Lexus LC 500 makes world debut in Detroit


D1---Lexus-LC500-420160126467-hp 5-liter V8 with 10-speed tranny coming to PH

Lexus unveiled the LC 500 at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan this month.

It is the Japanese luxury brand’s new flagship two-door, sitting above the RC coupe. The company said in a statement that the car also debuts the global architecture for luxury vehicles or GA-L platform that will be used in future front-engine, rear-wheel-drive Lexus models.

Concept-car looks for the road
The LC 500 was previewed by the LF-LC (Lexus Future-Luxury Coupe) concept car that was unveiled four years ago at the same show. The company said its stylists worked closely with engineers to keep the production model as close to the concept as possible.

Much like the LF-LC (and unlike Lexus’s other, more conservatively styled models), the 2+2 coupe has a very sleek profile, accentuated by the low hood. The company’s chrome-bordered signature ‘spindle’ grill dominates the front end, with the complex, triple-LED headlight arrangement also making it to production. The lights lead down to the air intakes that frame the car’s snout.

The side profile likewise resembles the LF-LC, albeit slightly toned down for the LC 500, from the air intake above the side skirt to the curved windshield that leads to the standard panoramic glass roof (a carbon-fiber roof is available). The multi-color side mirror, concealed door handle and floating roof line help keep the smooth look, which is balanced by the performance connotations of the standard 20-inch cast-aluminum wheels (21-inch forged-aluminum wheels are optional).

The rear is almost as striking as the front, with the pronounced rear wheel arches leading to the multi-layered tail lights. Atop lays the rear spoiler (an active spoiler is available as an option), while below is the triangular rear bumper that holds the twin exhaust pipes and diffuser.

Despite the futuristic styling, Lexus retains tried-and-tested materials with the intensive use of lightweight, high-strength steel for the LC 500, whereas most competitors are shifting to even lighter aluminum and/or composite materials. The company said it did make a carbon-fiber structure for the doors, which have aluminum skins, while the trunk not only has a composite floor, but also carries the battery. In all, the company said the coupe has a 52:48 front-rear weight distribution.

5.0-liter V8 and 10-speed auto good for 0 to 96 kph in 4.5 seconds
Likewise, the engine is old school and is a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter, twin-cam, 32-valve, direct-injection V8 producing 467 horsepower and 527 Newton-meters of torque. This is also found in the RC F coupe and GS F sedan, featuring lightweight forged connecting rods and titanium valves.

More radical is the all-new 10-speed automatic gearbox, which Lexus said has shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. This power train allows for 0 to 96 kilometers per hour in 4.5 seconds, with six-piston brake calipers at the ready to slow the LC 500 down.

Tech-filled but sumptuous interior
Lexus gave the LC 500 an interior befitting a top-of-the-line grand tourer, covering it from roof to seat base with leather and Alcantara. Meanwhile, the wood door trim swoops upward to the protruding, sculpture-like door handle.

The upright, leather-lined dashboard again combines the traditional and the modern with the massive center screen sitting next to the analog clock. The center console goes down to the simple climate-control functions, the shift lever and the controls for the all-new Lexus Multimedia package. Lexus said the LC 500 features a premium Pioneer audio system as standard, upgradeable to a Mark Levinson audio package.

The cowling for the all-digital instrument cluster (reminiscent of the one in the LFA supercar) features additional controls on both sides, looking like the bolts sticking out of the neck of Frankenstein’s monster. The sport steering wheel, meanwhile, has magnesium shift paddles.

The LC 500 is also up to date in standard safety features through its Lexus Safety System +, which integrates: the Pre-Collision System that helps prevent and mitigate collision; Lane Keep Assist that helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; Automatic High Beam that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during night-time driving; and All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The package works in conjunction with a millimeter-wave radar with a camera.

Prices in the United States are expected to start at around $100,000 (about P4.78 million). Lexus Manila sales director Spencer Yu told Fast Times the company plans to launch the LC 500 in the Philippines early next year, competing against the BMW 6 Series and Mercedes-Benz coupes.

Although prices are still being finalized, Yu said the company is working on the documentary requirements to qualify the LC 500 for incentives under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). Under JPEPA, vehicles manufactured in Japan with an engine size of 3.0 liters and above are given reduced import duties.


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