The all-new Lexus LC coupe is the most torsionally rigid vehicle the luxury marque has ever produced, according to the flagship car’s global chief engineer Koji Sato.
Mr Sato said the LC featured levels of rigidity that surpassed even that of the limited production LFA V10-powered supercar.
“The LC is 60 per cent more rigid than the current Lexus GS performance sedan, which results in sharper and more precise, linear handling,” Mr Sato said. “In fact, the LC goes further with its world-class rigidity resulting in a smoother and more lateral level of performance.”
Mr Sato said the LFA development program had played a major role in influencing key construction elements of the LC.
“You will find the carbon fibre composite technology we developed for the LFA in the lightweight parts we have designed for the LC, such as the compression-moulded sheets of re-impregnated carbon fibre used for the inner door panels,” he said.
The dedicated focus on outright dynamic ability for LC also led to the achievement of outstanding weight distribution – a 52:48 front-rear balance for the LC 500 V8 and 51:49 for the LC 500h hybrid model.
Mr Sato said Lexus International chief branding officer and master driver Akio Toyoda had driven the LC at every key stage of development and had returned crucial feedback. “Mr Toyoda has driven the LC at all the important stages during the car’s development and will continue to do so,” he said. “After taking the car around the Shibetsu proving ground in northern Japan in snowy conditions he made several requests about how we might improve its characteristics, so you can be sure it is going to be a fun car to drive.”
The LC 500 and LC 500h are underpinned by the new Lexus front-engine/rear-wheel-drive, GA-L (Global Architecture for Luxury vehicles) platform.
The LC 500 features a 5.0-litre V8 engine mated to the world’s first 10-speed automatic transmission in a luxury vehicle.
The LC 500h features a breakthrough Multi Stage Hybrid System (MSHS), which marries the elements of a traditional full hybrid powertrain – including a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, powerful electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack – to a four-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission.
The result is high levels of efficiency and engaging performance, with an enhanced, direct connection between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration. Both the LC 500 and LC 500h will go on sale in Australia in the first half of 2017.