What is it?
When they’re finally done experimenting with their super SUVs, pseudo-saloons, hybrid supercars, high-design shooting brakes, plug-in hypercars and various other ultra-limited-volume flights of fancy, the luxury car makers of the world will, I reckon, all come back to cars like the new Lexus LC500: front-engined, rear-driven, two-plus-two-seater grand touring coupés.
They’ll have to. This is the quintessential vehicle type for an elegant, exclusive and glamorous kind of existence. And Autocar road testers must obviously be considered well-qualified authorities to comment on such lavish lifestyles (stop sniggering at the back).
For the same reasons that big grand touring coupés can only be departed from by the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and BMW for so long, it makes a singular statement when an up-and-coming luxury car maker such as Lexus makes one. It’s a statement of ambition made real; of evident established maturity, skill and expertise there for all to see. A grand touring coupé from a company such as Lexus says: “We’ve arrived.” And one that looks like this, the new LC, says: “Let’s have it.”
Concept car looks seldom make it onto the production line to quite such dramatic effect as they have on this car. Look up a photo of the 2012 LF-LC show car and, if you can spot a significant visual difference between that and the finished LC, you’ve got better eyesight than I do. When car manufacturers plough hundreds of millions into delivering a concept car such as the LF-LC to the road so unmolested, it’s not done easily. And with the new LC production car, Lexus is clearly hoping to surprise; to convince people to look afresh at the brand they might previously have overlooked.