Lexus’ new chapter for LC brand

2017-06-29 06:00
The new Lexus LC.Photo: supplied

The new Lexus LC.Photo: supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

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.

“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 Lexus LC 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. While available in both petrol and hybrid in other global markets, only the V8-powered petrol derivative is confirmed for South Africa.

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.

“Our organisation has been working to evolve with the changing consumer tastes in luxury,” says Tokuo Fukuichi, president of Lexus International. “The LC’s design, performance and technology are evidence of this evolution. For Lexus, this flagship coupe also represents a fresh approach to vehicle development. The new LC embodies a shift in forward-thinking culture, and is a glimpse into the products and experiences you can expect from Lexus in the coming years.”

The LC is built at Lexus’ Motomachi plant, famously home to production of the hand-crafted LFA supercar. The factory’s layout and facilities have been tailored to the production of the LC, to ensure the highest quality levels.

Many of the Takumi and skilled workers who built the LFA transferred to the LC project, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in areas such as the handling of carbon fibre components and hand-finishing.

The new production line at Motomachi has a pure white finish from floor to ceiling to create an environment that helps the team members focus on their work. Each person will spend as much as 20 minutes working on every car, combining hand and eye skills with the use of tablet devices to check and re-check the quality of each process. Skills – both mental and technical – are constantly developed to support a “no compromise” mindset when it comes to achieving Lexus’ rigorous quality standards.

Final checks are carried out in a glass-walled inspection booth with LED lighting – even set into the floor – to ensure the precision finish of all surfaces and bodywork panels, the evenness of colour, the quality of the interior and the operation of functioning parts. The substantial thickness of the glass walls also allows the smallest abnormalities in sound to be detected in dynamic checks that monitor noise and vibration.

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.

The body’s substantial, “planted” look stems from prominent quarter panels that flare away from the centre of the car and door panels that are pulled inward. The flowing lines maintain a consistent tension in the body panels through to the rear, where very slim tail lamps use mirrors to create a three-dimensional sequence of L-shaped graphics. 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 351kW and 450Nm of peak torque. The LC 500 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in less than 4.7 seconds.

This 5-litre V8 is a well-proven performance engine, with a low-mass reciprocating assembly using lightweight forged connecting rods, along with titanium intake and exhaust valves to allow a 7,300-rpm redline.

The 32-valve cylinder heads, equipped with performance-tuned Variable Valve Timing (VVT-iE), 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 (12.3:1), augmented by port fuel injectors to enhance low-speed response.

Under acceleration, the LC 500 V8 reveals its character in a continuously rising power curve, with the maximum power of 351kW developed at 7,100rpm and the torque peak of 540Nm at 4,800rpm. 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 like a high-performance GT should. The driver can adjust the natural exhaust sound level via the Drive Mode Select system.

The V8 is a good citizen, switching to the Atkinson cycle to enhance fuel efficiency at cruising speeds and Otto cycle for higher performance levels when accelerating.

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 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 result is ultimate steering response in everyday driving, true to the driver’s inputs, with a high feeling of rear tyre grip and instantaneous response in high-speed cornering, giving a greater feeling of security.

By equipping the LC with a limited-slip differential, Lexus allows the driver to enjoy secure acceleration while cornering; cooperation between the new Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), DRS and the LSD is designed to counteract over or understeer to help the car keep to its intended line while communicating a natural feel to the driver, even at the limit of performance. VSC control is improved to enhance driving dynamics.

The driver can appreciate the effectiveness of the LC’s suspension designs in the car’s immediate response at initial turn-in, with the tyres quickly developing lateral force, delivering stability, controllability and ride comfort.

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.

· Priced at R1 729 600, the LC 500 comes with a Service Plan of 4years/100 000km and a standard Lexus Distance Plan Complete.

Experience Amazing: The Next Chapter

When Lexus launched its first production vehicles in 1989, it made a commitment to pursue perfection – hence the original Lexus tagline: “The Pursuit of Perfection”. Within a short period of time, highly acclaimed cars and exceptional customer service became global hallmarks of the Lexus brand.

While the obsession with perfection has not waned, the Lexus brand has advanced into something much bigger than just a motoring marque. It seems to make sense that the Lexus tagline will change from “The Pursuit of Perfection” to “Experience Amazing”.

“The reason for the global tagline is because it delivers a strong, unified message and signals the brand’s new shift towards a “lifestyle” direction. The two key words are EXPERIENCE – which relates to the design and engineering ingenuity of Lexus vehicles – and AMAZING, which relates to the impressions we would like our customers to feel behind the wheel,” says Glenn Crompton, Vice-President of Marketing at Lexus South Africa. - Supplied.

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/News
 

Makeover saves dog’s life

Lucky Charlie got a complete make-over that helped him get adopted.

 
 

Paws

For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.