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    William Maley

    2016 Detroit Auto Show: Lexus LC 500

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      How to usher in a new era at Lexus


    The theme of Lexus' press conference for the introduction of the LC 500 was 'New Chapter'. Phrases such as 'cars that fill the heart' were thrown around during the presentation done by Akio Toyoda today. Considering what the LC 500' intent is, it does mark something new.

     

    In terms of looks, LC 500 looks very similar to the LF-LC concept shown four years ago at Detroit. Yes, there is an imposing predator grille which will be likely sticking point for a number of people. But there are some other touches such as the fanged lights, intergrated door handles, and a rear end that makes a call back to the orignal SC from the 90's.

     

    The LC rides a new rear-drive platform that is purpose built for performance and handling. This new platform will underpin future vehicles.

     

    Before you think the LC is a competitor to the likes of the Porsche 911, it measures out to 188 inches in overall length. This means the LC is more a competitor to the likes of the BMW 6-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.

     

    Structurally, the LC boasts a combination of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, aluminum, and high-strength steel. There is the option of a carbon fiber roof to increase rigidity and cut weight. Lexus says the LC is the stiffest unibody structure they have ever created, and that's including the LFA.

     

    Power will come from 5.0L V8 that is found under the hood of the GS-F and RC-F. Power output stands at 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. A new ten-speed automatic routes the power to the rear wheels. Lexus claims a 0-60 MPH time of 4.5 seconds.

     

    The interior features a large floating center stack that separates driver and passenger and the availability of leather and Alcantara for the seats.

     

    Lexus will launch the LC 500 next year.

     

    Source: Lexus
    Pic Credit: Lexus

     

     

    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    Global Debut of All-New Lexus LC 500 at the 2016 NAIAS Signals Dawn of a New Era for Lexus

    • Alluring, expressively designed luxury coupe defines a new era for the global luxury brand
    • The coupe’s styling, performance, and craftsmanship help position the vehicle as one of Lexus’ flagship products
    • LC 500 utilizes the brand’s new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability and performance
    • A symbol of an evolving vehicle development culture that embraces heightened collaboration between Design and Engineering teams


    DETROIT (Jan. 11, 2016) — When the Lexus LF-LC Concept debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the press, loyal customers, and enthusiasts wondered if the concept’s arresting styling and dramatic proportions could ever evolve into a production 2+2 coupe. Today, four years after the debut of the breakthrough concept that inspired it, Lexus has revealed the all-new LC 500 luxury coupe. This provocative, athletic flagship coupe makes the strongest statement yet about Lexus’ future product direction.

     


    The past five years have seen Lexus evolve rapidly with the creation of the luxury brand’s globally-focused organization, Lexus International. Exciting new models involving elevated levels of emotional styling and dynamic driving characteristics such as NX, RC, and IS have also helped Lexus’ brand shift with consumers. Akio Toyoda has been at the center of the Lexus global expansion, personally driving a heightened level of collaboration among design, engineering and marketing teams to help build a luxury brand better suited to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.

     

    “The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”

     

    Design and Engineering Teams United
    Beyond its styling and impactful performance, the new LC 500 serves as a symbol of the achievement that can result from heightened collaboration between design and engineering groups and their commitment to help overcome each other’s hurdles. When Akio Toyoda challenged these development groups to produce this special car, it meant surpassing many manufacturing, design, material, and dynamic obstacles that could typically compromise a vehicle’s targets or design vision.

     

    The LC 500 was driven by a strong, appealing fundamental design target (LF-LC), and engineering teams worked tirelessly to find new solutions to maintain as much of the concept in the production car as possible. Likewise, vehicle designers were very involved from the earliest stages of the dynamic development process to understand the engineering targets and collaborate with design viewpoints and potential solutions. With LC 500, additional levels of prototype vehicle build also allowed both teams to better study design or engineering ideas and refine key elements. For Lexus, the LC 500 project became much more than simply the development of a new coupe. The LC 500, with the shift in engineering processes and design ideologies it represents, symbolizes the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand.

