The Lexus LC: A Dy­namic Lux­ury Coupe

In the space of just 27 years, Lexus has had a trans­for­ma­tive ef­fect on the world’s lux­ury car market. Engi­neer­ing ex­cel­lence has pro­duced gen­er­a­tions of pow­er­ful, re­spon­sive en­gines and trans­mis­sions, while its pi­o­neer­ing hy­brid tech­nol­ogy has taken effi

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N ow Lexus is build­ing on its es­tab­lished strengths and evolv­ing its rep­u­ta­tion for ve­hi­cle de­vel­op­ment to ex­plore new op­por­tu­ni­ties in de­sign and tech­nol­ogy that re­shape its model range.

Lexus has suc­ceeded in turn­ing its LF-LC con­cept into an un­com­pro­mised pro­duc­tion car, in less than five years since its unveiling to huge crit­i­cal and pub­lic ac­claim. This feat has called for new ways of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the de­sign and engi­neer­ing teams through­out the de­vel­op­ment process.

A FLAG­SHIP COUPE

The LC is a new flag­ship 2+2 per­for­mance coupe for Lexus’ global model range, not only show­cas­ing the qual­i­ties of de­sign, beauty, engi­neer­ing and ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy that de­fine it as a pre­mium ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer, but also sym­bol­is­ing its am­bi­tion as a lux­ury life­style brand. The Lexus LC will go on sale in the US in Spring 2017 and will fol­low in Aus­tralia shortly af­ter.

The LC 500h marks a new step in the de­vel­op­ment of hy­brid tech­nol­ogy; it is the first model to ben­e­fit from Lexus’ Multi Stage Hy­brid sys­tem. Adding a multi stage shift de­vice to the 3.5-litre V6 hy­brid pow­er­train helps trans­form the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, wit­nessed in greater torque, more us­able power across a wider range of en­gine speeds and rhyth­mic, lin­ear ac­cel­er­a­tion that gives the driver the sen­sa­tion of work­ing with a 10-speed au­to­matic gear­box.

FRONT DE­SIGN

The spin­dle grille it­self – a hall­mark of Lexus de­sign – is fin­ished in chrome and has an ar­rest­ing new mesh de­sign with vis­ual ten­sion that changes as it spreads across the front of the car. The unique LC light­ing sig­na­ture is cre­ated by in­de­pen­dent day­time run­ning lights in an ar­row­head con­fig­u­ra­tion and ul­tra-com­pact triple LED head­lamp units. Achiev­ing this re­mark­ably slim head­light de­sign played an im­por­tant role in help­ing the de­sign­ers achieve the coupe’s low hood and short front over­hang.

IM­PROVED TORQUE AND AC­CEL­ER­A­TION

The suc­cess of the Multi Stage Hy­brid Sys­tem is cen­tral to the “even sharper” qual­ity Lexus tar­geted for the LC, pro­vid­ing re­spon­sive, di­rect and rhyth­mi­cal ac­cel­er­a­tion with good grip. In fact, such is the level of torque and ac­cel­er­a­tion when pulling away from a com­plete stop, the LC 500h tests the lim­its of tire grip and, ac­cord­ing to Sato, is the first Lexus hy­brid to spin its rear wheels.

Lexus has suc­ceeded in in­creas­ing max­i­mum en­gine rpm from 6,000 to 6,600 rpm. And thanks to the Multi Stage Hy­brid Sys­tem, the op­er­at­ing range in first, sec­ond and third gears has been in­creased, so that max­i­mum rpm is reached at about 50km/h (31 mph).

TRANS­MIS­SION WITH 10-SPEED FEEL

Al­though the multi stage shift de­vice changes the out­put in four stages, the D range has a sim­u­lated shift con­trol pat­tern that repli­cates the feel of driv­ing with 10 gears. As ve­hi­cle speed rises, en­gine speed in­creases with a lin­ear, di­rect and con­tin­u­ous ac­cel­er­a­tion feel that avoids the “rub­ber band” ef­fect wit­nessed in some con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sions. In the 10th gear range, the CVT con­trol al­lows for cruis­ing at lower en­gine revs for quiet, smooth and more fu­el­ef­fi­cient per­for­mance.

LEXUS SAFETY SYS­TEM+

All ver­sions of the LC are equipped as stan­dard with Lexus Safety Sys­tem+. The sys­tem uses a cam­era and a mil­lime­tre-wave radar to mon­i­tor the road ahead for po­ten­tial haz­ards and col­li­sion risks. This pro­vides the LC with a Pre-Col­li­sion Sys­tem with Pedes­trian De­tec­tion, which is de­signed to de­tect ve­hi­cles and pedes­tri­ans un­der cer­tain con­di­tions, All-Speed Dy­namic Radar Cruise Con­trol, Lane De­par­ture Alert (LDA) with Steer­ing As­sist, a Sway Warn­ing func­tion, and In­tel­li­gent High Beam sys­tem (IHB).

LANE DE­PAR­TURE ALERT WITH STEER­ING As­sist and Ve­hi­cle Sway Warn­ing

Lane De­par­ture Alert (LDA) uses a cam­era on the wind­screen to track the ve­hi­cle’s course be­tween vis­i­ble lane mark­ings. If it judges that the ve­hi­cle is about to move out of its lane with­out the turn in­di­ca­tor be­ing used, the sys­tem lights an in­di­ca­tor on the mul­ti­in­for­ma­tion dis­play and sounds a warn­ing buzzer. It will also ap­ply ap­pro­pri­ate steer­ing con­trol force to help bring the ve­hi­cle back within the lane.

The sys­tem also in­cludes a Ve­hi­cle Sway Warn­ing func­tion. If the sys­tem de­tects un­in­ten­tional lane de­par­ture, it will sound an au­di­ble alert and dis­play a vis­ual warn­ing (steam­ing cof­fee cup) on the Multi-In­for­ma­tion Dis­play (MID). This can ad­justed by the driver.

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