If the Lexus LF-FC Concept was anything to go by back in Tokyo in October, imagine the dropped-jaws when the Lexus LC 500 coupe appeared in Detroit earlier this week and Lexus SA unashamedly confirmed that it’ll reach us later this year or early 2017.
Lexus’ new flagship two-door, the powerful grand tourer is intended to take on the brightest and most luxurious models in Mercedes-Benz’s range. The lineage with the LF-FC is clear. Since that was a sedan – although one with discretely hidden rear doors – it was widely seen as a preview of the new Lexus LS sedan, itself due a refresh, and that was predicted to be the company’s next model.
Go figure, then, that later this year we’ll get a real version of the car. Lexus is positioning the LC 500 as a track-capable tourer, with a degree of interior fit, finish, and overall quality a level above its current models. Performance is a given, with the V8 engine from the RC F good for 467 HP and 389 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to the company’s first 10-speed gearbox; expect a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds.
While it may be a performance car, it’s also a luxury one, and the interior is a step above what we’ve seen from Lexus recently. Just about every surface is wrapped in leather, and magnesium alloy has been used for the paddle shifters.
As for entertainment, there’s an optional Mark Levinson audio package if the standard Pioneer system isn’t sufficient. It’s all part of the 2017 Lexus Multimedia package, which promises more intuitive and flexible software than the current car. While pricing is yet to be confirmed, Lexus tells us that something in the region of 1.6 million rand is a solid guess when the LC500 goes on sale either later this year or early 2017. It’ll launch as a 2017 model year here.