     

    “Design and engineering sides worked together on issues and obstacles that were overcome one by one. I feel we achieved something greater than simply preserving the spirit of the concept’s design,” said Chief Engineer Koji Sato.

     

    Exterior Design
    At first glance, it becomes apparent that the engineering and design team’s collaboration was highly successful, considering how much of the LF-LC’s design ideology the team was able to transfer into the new LC 500. The new production model shares many of the key design elements, proportions and visual dynamism of the concept car that inspired it. The LC 500’s visual appeal is defined by an athletic aerodynamic shape. It features sensual curves, emotional forms, an available flowing carbon-fiber roof (glass roof standard), helping create a low, wide imposing stance that comes together for a highly functional, passionate package.

     

    The LC 500’s front fascia features a powerful interpretation of Lexus’ distinctive grille, bordered by chrome on three sides and a radical new 3D mesh design that varies its visual tension. The “L”-shaped daytime running lights rest below a new Triple LED headlamp unit, specially designed to include one of the industry’s thinnest projectors enabling a low hood with a short front overhang. Functional venting also plays into the LC 500’s exterior design to help improve aerodynamic stability and cooling. The car’s athletic profile is characterized by its fast, sloped roofline, its wind-cutting silhouette, a long 2,870 mm (113 inches) wheelbase with compact front 920 mm ( 36.2 inches) and rear 970 mm ( 38.2 inches) overhangs and low hood height. The sexy curves and flowing lines maintain a consistent tension in sheetmetal through to the rear end that features slimly designed, multi-layered tail lamps with a unique lighting effect that helps convey a sequential L motif. A rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler also help manage airflow during performance driving. It rides on machined cast aluminum 20-in. or available 21-in. forged aluminum wheels.

     

    Interior Design
    The interior design of the LC 500 is influenced by the dynamic luxury theme of the exterior with a layout that is both cockpit-focused and elegant. The coupe’s driving position was calibrated to invite spirited, sporting driving, and help develop easier confidence with a more intuitive control layout. In fact, for LC 500, the driver’s hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s Cg (Center of gravity) where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver. The front seats offer excellent support and comfort for long drives while available sport seats offer additional bolstering and lateral support during cornering. Lexus engineers put considerable effort into creating an engaging yet seductive atmosphere for the driver, focusing on details such as the size and angle of the steering wheel, the feel and positioning of magnesium alloy paddle shifters, and available supple leather and Alcantara seating surfaces. The LC 500’s exquisite door panels, center console and dash pad structures feature elements of Lexus’ world-renowned, detail-obsessed Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.

     

    “At an early stage, the designers collaborated with the engineers to understand their image for the LC 500’s driving dynamics, and they incorporated this into the design,” said Tadao Mori, the chief designer of the LC 500. “For example, we gave serious consideration to where the driver’s eyes would focus, and designed the surface shape in that area to help support a driver’s mindset. This project was one of the first times that designers were closely involved in the dynamic engineering development so we could understand the driving goals and support with the car’s design.”

     

    Chassis
    In helping to drive the future of the Lexus brand, the mission for LC 500 is to offer a dynamic driving experience and character unlike any Lexus vehicle prior to it. The pursuit of a sharper, more refined driving experience became the mission for the development team who also sought to maintain a superior Lexus ride quality befitting a flagship luxury sport coupe.

     

    The LC 500 is the first Lexus to use the brand’s all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform and is part of the new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for the company’s future front-engine/rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In an effort to sharpen the car’s handling, the LC 500’s engineers focused on the platform’s fundamentals by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis to improve the center of gravity.

     

    Internally, Lexus engineers referred to this menu of mass-arranging tactics as the “inertia spec.” The driver hip and heel points have been lowered, wheels have been pushed to the corners of the car with shortened overhangs, and the drivetrain mass has been located behind the front axle line to create a front mid-ship layout. The LC 500 also relies on run-flat tires to improve packaging, reduce weight (thanks to no spare), and help shorten overhangs to achieve dynamic targets. The 12-volt battery has been relocated to the trunk as part of the mission to redistribute weight.

