The emotional designs and high-performance models issued by Lexus in the last few years prefaced a new chapter for the brand, one that begins now with the arrival of the 2018 LC flagship performance coupe. A concept car come to life, the Lexus LC combines stunning design, scintillating performance, long-distance comfort and premium craftsmanship to join an elite group of international grand touring coupes.
The Lexus LC 500 makes the strongest statement yet about the brand’s future direction. Previewed by the LF-LC concept in 2012, the Lexus LC debuted as a production model at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This spring it arrives in Lexus dealerships as the V8-powered LC 500 with an MSRP of $92,000 and the LC 500h with a new Multi Stage Hybrid powertrain at an MSRP of $96,510. Toyota Motor Corporation president, Akio Toyoda, who is also Chief Branding Officer and master driver for Lexus, inspired development of the LC. Focused on offering more emotional and exciting vehicles for global markets, he called for a flagship production coupe echoing the spirit of the hand-built Lexus LFA supercar and delivering the visual impact of the Lexus LF-LC concept.
Provocative, Elegant and Purely Lexus
Debuting at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Lexus LF-LC was a true concept, not a thinly disguised pre-production prototype. The LF-LC won the EyesOn Design award for Concept Car and stirred many to question whether Lexus would build it. 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. The process yielded an entirely new platform for the LC, called GA–L (Global Architecture – Luxury), which also forms the foundation for the all-new 2018 LS flagship sedan and will underpin future front engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models. The platform was designed with a lower center of gravity to aid agility and driving pleasure and to enable more alluring vehicle designs. The production LC preserves the concept’s adventurous appearance, and the design itself helped achieve performance targets, especially with regard to low center of gravity, aerodynamics and high-speed stability. It’s also a trophy winner, having won the EyesOn Design awards for Design Excellence – Production Car and Interior Design.
Immediately identifiable as a Lexus thanks to its hallmark spindle grille and dynamic character lines, the 2018 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 new ultra-compact Triple LED headlamps create the distinctive LC front lighting signature. Functional venting serves aerodynamic stability and cooling. The combination of a large glass panel and blacked-out rear pillars creates a floating roof appearance, and chrome-plated moldings along the edges, which echo the lines of a traditional Japanese sword, amplify the effect. One can, however, order an optional carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof in place of the glass.