Lexus Australia heaps expectations on $190,000 LC500
Lexus has unveiled its 2018 LC500 in Australia and promises the new flagship model will change the way Lexus is perceived by customers.
THERE ARE TWO variants in the 2018 LC500 line-up, a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 and 3.5-litre V6 hybrid, will both be priced from $190,000 (+ORCs). A $15,000 optional Dynamic Enhancement Pack adds carbon fibre roof, active rear-spoiler (from 80km/h), four-wheel steering, variable ratio steering and Alcantara seat trim.
The V8 model is expected to lead sales as well as performance, with Lexus Australia CEO Peter McGregor claiming it will take up to 80% of all sales compared to just 20% for the more frugal (and slower) hybrid V6 model.
The V8 is powered by a revised version of the motor which currently propels the Lexus RC-F and GS-F. The new donk provides an additional 10Nm more power for a total output of 351kW at 7100rpm and 540Nm at 4800rpm.
However, moving the V8’s heavy 1950kg body weight results in an undesirable fuel consumption of 11.6L/100km compared to the hybrid model’s 6.7L/100km. But the V6 produces less power, with 220kW and 348Nm (264kW total with hybrid), and is 0.3sec slower 0-100km/h, reaching the ton in 5.0sec (blame some of that on its even higher weight count).
Potential buyers shouldn’t be put off by the less than stellar figures, though, according to McGregor: “A sports car is often their second vehicle, sometimes it’s part of a collection. They want a car that makes them feel something. That underpins the whole purchase process.
“Cars are their obsession, they want exclusivity in their purchase. They’re financially liberated and they live life to the full. They are avid consumers of media reviews, and they’ll seek confirmation from friends and family who are also in the know.”
As for competition, Lexus didn’t want to pin itself into a corner, but did mention buyers would cross shop with the likes of the V8 powered BMW 650i ($236,200 +ORCs) and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class ($218,715 +ORCs). We’d also hazard the guess that it’d compete with cars like the Jaguar F-Type (V8 model from $228,906 +ORCs)
The two plus two grand tourer coupe is built on Lexus’ new GA-L front-engine/rear-wheel drive platform and features distinctively sharp styling. And, according to McGregor, sharp on-road handling and dynamics. Lexus is heaping much praise and expectations on the new flagship model: “With vehicles like the all new flagship LC, lexus is creating and inspiring amazing experiences where the driver’s response to the functionality of the vehicle becomes an emotional connection,” McGregor said.
“In recent times we’ve seen vibrant new models such as the NX, the latest gen RX suv and the RC-F and GS-F performance vehicles. They are changing the way lexus is both perceived by customers and the automotive industry. Now, the LC takes it evolution to another level with its distinctive design and rewarding dynamic experience.”
We’ll be driving the new LC 500 Down Under both on the road and race track tomorrow, and publishing our first drive impression when the embargo lifts this Friday.