Lexus LC 500 Is The Brand's New 467 HP Flagship Sports Car

It borrows a lot from Lexus' striking LF-LC Concept unveiled in 2012

Lexus stole the show in Detroit this year with the LC 500, a luxury 2+2 coupé that makes a strong statement about the brand's future product direction. The LC 500 has been a pet project of Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who has decided that Lexus products need more passion and distinction.

With the LC 500, Lexus made efforts to maintain as much of the concept in the production car as possible. Styling-wise, the coupé retains the dramatic shape and proportions of the LF-LC study. The front fascia features a powerful interpretation of Lexus' distinctive grille with a new 3D mesh design and a chrome outline on three sides. The "L"-shaped DRLs underline a new Triple LED headlamp unit while at the rear the multi-layered tail lamps with a unique lighting effect also have an "L" motif. The LC 500's shape is defined by aerodynamics, with functional venting playing an important role in improving aerodynamic stability and cooling. The rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler also help manage airflow during performance driving.

The car has a fast, sloped roofline, with the wind-cutting shape also emphasized by the low hood height, as well as the long 2,870 mm wheelbase with small overhangs both front (920 mm) and rear (970 mm). The LC 500 comes with a glass roof as standard – a lighter carbon-fiber top is offered as an option.

The LC 500's interior manages to impress too. The cockpit-focused layout is elegant and luxurious at the same time. It also promises a sporty driving position, with Lexus saying the driver's hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle's Cg (Center of gravity). Materials used inside include available supple leather and Alcantara seating surfaces, while the door panels, center console and dash pad structures feature elements of Lexus' Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.

They say that style is nothing without substance, and the Lexus LC 500 has both. The model is the first Lexus to use the brand's all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform. Part of the new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L), the underpinnings of this new coupé will become the blueprint for the company's future front-engine/rear-wheel-drive models. To improve the center of gravity, engineers placed most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a more central position and lower in the chassis. The LC 500 has a front mid-ship layout, as the drivetrain mass falls behind the front axle line.

The engine is a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 derived from the unit found in the RC F and GS F. Rated at 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque, the engine is linked with a new 10-speed automatic transmission that is said to shift gears as quickly as a dual-clutch gearbox. According to the automaker, the LC 500 is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds.

The LC 500 will arrive in dealerships in 2017.

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