The long wait ends: Lexus Manila has finally launched its flagship sports car, the LC 500, months after the preview of its hybrid version in the 2016 Philippine International Motor Show.
Like the LFA and the Toyota 86 before it, the LC 500 was based from its concept model, the LF-LC, and spawned a production equivalent. Like the 86, it was built for mass production.
“The LC is more than just a dream come to life. Yes, the LC is an archetype of concept-to-reality. But beyond that, the LC is a symbol of change. A change that we hope is palpable as Lexus shifts from just a luxury automotive brand, to a luxury lifestyle brand,” Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. president Satoru Suzuki told Fast Times.
Looking at the car, there still remains of the LF-LC concept car, from the headlights, the signature spindle grille, the side panels which evokes memories of the ultra-rare LFA, and the familiar rear lights, all combined in a sporty package. The power output also compliments the looks – with 471 hp revving to 7,100 rpm and 527 Newton-meters of torque from its 5.0-liter V8 that is also found in the IS F and the RC F, mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox (the most gears in its class), it can compete against its direct rival – the Mercedes-AMG GT. Even with the 2,028-kilogram curb weight, it can go from zero to 60 mph (96 kph) in 4.4 seconds.
Multilink suspension systems are fitted front and back, and help the car sit low to the ground, as with any sports car. With four-wheel steering to boot, it can corner at faster speeds even with its heft. A video from AMCI Testing showed that it cornered faster than the more powerful Aston Martin DB11.
Leather and Alcantara
Inside is awash with leather swathed in Alcantara trim, shaped in a sporty fashion. A display screen sits on the upper center of the console, and extends to the passenger side, showing an artificial carbon trim from the screen. While it may be a 2+2 GT car, getting at the back of the car can be a bit cumbersome, but the leathery comfort extends to the rear seats as well.
Newly appointed Lexus Manila president Raymond Rodriguez said that they will be selling the car in a regular basis.
“It is our second halo car since the LFA, but unlike the LFA we think it’s a good time to make it available to the [Philippine] market. It is sporty, yet very comfortable, and we want the brand to emerge as not just a luxury brand but a lifestyle brand,” Rodriguez told Fast Times.
He added they will not ship in its hybrid sibling, the LC 500h, as the country is yet to be ready for electric vehicles to enter the market.
The car will cost P8.888 million without options, and 15 units have been sold before launch. Rodriguez said Lexus will sell around three five units a month.
Rodriguez succeeded Danny Isla as president of Lexus Manila last January.