The LC500 also gains a new 10-speed automatic transmission that Lexus says is the first in the market. The V8 powertrain combination has a kerb weight of around 1935-1970kg (depending on options) and sees the Japanese 2+2 sports car accelerate from 0-100km/h in around 4.7 seconds. It uses around 11.6L of 98 RON fuel per 100km in the combined city and highway cycle.
The V8 models are equipped with a limited slip differential (LSD), however, that remains an option for the equally-priced hybrid.
The Lexus LC500h, which maintains the '500' badging with the addition of a ‘h’, despite having a 3.5-litre hybrid powertrain (which in other Lexus models has seen it labelled 450h) makes use of the well-known Toyota-Lexus V6 engine (220kW and 348Nm) in combination with a new Lithium-Ion battery pack that sees total power output at 264kW. The electric powertrain also produces 300Nm on its own (but it's not a matter of simply adding the torque figures up for total output).
The LC500h utilises a four-speed conventional automatic gearbox in combination with a CVT that links up to create ten ‘ratios’. Lexus dubs this the next-generation of hybrid technologies, labelled multi-stage hybrid.
It has a combined fuel economy figure of just 6.1L/100km while it manages a 0-100km/h time of five seconds flat. It weighs 50kg more than the V8 and rides 7mm higher. Both models have an 82L fuel tank.
The V8 and V6 look identical from the outside, bar the ‘h’ badging and a slightly bluer tint to the Lexus badge on the hybrid. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres wrap around the standard 21-inch wheels (F: 245/40/21, R: 275/35/21).
Standard features across the range include:
- 10.3-inch infotainment display with satellite navigation and SUNA Live Traffic
- Mark Levinson premium sound system with 918-watts and 13 speakers.
- Lexus Safety System+, featuring Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collison Safety System, Lane Keep Assist, Sway Warning and Automatic High Beam, plus a Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, reversing camera, eight airbags and tyre-pressure monitor.
- full LED lighting
- glass panoramic roof
- large colour head-up display
- two-zone climate control
- new adaptive variable multi-link front and rear sports suspension
- semi-aniline leather-accented upholstery,
- an eight-inch multi-information display,
- heated and ventilated front seats with 12-way power adjustment and memory function,
- sports pedals and magnesium alloy paddle shifters,
- six drive modes, and stainless steel scuff plates.
The V8’s exhaust note has taken some lessons from the LFA supercar, however, the hybrid model does use artificial sound to enhance the occupant's experience. Lexus says it has stuck with its naturally-aspirated V8s as it wished to keep the aural experience not otherwise possible with a turbocharged unit.
Both models utilise noise cancelling technology to block out low-frequency sounds through the use of antiphase sound via the car’s stereo system.
The only option on both cars is the enhancement pack, which at $15,000 offers four-wheel steering and variable gear ratio steering, reducing the turning circle by 25 percent and improving turn in on the go.
Additionally, the pack includes an LSD for the hybrid while adding, on both, an active rear spoiler (deploys automatically at 80km/h), a carbon-fibre roof (in place of the standard glass sunroof), combination leather-accented and Alcantara upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable sports front seats and carbon-fibre scuff plates.
The Lexus LC500 and LC500h are on sale in Australia from today. Lexus believes that more than 80 percent of buyers will opt for the V8 version with the Japanese luxury brand expecting to sell around 100 units overall this year.
Check back Friday for a full road and track review of the new Lexus flagship.