Muscat: The Lexus LC is a powerful, emotionally stirring realisation of the vision of Lexus master driver Akio Toyoda for a flagship production coupe that echoes the spirit of the hand-built Lexus LFA supercar and delivers the visual impact of the Lexus LF-LC concept.
Based on the ground-breaking design of the LF-LC concept car which was shown at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the Lexus LC debuted as a production model at the 2016 edition of NAIAS. Turning the LF-LC concept into a production model while remaining faithful to its visual excitement required nothing less than a new development process, combining design and engineering disciplines as never before at Lexus.
Immediately identifiable as a Lexus thanks to its hallmark spindle grille and dynamic character lines, the LC represents the most passionate expression of the brand’s design direction. The grille itself features a unique mesh texture that changes visual tension as it spreads across the front of the car. Independent L-shaped daytime running lights beneath ultra-compact triple LED headlamps create the distinctive LC front lighting signature. The combination of a large glass panel and blacked-out rear pillars creates a floating roof appearance, and chrome-plated mouldings along the edges, which echo the lines of a traditional Japanese sword, amplify the effect.
Powered by a high-performance V8 engine, the Lexus LC500 exhales through the variable Active Exhaust upon startup, with the 5-litre naturally aspirated V8 issuing a clarion call to driving enthusiasts. The LC500 can sprint from zero to 100 km in less than 4.7 seconds. The 32-valve cylinder heads, equipped with performance-tuned VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent by an electric motor), take full advantage of the engine’s low internal friction and aggressive valvetrain specs.
The D-4S injection system uses direct fuel injection that allows a high compression ratio augmented by port fuel injectors to enhance low-speed response. Under acceleration, the LC500 reveals its character in a continuously rising power curve, with the 471 hp developed at 7,100 rpm and the torque peak of 55.0 kg-m at 4,800 rpm.
The fast-revving V8 issues a stunning soundtrack amplified by a special resonance tube connecting the intake to the firewall, plus a standard Active Exhaust that rumbles and roars as a high-performance GT should. Lexus considers the sound of the engine to be an important contributor to delivering genuinely multi-sensory driving pleasure. And in the LC 500, the company has taken great steps to achieve truly emotional engine sound, where Lexus engineers have worked to combine the sounds produced both by the air intake system at the front and the exhaust system at the rear to create what they describe as a “concert hall” effect inside the cabin, both as the car gains speed and slows down. The sound has been developed specifically for the LC, to reflect the coupe’s specific performance qualities. The driver can adjust the natural exhaust sound level via the Drive Mode Select system.
The Lexus LC is equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission and executes shifts at speeds rivalling dual-clutch transmissions, yet with the seamless performance and smoothness of a torque converter automatic. The LC allows manual shifting via magnesium paddles. The Drive Mode Select feature provides integrated control of multiple systems, offering enhanced driving pleasure by allowing the driver to select drive modes suitable for the situation, or to match their preferred driving style. In addition to the five drive modes set in advance, a Custom Mode has been provided, enabling the user to freely combine each mode. SPORT S+ extracts the most from the powertrain and transmission shifts and also fully opens the baffles in the Active Exhaust under acceleration.
The dynamic luxury theme of the exterior is carried through into the LC’s cabin, which brings together elegance, quality and sophistication with a driver-focused cockpit. The ideal grand touring coupe cabin must strike a balance between function and comfort, sporting intent and luxury. The Lexus LC hits that note with an intuitive layout and an optimal seating position that set the stage for spirited driving. The design places the driver’s hip point as close as possible to the car’s centre of gravity, where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver. The instrument binnacle houses the latest version of the TFT display technology introduced in the Lexus LFA supercar, including a moving central ring.
The Lexus LC cockpit artfully integrates the brand’s latest audio, navigation and connectivity technologies, making them easily accessible. The Lexus multimedia package combines an inviting graphic user interface with software that enables future enhancements, and the centre console features the latest-generation Remote Touch Interface touchpad control, with quick and intuitive operation.
As thrilling as the LC sounds from the outside, Lexus also ensured that sounds inside the cabin would delight those with a fine ear for musical detail. Lexus has enjoyed an auto industry-exclusive partnership with Mark Levinson since 2001, giving its customers the benefit of bespoke audio systems of the highest quality in its vehicles. The LC follows in this tradition, offering Mark Levinson audio systems with exclusive equipment from their top-of-the-range Reference Product. The 13-speaker audio system uses innovative technologies to deliver concert hall quality sound.
The LC’s Mark Levinson audio system also features Clari-Fi music restoration technology that enhances music playback by automatically analysing and improving the quality of all types of compressed, digitised music sources. It identifies music signals that have been compressed and restore them in real-time during playback to achieve an accurate and full listening experience.
The LC is equipped with standard Lexus Safety System+, an array of active safety features that can help the driver avoid an accident, or help lessen the consequences of a collision. The system uses a camera and millimetre-wave radar to monitor the road ahead for potential hazards and collision risks.
The package includes advanced driver assistance functions such as Pre-Crash System (PCS), a combination of collision detection and collision preparation systems; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System (DRCC), which supplements the conventional system with a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode that helps maintain a suitable distance from the preceding vehicle; Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), which uses a camera sensor located in the upper windshield area to detect lane markings while driving and then provides the driver with information and steering assistance in accordance with road and driving conditions; and Automatic High Beam (AHB), which detects nearby light sources such as the headlights or tail lights of vehicles ahead and automatically switches between high beams and low beams to ensure optimum nighttime visibility.
Other safety features on the LC include Lexus Parking Assist (LPA), which makes use of a sensor to notify the driver by display and buzzer of the approximate distance between the vehicle and an obstacle; Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system, designed to help prevent potential danger in parking situations; Blind Spot Monitor, which detects and warns the driver of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes; Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), which helps prevent side skids and also to stabilize the vehicle while turning on a curve; as well as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
In Oman, every Lexus vehicle comes with special benefits and privileges such as manufacturer’s warranty of 4 years/100,000km (whichever is earlier) and 24 hours on-road assistance from AAA.