New Lexus LC getting closer to UK shores

Lexus announces production has started for European buyers of its swanky coupe

The striking new Lexus LC coupe is set to appear at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 29th June until 2nd July. As well as a five car display on Lexus’ stand at the event, visitors will be able to see the V8 petrol-electric version of the car in action on the Festival’s famous hill course.

The LC is designed to compete with luxurious coupes like the Mercedes SL and is intended as something of a grand tourer. It’s available with a 467bhp V8 engine, or with a hybrid setup, for the ultimate in futuristic cruising. Lexus is pricing the LC from £76,595, meaning it closely matches the Mercedes SL, as well as more overtly sporty cars like the Porsche 911.

Lexus LC specification

If you ordered your Lexus LC without specifying any options, you shouldn’t feel you’re slumming it: Lexus is known for building ‘fully loaded’ cars. All LCs come with full LED lights, a premium sat-nav system, 10-way powered seats, a panoramic sunroof and luxurious leather upholstery.

Read our full Lexus LC review here

Lexus has also bundled in a huge amount of safety kit, with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, auto-dipping headlights and adaptive cruise control all coming as standard.

What options there are remain genuine luxuries and premium products: there’s a Mark Levinson stereo for £1,000, a colour head-up display for £996, as well as a £4,000 Sport Pack and a £9,000 Sport Pack+.

The Sport Pack includes 21-inch alloy wheels, a carbon-fibre roof and upgraded leather and Alcantara suede fabric sports seats. Upgrade to the Sport Pack+ and you’ll get a retractable rear spoiler, variable ratio steering and a limited-slip differential, as well as extra carbon-fibre and Alcantara trim.

Despite the lofty echelons inhabited by those extras, Lexus still asks for £675 to paint the LC in a metallic colour.

Design

The stylish Lexus LC is based on the Lexus LF-LC concept car, revealed back in 2012. It’ll rival models like the Mercedes SL, BMW 6 Series Convertible and Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

Production models derived from concept cars are often criticised for being bland imitations of the original designs. With that in mind, Lexus has been keen to emphasise the collaboration between the design and engineering departments in creating a production model derived from the LF-LC, which should avoid that kind of criticism.

That’s because the LC retains most of the design cues that made the LF-LC such a striking car, including the aerodynamic curves, short overhangs and low nose, as well as its overall shape.

The signature Lexus spindle grille is recognisable from the latest Lexus models already on sale, but the LC uses a new 3D mesh design as well as new triple-LED headlights that are thin enough to allow the car's low bonnet line. Multi-layered lights and a large rear diffuser dominate the back of the car.

Inside, the LC 500h promises more of the luxury and refinement that Lexus customers expect. Lexus says the layout is "both cockpit-focused and elegant", with the engineering team paying particular attention to the driving position and size and angle of the steering wheel. Expect extensive use of leather and Alcantara throughout the cabin, plus magnesium gearshift paddles and optional body-hugging sports seats.

Engine, drive and performance

The luxurious hybrid LC 500h flagship will use the brand's next-generation hybrid system, named 'Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System', which it claims will boost performance but also be more efficient. It's powered by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine along with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery, mated to a four-speed automatic gearbox. Lexus claims the 354bhp LC 500h will reach 60mph from a standstill in less than five seconds.

The standard LC 500 takes a more direct approach to performance, using a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that develops 471bhp. It’s the first production car to be fitted with a 10-speed direct-shift automatic gearbox. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds.

The new rear-wheel-drive underpinnings on which the LC sits, named GA-L, form a fundamental part of attempts to make the car more engaging to drive than previous Lexus sports cars. The engine and occupants have been placed lower down and more central to improve handling, while Lexus has produced its stiffest chassis ever to increase responsiveness in corners.

Prices and release date

The Lexus LC will be available to buy from 1st of July.

Model

On the road price

Lexus LC 500/LC 500h

£76,595

Lexus LC 500/500h with Sport Pack

£80,595

Lexus LC 500/LC 500h with Sport Pack+

£85,895

Options

Price

Mark Levinson premium sound system

£1,000

Colour head-up display

£995

Metallic paint

£675

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