mph sprint is dealt with in less than 4.5secs; no word top speed yet, though.
As befits a flagship GT, the LC500 is loaded to the gunnels with safety and assistance systems, and just about every conceivable gadget.
Though it looks quite compact in the pictures shown here, the LC500 is a big car, similar in scale to the 6-Series. Whether or not all that clever chassis engineering has made it a genuine rival to the 911 in handling terms remains to be seen. As does the effect of a super-stiff chassis and run-flat tyres on the ride quality.
When can I buy one?
Some time in 2017.
How will it cost?
Lexus hasn’t said yet, but expect to pay at least £70,000.
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By Only Motors