December 08, 2016 – The introduction of the new LC performance coupe is a significant illustration of Lexus’ dedication to create cars with exciting, emotional designs and exhilarating performance.
In the space of just 27 years, Lexus has had a transformative effect on the world’s luxury car market. Engineering excellence has produced generations of powerful, responsive engines and transmissions, while its pioneering hybrid technology has taken efficiency and smoothness to ever higher levels. Cutting-edge design and a contemporary approach to luxury based on master craftsmanship traditions further emphasize its status as a world-class luxury vehicle manufacturer.
Now Lexus is building on its established strengths and evolving its reputation for vehicle development to explore new opportunities in design and technology that reshape its model range.
The change is being led from the top by Akio Toyoda, who in taking on the roles of Lexus’ Chief Branding Officer and master driver, has given the business more freedom, autonomy, and the confidence to be daring. With the benefit of dedicated resources, greater flexibility and quicker decision-making, Lexus has delivered a succession of vibrant new models that are changing the way it is perceived by both customers and the global automotive industry.
The striking NX crossover, the latest-generation RX, and the RC F and GS F performance models all demonstrate the great leap Lexus has made in crafting distinctive contemporary designs and delivering rewarding dynamic experiences—while retaining the luxury, quality, and attention to detail for which it has always been renowned.
The LC coupe takes this evolution to another level. Lexus has succeeded in turning its LF-LC concept into an uncompromised production car, in less than five years since its unveiling to huge critical and public acclaim. This feat has called for new ways of cooperation between the design and engineering teams 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. The LC 500h features Lexus’ new Multi Stage Hybrid System, which offers enhanced performance across engine speeds, a more direct response to driver inputs, and a higher level of dynamic performance and driving pleasure – all while maintaining the smoothness and efficiency that are characteristic of Lexus hybrids. The LC 500, powered by a normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine, also marks a first in the premium car segment with its new Direct Shift 10-speed automatic transmission, featuring gear ratios spaced to achieve smooth, linear and rhythmical acceleration.
A FLAGSHIP COUPE
The LC is a new flagship 2+2 performance coupe for Lexus’ global model range, not only showcasing the qualities of design, beauty, engineering and advanced technology that define it as a premium vehicle manufacturer, but also symbolizing its ambition as a luxury lifestyle brand. The Lexus LC will go on sale in the U.S. in Spring 2017.
The LC isn’t simply a car that looks good. It has been engineered in every dimension to deliver a very special driving experience. “Even sharper and more refined” were the constant watchwords as Lexus honed every aspect of the car’s performance, ride and handling. It is a contemporary interpretation of the finest traditions of the grand tourer, a coupe focused on the road, not the track. Its handling, responsiveness and comfort have been tuned to deliver a rewarding and hugely enjoyable experience.
The LC 500h marks a new step in the development of hybrid technology; it is the first model to benefit from Lexus’ Multi Stage Hybrid system. Adding a multi stage shift device to the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain helps transform the driving experience, witnessed in greater torque, more usable power across a wider range of engine speeds and rhythmic, linear acceleration that gives the driver the sensation of working with a 10-speed automatic gearbox. Moreover, these qualities are delivered with all the smoothness and efficiency for which Lexus Hybrid Drive is renowned.
The LC 500 is powered by the latest development of Lexus’ normally aspirated V8 gasoline engine, tuned to deliver 471 hp, with improved acceleration feel to the driver and the kind of engine note that only eight cylinders can deliver. This unit is matched to the aforementioned 10-speed direct shift automatic to offer a genuinely rewarding driving experience.
