The Lexus LF-LC concept that first debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show as a RWD 2-door coupe created a lot of excitement as it hinted a new flagship performance car. It was followed-up by the Lexus LF-LC Blue concept at the 2012 Australian International Motor Show. It was this motor show was where the company announced that the concept is powered by a 272-kW (500-hp) Lexus Hybrid Drive hybrid powertrain.
The production version’s testing presumably started earlier this year, as indicated by these spy shots. It will be called ‘Lexus LC 500’, as per a report from Motoring.com.au. The Australian publication says that the LC 500 will have its world premiere at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (2016 NAIAS) set to take place from January 11-24. Two models will be available, one with a naturally aspirated V8 unit and one with a hybrid system.
According to the report, the non-hybrid model will be called ‘LC 500’ and the hybrid model will be called the ‘LC 500h’. The former will be powered by the same 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine that powers the Lexus RC F and Lexus GS F, while the latter will pack an all-new 3.5-litre V6 ‘multi-hybrid’ system. The V6 engine will generate 239 kW (320 hp) and the electric motor will produce 162 kW (217 hp).
The Lexus LC 500 won’t be completely based on the new TNGA (Toyota new global architecture) platform, as per the report. The rear section will see incorporation of the new modular platform, but for the front-end, there will be an aluminum space frame setup. Word out there is also that carbon-fibre components will be extensively used in the construction.
The Lexus LC 500 won’t be a successor to the limited-production Lexus LFA supercar. Rather, it will be designed to go head-to-head with luxury grand tourers like the Maserati GranTurismo and the Mercedes S-Class Coupe. In the next two years’ time, a more powerful ‘R’ variant can be expected to take on the latter’s AMG variant.