Lexus is about to take on the big names of the high performance world with its most serious sports car since the LFA. That limited run V10-powered supercar famously cost more than £300,000 in 2010; the new Lexus LC – set to have its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show next Monday (11 January) – will cost well under half that.
Which still lines it up with some immensely tough competition, in line with Lexus’ insistence that the new car will be a top-end sports coupe and a performance flag-bearer, something it hasn’t had in the range since the demise of the LFA.
We can expect both petrol and hybrid drivetrains. With the 5.0-litre V8 from the RC F aboard, the coupe would be able to call on 477bhp while in the inevitable hybrid form an LC500h version with V6 engine and electric motor would likely offer over 500bhp. GRR suspects that 0-62mph in under 4secs could well be on the cards. Faster F versions would be likely too.
Lexus confirmed the coupe will make its ‘unprecedented’ debut at the US show only days ahead of the show’s opening on Monday, and has confirmed nothing else about the car. We do, however, have something to go on in the attractive form of the car it is based around and which is shown here: the LF-LC concept (standing for Lexus Future Luxury Coupe). The two-door, 2+2 coupe was universally liked when it was unveiled at the Detroit show in 2012. And GRR reckons it still looks good now, as you can see from these pictures.
How closely Lexus designers have been able to emulate the concept’s purposeful and pumped looks for production remains to be seen. Lexus design has of late not lacked boldness so we wait with baited breath to see what they have made of it. As well as the coupe, a convertible is on the cards too. At the Los Angeles show in 2014 Lexus showed the LF-C2, a convertible version of the concept, so that has to be a possibility for the future.
One thing is for sure, on either coupe or convertible the distinctive ‘spindle’ grille, which this concept featured and which now characterises all Lexuses, will be sure to make an appearance. Inside, it’s possible the car will get the twin 12.3inch LCD screens on the dashboard that the concept car featured four years ago – and which are now starting to become essential kit.
Unlike the LFA, which was limited to 500 units only, the new car will be a full production model. The front engine/rear drive machine is expected to be badged LC when it reaches the showrooms, tipped to be late in 2016.
Here’s hoping we can see it before then. Lexus has a tradition of sharing its sporting treats with us at the Festival of Speed – fingers crossed we’ll see it in Sussex first!