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Lexus is providing its South African fans with a peek into its motoring future direction, with the local launch of its 2018 LC flagship performance coupe. Following the preview of the LF-LC concept way back in 2012, the Lexus LC debuted as a production model at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. While available in both petrol and hybrid in other global markets, only the V8-powered petrol derivative is confirmed for South Africa.

“It is a huge feat for Lexus to have succeeded in turning its amazing LF-LC concept into an uncompromised production car. This would not have been possible without cooperation between the design and engineering teams who worked in tandem throughout the development process. Not only has Lexus delivered a design with high visual impact, it has also developed ground-breaking engineering and technology for the LC 500. This isn’t simply a car that looks good – the LC 500 has been engineered in every dimension to deliver a very special driving experience,” says Calvyn Hamman, Sales and Marketing Senior Vice president of Lexus South Africa.

The LC 500 is built on an entirely new platform 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 centre of gravity to aid agility and driving pleasure as well as to enable more alluring vehicle designs.

Under the Japanese bonnet

Upon startup, exhaling through the variable Active Exhaust, the 5-litre naturally aspirated V8 issues a clarion call to driving enthusiasts. Based on the engine in the Lexus RC F high-performance models, the LC 500 version raises the output to 351 kW and 450 Nm of peak torque. The LC 500 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in less than 4.7 seconds.

The Lexus LC 500 debuts the first 10-speed automatic transmission for a luxury automobile. Smaller and lighter than some 8-speed units, this new transmission executes shifts at speeds rivaling dual-clutch transmissions, yet with the seamless performance and smoothness of a torque converter automatic. Very quick downshifts eliminate lag in G response. The LC 500 allows manual shifting via magnesium paddles.

The LC 500 comes standard with the Lexus Dynamic Handling system. The system’s role is to provide the LC with a higher level of handling in all driving scenarios, achieved through the coordination of the car’s Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) functions.

The layout of new front and rear suspension systems for the LC focuses on achieving excellent vehicle response and greater steering feel, from the moment the steering wheel is turned, supporting the “even sharper” quality Lexus sought for the coupe. At the same time, a higher degree of ride comfort was a priority, combined with stability to give the driver peace of mind at all times.

Refined cabin

The Lexus LC 500 cockpit artfully integrates the brand’s latest audio, navigation and connectivity technologies, making them easily accessible. The new 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’ industry-exclusive 15-year partnership with Mark Levinson has yielded a reference-quality 13-speaker system tailored to the LC cabin. Clari-Fi music restoration technology enhances playback by automatically analysing and improving the sound quality of compressed, digitised music sources.

Lexus Convenience and Safety

The LC is equipped with an array of standard safety features that can help the driver avoid an accident, or help lessen the consequences of a collision. Standard safety specification include curtain, front, knee and side airbags, as well as Pre-Crash System (Brake Synchronised).

There is also a host of standard convenience features, including Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Standard-With Rear Cross Traffic Alert; Lane Keeping Assist and reversing camera; LED lighting, large colour head-up display and two-zone climate control.

LC 500 At Glance

  • Standard Bi-LED-Auto High Beam Headlights
  • Aluminium-Smart Entry Outside Door Handles
  • Carbon Fibre Inside Door Handles
  • Lexus Dynamic Handling with 4-wheel Steering
  • Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management
  • Drive Mode Select (Eco,Normal,Sport,Sport S+)
  • 21″ Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tyres
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Heads Up Display
  • Navigation System
  • Driver and Passenger Seat Heater and Ventilation

Priced at R1 729 600, the LC 500 comes with a four year or 100 000 km service plan a standard Lexus Distance Plan Complete.

In other motoring news, Ferrari’s GTC4Lusso recently made its official debut on South African soil.

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