     

    Other mass management measures include the available carbon fiber roof, aluminum door skins mounted to the carbon fiber door inner structure, and a composite trunk floor. The LC 500 also represents the Lexus brand’s most intensive use of high-strength steel. This provides enhanced rigidity while reducing—and ideally positioning—vehicle mass to optimize dynamics. As a result, the LC 500 is very balanced with a nearly ideal front/rear weight distribution of 52/48.

     

    To help achieve the level of chassis performance targeted for this new coupe, Lexus engineered the stiffest unibody the brand has ever produced. For LC 500, the strategic use of lightweight, high-strength steel helps make for a high degree of torsional rigidity that is more resistant to twisting forces than the exotic, carbon fiber-intensive LFA supercar. The platform design maintains a consistent level of resistance to flexural forces and stiffness across the vehicle’s wheelbase to help create consistent, predictable handling behavior and sharper steering responses. Special braces in the engine compartment (usually a more twist-prone part of the chassis), the adoption of stiff aluminum front suspension towers, and the addition of a ring structure near the rear fenders are all measures that help further bolster the strength of key chassis structures.

     

    Particular attention was devoted to the LC 500’s multilink suspension system. Double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms allow for control of the smallest movements from the driver inputs and road conditions. Beyond sharing workload, a dual ball joint arrangement helps optimize suspension geometry to increase wheel control and create a more precise steering response with better initial effort. To help reduce unsprung mass and improve suspension response, all but one of the control arms are made of lightweight forged aluminum. Providing the grip on the show prototype car are concept versions of Michelin Pilot Sport tires with Premium Touch® sidewall technology: 245/40RF21 up front and 275/35RF21 at the rear. When all the handling elements come together, LC 500 becomes a world-class luxury sports coupe that exhibits razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability. This all-new platform will continue to undergo continuous improvement and enhancement throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.

     

    Said Sato: “We spent more than triple the usual amount of R&D time to pursue linear steering and to find the sweet spot for road contact feel. We also focused our efforts on suspension rigidity and enhancing geometry. Thanks to advancements in product engineering, we are now at a world-class level for suspension rigidity, and performance when lateral g’s are applied.”

     

    Drivetrain
    The power delivery to the rear wheels for LC 500 is handled by a new, very well matched set of components that maximize output to the wheels. The heart of the new LC 500 is derived from the proven, high-revving 5.0-liter V8 that is found in the RC F and GS F. The naturally aspirated V8 was selected for its smooth, linear throttle response and emotional engine sound. The all-aluminum, 32-valve V8’s output targets 467 HP and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine is built for durability with lightweight, high-strength forged connecting rods and titanium valves that allow the engine to flourish at high rpm. This naturally aspirated engine makes an ideal pairing to a balanced sports coupe with its linear power delivery that allows easier control and exhilaration behind the wheel.

     

    The engine in the LC 500 uses a dual intake inlet that help improve breathing and allow the engine to produce its fantastic sound. The new coupe features an active exhaust that opens baffles in Sport mode to help give the car a more aggressive exhaust note even in start-up. In fact, even when the vehicle is in Normal mode the exhaust baffles open above 3500 rpm. During acceleration, a Sound Generator involving tuned acoustic plumbing enhances the engine’s raucous melody into an aural thunder that helps distinguish the LC 500 in its competitive segment.

     

    Helping power transfer to the rear wheels is a newly developed 10-speed automatic transmission—the first ever in a luxury automobile—with shift times rivaling those of a dual-clutch transmission. The component is smaller and lighter than some current 8-speed transmissions. The wide bandwidth of shifting afforded by 10 closely spaced gears is ideal for all forms of driving, providing an optimal gear in all conditions. This transmission is matched to a new electric control system with software that helps anticipate the driver’s inputs by monitoring acceleration, braking and lateral g forces.