Distinctive LC design based on award-winning LF-LC Concept car
Avant-garde styling achieved through unprecedented level of cooperation between Lexus’ design and engineering teams
Fluid interpretation of Lexus’ “seduction and technology” design theme
Luxury 2+2 coupe proportions, with authentic front engine/rear drive design characterized by low hood and roof lines and aerodynamically efficient surfacing
DYNAMIC COUPE DESIGN
The LC’s exterior design is immediately recognizable as being a masterful reinterpretation of the styling of the LF-LC concept, winner of an EyesOn Design award when first revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
Making the show car’s styling a practical proposition for a full production car required a new way of working at Lexus, bringing the engineering and design teams together with an unprecedented degree of cooperation to achieve the desired results, with hard work fueled by a shared desire to make the LC a success, without compromise. At the same time as the challenge of the exterior design was taken, a new cabin was created, combining a driver-focused cockpit with an open and welcoming space for passengers.
The success of this team was proven when the LC won two additional EyesOn Design awards when it was revealed at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
An unprecedented design challenge
The unveiling of the LC coupe at the 2016 NAIAS revealed that Lexus had carried forward the promise of the LF-LC concept, producing a dynamic coupe with an exterior design that is radical yet elegant, with commanding visual impact.
The delivery of such uncompromised styling was at the heart of the project led by Chief Engineer, Koji Sato, and Chief Designer, Tadao Mori. Their work was inspired by the hugely positive media and public reception for the LF-LC and the personal support of Akio Toyoda, who saw the concept as a route to introducing more emotion into the Lexus brand.
Translating the styling of the 2012 LF-LC concept into a viable production model was a complex challenge, considered by Sato as the greatest Lexus had undertaken since the development of the original LS. Its successful achievement called for new ways of collaboration between the engineering and design teams right from the start.
Sato explains: “While maximizing the fundamental taste of the LF-LC, we applied completely different specifications to create a design that goes beyond the concept—a design that will captivate you as soon as you see it. In my view, pursuing beautiful design and elaborating great performance is very similar. Beauty is the identity of Lexus’ design. Every feature on the LC is the result of an integrated approach to design and engineering. All the teams worked together—engineers and designers alike. This is why we have been able to create such a great car.”
New Global Architecture – Luxury platform
The desire was to preserve the LF-LC’s defining low roof and hood lines, while ensuring the packaging allowed the LC to match the concept in accommodating a sport suspension and 21-inch forged alloy wheels. At the same time, all powertrain, chassis and safety components had to be housed and comfortable headroom had to be provided in the cabin. The teams had the benefit of working on a completely new GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) platform, designed for new generations of front engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models.
As an example of the teams’ commitment to success, the front suspension components went through six months of re-working the multilink suspension control arm geometry until the required low hood line was achieved, without compromising suspension performance. Other clever solutions were developed, such as the new ultra-slim LED headlight unit design, which allowed the LC to retain exceptionally short front overhangs.
EXTERIOR: AVANT GARDE ELEGANCE
The LC displays performance coupe proportions with an exterior design that projects an avant-garde elegance, remaining faithful to many of the defining features of the LF-LC concept car that inspired it. The design wraps the car in a glamorous body that represents an evocative and fluid interpretation of Lexus’ “seduction and technology” design theme.
The coupe’s athletic profile is characterized by its sweeping roofline, which tapers rearward from above the centrally positioned cabin to create a distinctive silhouette. Chrome-plated moldings along the side of the glass roof amplify the elegant coupe profile, their rear edges shaped to echo the lines of a traditional Japanese sword. The blacked-out finish to the roof and rear pillars creates a floating effect that visually separates the roof from the rear spoiler.
The LC’s appearance can be made even more dynamic with the addition of an optional Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic composite roof and active rear spoiler.
The LC has a 2,870mm (112.99 in.) wheelbase and—in a direct reference to the styling of the LF-LC— very compact overhangs (920mm/36.22 in. front, 970mm/38.19 in. rear) and a notably low hood line.
The prominent front and rear spoilers flare away from the center of the car, housing wide, large-diameter wheels, while the door panels are pulled inwards, creating a powerful three-dimensional form that mirrors the spindle shape of the Lexus grille.
The LC can be outfitted with 20-inch cast aluminum or available 20 and 21-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels.