When the Lexus LC500 touches down on local shores in May, buyers will be able to choose between two engines; a 5.0-litre V8 and a 3.5-litre petrol/electric hybrid.
The high-revving V8 is also found in Lexus’ two other performance models; the RC F coupe and GS F sedan. However, in the upcomming LC500, engineers have dialled up the volume, and it’s all completely natural, according to Lexus Europe’s Senior Technical Trainer, Stefan Ramaekers.
“Having a V8 is nice, but listening to a V8 is even nicer. Our engineers thought the same and for that reason we have introduced a sound generator device – nothing electronic going on, the sound generator is the link between the induction system of the engine and the passenger cabin.
“There’s tubing going straight from your air intake box, through the sound generator and then into the cabin. But the size and length of the tubing has been fine-tuned, so that the best vibrations from engine induction make it into the cockpit.
“That’s for those inside the LC500, but for those outside, it’s also a great sound. The clamshell muffler has two entry ports, one of which can be shut down for a quiet drive, but as soon as you start accelerating in Sports mode, those valves will open and you get the eight-cylinder symphony”, he added.
The LC500 also gets a new 10-speed automatic transmission, the first ever such gearbox in the luxury segment, which Lexus claims is smaller and lighter than some eight-speed transmissions.
Lexus says it went for the wide bandwidth of shifting offered by 10 closely-spaced gears in order to provide the optimal gear for all driving conditions.
“We call it Direct Shift because it is so fast in its changes, it really doesn’t respond like any other automatic gearbox. We use four planetary gears and get 10 gear ratios from that.
“On the LC500 we use a multiplate clutch, which is much faster and much stronger, so it can handle all the torque this engine develops at big speeds”, Ramaekers told CarAdvice.
“And because of that, this component acts more like a dual-clutch transmission, but without the downside – wearing clutch plates, so you get beautifully linear acceleration without those long and short gear ratios found in rival transmissions”, he concluded.