     

    The new transmission is just one key element in a vehicle that has had all of its dynamic control elements such as power application, braking, and steering tuned to operate rhythmically in sport driving conditions. Drivers will feel the controlled balance between the quick, smooth shifting actions, the application of linear engine power, and the deceleration afforded by 6-piston front brake calipers (4-piston at rear).

     

    All of the platform and drivetrain engineering helped endow the LC 500 with performance and agility uncommon for a four-person coupe; the vehicle targets a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.

     

    Interior Electronics
    This flagship coupe will debut the 2017 Lexus Multimedia package that will feature updated, faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and a more inviting graphic user interface. Occupants also will be treated to an exceptional audio experience inside the cabin: in addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment. Pioneer’s sound engineers worked in collaboration with LC 500 body and cabin designers to enhance interior sound performance within the cabin, studying the acoustic environment and driving structural changes to enhance sound performance.

     

    The LC 500 also will boast Lexus’ renowned safety technology, Lexus Safety System + , which integrates several of Lexus's active safety technologies: an All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (All-speed DRCC) that relieves stop-and-go traffic stress, the Pre-Collision System (PCS) helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.

     

    These technologies are part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System + package, and combines millimeter-wave radar with a camera to help achieve a high level of system reliability and performance.

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    Bold move, but I have to laugh at the powertrain they are using.. 467HP.. that thing better be 3000lbs or I can see a many a car making it look as bad as my old Z51 C6 made an LFA look I happened upon a few years ago. 

     

    Props to Toyota for at least doing it tho. Cadillac.. your move. Elmiraj needs a green light.

     

     

    cadillac-concept-Elmiraj-details-masthea

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    Bold move, but I have to laugh at the powertrain they are using.. 467HP.. that thing better be 3000lbs or I can see a many a car making it look as bad as my old Z51 C6 made an LFA look I happened upon a few years ago. 

     

    Props to Toyota for at least doing it tho. Cadillac.. your move. Elmiraj needs a green light.

     

     

     

     

    This kind of hyperbole right here is why you and I butt heads. Only you would somehow suggest a C6 Corvette even begins to hold a candle to an LFA. Or that this car will look bad. This is the base model. There will be a hybrid and twin-turbo model to follow. It is more than sufficient as a base engine. Especially in a luxury coupe.

     

     

    As for the car, it is a stunning design. They could have cleaned the rear end up just a bit, however. Didn't expect this thing to start around the six-figure mark, but I guess Lexus is going after the big fish here.

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    It's an ugly looking car.  Lexus has no real high power engines, the 467 hp V8 is their most powerful engine, and is not so high on torque either.  Agreed though, that at least you give them credit for building a bold design, low volume car.

     

    What is odd though is this car is 187 inches long, so it is closer in size to a C-class coupe, no where near as big as an S-class coupe, which was their supposed target.

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    I like it all.....  except the front end.  The rest of the car looks classic Lexus.  I swish that would give the spindle crap a rest. 

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    The LF-LC was mentioned....but alas, this is NOT the LF-LC I fell in love with.

    Sure it has some little details that remind us this is the production version of the LF-LC...

     

    Im afraid its the usual case with concepts and reality....too little, too late.

     

    Still a good looking car though, but I dont lust for it the way I did for the LF-LC back in 2012.

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    The LF-LC was mentioned....but alas, this is NOT the LF-LC I fell in love with.

    Sure it has some little details that remind us this is the production version of the LF-LC...

     

    Im afraid its the usual case with concepts and reality....too little, too late.

     

    Still a good looking car though, but I dont lust for it the way I did for the LF-LC back in 2012.

     

     

    Just out of curiosity, what don't you like?

     

    The biggest change from the concept car is the aft roofline/C-piller area. Other than that, the rear is slightly resculpted and the rear haunches are a bit narrower. It's pretty darn close to the concept.

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    Actually Frisky...MY BAD!

     

    I took a wrong turn on an image I had clicked when I was searching for it...I dont know what I was looking at now that you mentioned it!!!

