Lexus has recently announced a new version of the LC Coupe and called it the ‘Limited Edition’ which is essentially a very yellow option. It’s a special shade of yellow that they call ‘Naples Yellow’ and Lexus has even used complementing shades of the same colour for the Alcantara inserts and for all the contrast stitching across white leather seats, dash, steering wheel and so on.
This yellow edition, pardon, ‘Limited Edition’ LC Coupe has also been fitted with the LC Sport+ specs which include 4-wheel steering, a CFRP-made active rear spoiler, bigger stereo, new 21″ alloys and a Torsen limited-slip diff. This new version will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show later this year.
Come to think of it, we’ve never talked about the Lexus LC Coupe or about Lexus either on The Auto Loons. Which comes as a surprise because this is the brand has given the world one of the greatest sports cars of the modern era – the Lexus LFA.
A simple explanation, for now, is that Lexus is the luxury arm of Toyota. Quite similar to how in different global markets, Infiniti is the luxury brand for Nissan and Acura is for Honda. Lexus has been around since the same time having been set up in 1989 and has been producing cars for the premium price segment, something a Toyota badged vehicle would find difficult to do. Most of their product catalogue revolved around offering a luxury experience with comfort and a big bucket of dullness, ideal for the executive buyers who’d rarely participate in the joy of driving. But after many years of being Lexus where Toyota used the brand for selling premium cars, the management decided to infuse it with some driving passion and that eventually led to the creation of the Lexus IS F and the mind-boggling Lexus LFA. I’ll do a separate story on the LFA another time because there’s a lot to talk about there as well. But bringing it back up the timeline, to 2017 when Lexus launched the new LC 500 coupe as their flagship vehicle which has also been a hero vehicle in the Marvel Studios cinematic hit – Black Panther.
Built with Lexus’ latest design language, it has the brand-identifying, gaping, spindle front grille that goes all the way to the bottom of the front bumper. There are a lot of vents and ducts to channel air for less drag, better cooling and overall better driving experience. It has a muscular stance with the rear arches angling away from the cockpit like an animal sitting on its haunches waiting to pounce, but looking elegant as it does so. Lexus has worked hard to keep it light where possible without using too much of the expensive carbon-fibre. Instead, they have focussed on weight distribution to keep as much as mass possible towards the centre and lower in the chassis to improve the centre of gravity. They also use a combination of steel and aluminium with CFRP where necessary.
The LC 500 Coupe comes with two drivetrain options – a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 or a Hybrid powertrain called the LC 500h. The latter is a new Multi-Stage Hybrid System teams a 3.5-litre V6 with two electric motors for better fuel economy and even all-electric power if needed via a 4-speed automatic transmission to channel the combined output of 354hp to the rear wheels. But the one you should have is the 5.0-litre V8 that produces 471hp and 540Nm of torque and makes a wonderful soundtrack. This unit comes paired to a 10-speed transmission with magnesium pedals for manual shifting which Lexus says is good enough to launch the LC 500 from 0 to 96kph in 4.5 seconds.
But even with V8 power, the handling is a crucial part of a sports car experience and as such Lexus has given the LC 500 a low ride height and a double ball joint front suspension setup. Tick the optional Lexus Driving Handling system and the car coordinates EPS with Variable Gear Ration Steering with Active Rear Steering. There’s a choice of 20″ or 21″ alloys with Michelin Pilot Super Sport or Bridgestone Potenza S001 run-flat tires.
Move into the cabin of the LC Coupe and you see the entire layout has been optimised for spirited driving from the seating position to the instrument panel. Some of the controls are positioned in such a way that the driver can navigate between them without taking his/her eyes off the road but are quite different from the European ones. The regular seats are comfy for grand touring while the sports seat offer a bit more bolstering as one goes around the corners. The touchscreen multimedia system may seem outdated when compared to some of the German competitors but it does a decent job of things with a lot of functionality and is hooked up to a bangin’ stereo system. The Lexus Safety System+ is equipped as standard for features like a pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and vehicle sway warning.
Since the LC Coupe is not even sold in India, check out the review by Mat from CarWow to know more about both engine variants and to enjoy the sound of that V8:
Let me know what you think of the Lexus LC 500 in the comments below the gallery and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for plenty more updates from the world of cars.