When the topic of luxury sportscars comes up, we’re quite sure all sorts of German and Italian household names come to mind. That, however, is what Toyota’s luxury arm – Lexus – aims to disrupt and, with the launch of its new LC 500 sportscar, priced close to a cool MYR1,000,000, we think that this Japanese marque may very well be on the right track to doing so.
Born of the LF-LC concept car in 2012, the new LC 500 was inspired and guided by Akio Toyoda, the President of Toyota Motoring Corporation who also got personally involved in the fine-tuning of the car’s driving dynamics. The result is a stunning example of a sportscar that not only ticks all the boxes in the realms of driving performance, but also come wrapped in an immensely luxurious package.
The design of the LC 500 is practically futuristic: it has three-beam LED headlights with arrowhead-inspired daytime running lights, and even the roof and rear pillar have been blacked out to create a floating effect that visually separates the roof from the real spoiler. On the exterior, the Lexus LC 500 has all the makings of a fast car. However, once you’re seated inside, suddenly you feel like you’re in a luxury sedan. The interior is packed with technology (no surprise there, being Japanese and all) where the latest thin film transistor (TFT) display technology accentuates the instrument panel. The seats are Alcantara leather and even the safety belts have been wrapped with silk webbing for extra comfort. What I love about the car is how it looks so unassuming that it really caught me off guard when we clicked the little dial to the ‘sports’ mode and the G-force just pressed us into the seat.
Another thing that masks the fact that the LC 500 is a thoroughbred sportscar is that, during a casual drive, the V8 engine is awfully quiet. There is no constant hum drowning out whatever conversation I’m trying to have in the car, making it quite pleasant as a daily driver. But as soon as your revs hit 5,000rpm, the beast will be unleashed and the LC 500 just screams all the way until the gear change, which also brings with it all the pops and crackles of a racing car.
For its luxury details, I have to say the car drives phenomenally well: 0-100kmh in 4.4 seconds prove that the LC 500 has enough power to be good fun on track, let alone on the streets. The steering is great and, thanks to the aerodynamics, even at ridiculous speeds, the car sticks to the ground really well, offering a good sense of security.
When you put its stellar driving performance together with its lavish interior, the Lexus LC 500 is quite the contender in its class. Sure, it may not have the same renown as the German and Italian marques when it comes to sportscars, but I think it is precisely the understated nature of the Lexus that will be appealing to speed enthusiasts.
OTHER LEXUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION
Lexus wow-ed the Internet with this one by releasing videos of an actual working hoverboard. It was spectacularly futuristic: it floated off the ground and there was even a sort of mist emanating from it. What they didn’t show you was that the board will only work on a track filled with permanent magnets, as the way it achieved lift was through the magnetic flux lines of the track and supercooled, superconductor blocks.