    After reading your post, I clicked on MT's webpage to see it there better...

     

    And Ill retract what I said...

     

     

    I LOVE THIS THING!!!

     

    The only negative thing I could think of...is that it came out in 2016...4 years later...but its still stunning!

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    I can't tell which is the concept and which is the production model.

     

    So it gets the instant cred of being larger than life, like how the ELR had for being so close to the concept.

     

    I like it a lot. And I like the size too. And the interior looks like, heck, probably is peanut butter.

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    Bold move, but I have to laugh at the powertrain they are using.. 467HP.. that thing better be 3000lbs or I can see a many a car making it look as bad as my old Z51 C6 made an LFA look I happened upon a few years ago. 

     

    Props to Toyota for at least doing it tho. Cadillac.. your move. Elmiraj needs a green light.

     

     

     

     

    This kind of hyperbole right here is why you and I butt heads. Only you would somehow suggest a C6 Corvette even begins to hold a candle to an LFA. Or that this car will look bad. This is the base model. There will be a hybrid and twin-turbo model to follow. It is more than sufficient as a base engine. Especially in a luxury coupe.

     

     

    As for the car, it is a stunning design. They could have cleaned the rear end up just a bit, however. Didn't expect this thing to start around the six-figure mark, but I guess Lexus is going after the big fish here.

     

     

     

     

     

    Let me get this straight... U suggesting that my C6 Corvette wasn't a better performer than the LFA??? Because U drove my C6.. U drove the LFA too.. or at the very least raced one??? 

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    I don't understand why this vehicle has to weigh less than the porkers that are the 650i or Mercedes SLC coupe.

     

    And it's debuting an all-new platform.

     

    And it looks slick. I know styling is purely subjective, but the surface treatments, innovative use of lighting elements and just the lickable interior in terms of materials - it's mighty fine.

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      Picking the F-Sport trim will get you a revised suspension setup and uprated brakes. It will not transform the LS into something like an Alpina B7 or a Mercedes-AMG S63, but it does make the vehicle feel a bit more poised on a winding road. When put into S+ mode, Body roll is kept in check and the steering is quick to respond. The coil springs used on the LS F-Sport are a bit stiff, which will provide a more choppy ride. An optional air suspension is reportedly better at dealing with bumps and other imperfections, but I will need to try it out before saying it is better or not.
      This drastic move by Lexus with the new LS could have gone wrong, but it pulls it off. The new model is more interesting to look at, luxurious and offers improved driving dynamics when ordered with the F-Sport package. There are still some thorns Lexus needs to extract such as the poor initial performance of the twin-turbo six and the mess that is Remote Touch. If you’re willing to deal with these issues, then the 2019 LS is a very viable alternative to the Germans.
      How I would configure an LS 500: Most likely I would build one similar to the one seen here, although I would get it in red as I think the paint really makes the design pop. 
      Alternatives to the LS 500
      Mercedes-Benz S-Class: The S-Class is still considered by many to be the best of the best. Considering its wide range of engines, very smooth ride, and impressive interior quality, it is tough to argue this. But the LS comes very close to matching the S-Class's interior quality, along with a more eye-catching design. It doesn't help that the S-Class is about $7,000 more than the LS. Genesis G90: Still the bargain in the flagship sedan class with a base price of $69,350 and coming with almost every feature you would expect. The twin-turbo 3.3L V6 offers better off-the line performance than the 3.5 found in the LS. But the LS offers higher quality interior materials than what is available in the G90. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the LS 500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Lexus
      Model: LS
      Trim: 500 F-Sport
      Engine: 3.5L Twin-Turbo 24-Valve DOHC V6
      Driveline: 10-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 416 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 442 @1600 - 4800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 
      Curb Weight: 5,027 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $84,420
      As Tested Price: $88,605 (Includes $1,025 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Mark Levinson Audio System with 23 Speakers - $1,940.00
      24-Inch Heads-Up Display - $1,220.00
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