I’d heard about it; I’d seen pictures of it but nothing could have prepared me for the flesh and blood experience of the LC 500. As it rolled of the pick up truck, seeing is believing when I tell you Lexus have delivered something that stirs the soul. Its not often I am emotionally moved by a car. Of course I’m used to hearing the men muse about an elongated front, luxury interior or sculpted rear end, yes we are still talking about cars!! But this car moved me. Its sharply angled sheetmetal, imposing meshed grille and sumptuous interior all suggest that Lexus have outdone themselves. And they really have. Its Magnetising.
Born from the ‘seduction and technology’ concept, the LC 500’s athletic stance and sleek profile are accentuated by a fast, sloped roofline, long wheelbase and compact fender height. The hallmark spindle grille features a unique mesh texture to break up visual tension across the front of the car. The L-shaped ultra compact trapezoid LED headlights help create the distinctive LC front lighting signature, while the rear lamps employ a multi reflection effect using a one-way mirror. A combination of glass panels and blacked out rear pillars create a floating roof appearance. A definite talking point has to be the flush door handles, fusing design with aerodynamics, the handle remains flat in it recess, until the electronic key approaches, at which point the the door handle pops out and unlocks with one simple push, push the rear of the handle and it retracts automatically and locks the door. Very clever.
The dynamic styling continues inside the cabin seamlessly. The driver focused cockpit is enhanced by the low centre of gravity bringing driver and machine together. Te quality of craftsmanship reflects that of the Takumi artist’s fine attention to detail seen and felt in the had stitched leather wrapped gear shift leaver, and Alcantara door panel trim. The steering wheel faced continuous road tests by the Takumi craftsmen who measured the distribution of pressure on the palm while driving, to help fine tune a grip profile, that supports natural grip and wrist movement. To help the driver concentrate driving controls are ergonomically positioned around the steering wheel, and information displays aligned on a single plane to reduce eye movement. In the driver’s view is the 8-inch TFT meter, which changes colour and information depending on which driver mode is selected, and the 10.3-inch infotainment display provides clear audio and navigation information. The remote touchpad is easy to use while the Mark Levison 13 speaker audio system was developed with body and cabin designers to enhance the surround sound experience.
A sharper and more refined driving experience was the idea behind the performance aspect for this entirely new platform. Powered by a 5-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, it exhales through a variable active exhaust system. Sprinting from Zero to 100km in less the 4.7 seconds, its low mass, light weight forged connecting rods. Titanium intake and exhaust valves allow a 7,300 rpm redline. Under acceleration, the LC reveals even more character in a continuously rising power curve, with the 471 HP developed at 7,100RPM and the torque peak on 397 LB-FT at 4,800 rpm. The new 10 speed transmission executes shifts at speeds rivalling duel-clutch transmission, with the performance and smoothness of a torque converter. Manuel shifting is also an option via magnesium paddles.
The Hybrid Option
For those looking to save the planet perhaps the LC 500h (H for Hybrid) is more for you, the multi stage hybrid system is a world first construction, specifically designed by Lexus for this model, it combines hybrid system with variable gears. By controlling the output of both the higher rpm 3.5 litre V6 engine and electric motor to achieve a more powerful performance from lower speeds through to high range driving. The Driver minded Index works in tandem with the simulated 10 speed automatic transmission to select the optimum gear based on the driving environment, accelerator and break pedal operation, to quickly match gear selection with the driver intention.
© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS October 2017