Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Lexus | posted January 12, 2016 08:00
All-new LC500 points to new age of Lexus
Lexus kicks off 2016 with an all-new luxury coupe that not only is the product of intensified teamwork between the automaker’s engineering and design team but also hints at the direction the company is taking moving forward.
The all-new Lexus LC500 was unveiled just hours ago at the 2016 North American International Auto Show and the team behind it worked tirelessly to make sure that majority of what’s on the concept will make it to production version.
The LC500 picks up much of what it looks like from the LF-LC concept which was previewed at the Tokyo Motor Show late last year. It possesses smooth curves, a carbon-fiber roof and an overall aerodynamic form.
It boasts of a triple LED headlamp unit that comes with the industry’s thinnest projectors to allow for a low hood with a short front overhang, a rear diffuser and active rear spoiler, and can be ordered with either a 20-inch or 21-inch forged aluminum wheels.
As expected, much of the focus of the interior is the relationship between the driver and the cockpit. Major consideration was given to his position when driving and the layout of the controls to make everything accessible and easy to handle including the magnesium alloy paddle shifters. So much emphasis was given in fact that on the LC500, the driver’s hip point is as close as possible to the vehicle’s center of gravity so that the driver gets as much feedback during the drive as possible.
The interior comes in Alcantara and come with the guarantee of Lexus’ world-renowned Takumi craftsmanship.
Lexus uses a brand-first all-new, premium rear-wheel drive luxury platform on the LC500, which will also become the automaker’s new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L).
Engineers repositioned major components in system they call ‘inertia spec.’ Wheels were pushed to the corners with shortened overhangs, the drivetrain was put behind the front axle and the 12-volt battery was moved to the trunk for better balance and make a front mid-ship layout.
The LC500’s chassis is the stiffest Lexus has ever engineered but still lightweight and has more torsional rigidity than the LFA. Lexus also gave the multilink suspension double ball joints on the upper and lower arm.
At the heart of the LC500 is a 5.0 V8 that puts out 473 PS and 527 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that Lexus claims is the first-ever in the luxury segment.
The LC500 is a luxury coupe that seats four people and is targeted to make 0-100 kph in less than 4.5 seconds.
All of the platform and drivetrain engineering helped endow the LC500 with performance and agility uncommon for a four-person coupe; the vehicle targets a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.
“The LC500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally. A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus.