Lexus LC 500h
A recent trademark application from Lexus’ parent company Toyota for the name LC F shows the car maker’s plans to introduce a performance model to the line-up, which could be hybrid-powered.
The LC was developed with the express intent of highlighting Lexus’ sporting credentials and a new focus on dynamic capability, so an F model is the natural next step.
Talking to Autocar late last year, Koji Sato, Lexus’s chief engineer, denied such a project was underway but conceded that the hybrid technology would be more interesting if the project was approved.
“Everyone is expecting an F model, but right now we are not sure,” said Sato. “The interesting thing is that Porsche is developing a sports car with electric power, and there is the BMW i8, so maybe a big engine with more power is a little bit heading in the old style. The hybrid model may be an interesting idea. The sudden torque provided by the electric motor is much faster and more unique - and perhaps more interesting for the customer.
“Lexus is a pioneer of hybrid systems and perhaps we have a role to show that hybrid has more capability now. It would be a unique driving experience, I think. So maybe the LC 500h is the car that would satisfy the requirement for a faster car.”
The new LC 500 is powered by a 467bhp V8, while the LC 500h uses a 354bhp V6 coupled to an electric motor and hybrid system. Rivals include the Porsche 911, Jaguar F-Type, Maserati Granturismo and BMW 6 Series, although Lexus describes the car as having long-distance GT cruising capabilities.
Lexus claims that the standard LC 500h hits 0-62mph in less than 5.0sec, while the LC 500 takes less than 4.5sec.
LC 500 on video