2018 Lexus LC FJan 21th, 2016
After more than two years of constant teasing and two concept cars, Lexus has finally unveiled its new 2+2coupe at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Dubbed LC 500, the new coupe is stunning to look at, has a luxurious interior, and comes with a stout, naturally aspirated V-8 powerplant, making it one of the most exciting Lexus products yet. And, despite having two extra seats and missing a V-10 powerplant, the LC 500 is already being considered a successor to the mighty LFA.
While the two have very little in common as far as underpinnings go, I can totally understand why Lexus enthusiasts are comparing it to the LFA. The LC 500 has a strong presence, a low-slung stance, and it blends luxury and sportiness under the same roof. Granted, it’s nowhere near as powerful as the LFA, but what if Lexus is planning to release a more potent version later on? This question prompted us to render an F-badged version of the LC 500.
No, Lexus hasn’t confirmed such a model is underway, but as you may have already noticed, we like to speculate a lot about future products. And, since we’ve nailed quite a few models recently, we decided to go ahead and preview what a high-performance LC F would bring to the table.
Having already seen the RC and RC F, it’s quite easy to estimate what Lexus would do to update the LC 500 into an LC F. The shape and size would remain unchanged, but the coupe will get an extra dose of aggressiveness in the form of new body kit. As illustrated in our rendering, we expect it to get a revised front fascia with significantly larger intakes under the headlamps and a splitter at the bottom of the huge spindle grille. Also, all the chrome will be replaced by blacked-out trim, while the standard engine hood will be ditched in favor of a vented unit.
New features will also include beefier front fenders, new vents between the front wheels and doors, and larger side skirts with bigger intakes for the rear brakes. A race-inspired diffuser with reworked exhaust outlets and a bigger trunk-lid spoiler will enhanced the LC 500’s already menacing rear end. The carbon-fiber roof will be standard in the LC F. The regular wheel will also be replaced by lighter, multi-spoke rollers shielding larger brake rotors and calipers. To round off the new design, Lexus will add “F” badges on the front fenders and rear fascia.
Much like the exterior, the interior will also be heavily based on the standard car, but fitted with sportier features and new trim. Look for race-inspired seats with a special integrated foaming construction that helps them better fit the driver and front passenger, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a bespoke instrument cluster. Although it will still have a massive amount of leather and Alcantara, the LC F’s interior will also get significantly more aluminum inserts and carbon-fiber trim in the center console and door panels.
The infotainment screen should also have a custom display to set it apart from the one in the standard model. To further enhance the LC F’s sportiness, the cabin will come with different upholstery options, ditching the light and elegant hues seen on the presentation car. Much like the LFA, the LC F will most likely get a black dashboard, door panels, and center console, with the option of having the seats and various surfaces on the steering wheel and lower console areas finished in brighter colors such as red, blue or white.
By the way, have you noticed how similar the LC 500’s interior (especially the dashboard and center console) is to the LFA’s? This might be more than just a coincidence…
Under the hood, the LC F should get the same 5.0-liter V-8 as the standard model, but with revised internals for enhanced output and a higher redline. Power should increase from 467 to nearly 600 horses, while torque should be of at least 450 pound-feet, up from the standard 389 pound-feet. The revised engine will also need a quicker transmission, so it’s safe to assume that the ten-speed automatic will be dropped in favor of a sportier dual-clutch gearbox.
These drivetrain modifications, paired with the enhanced aerodynamics, should enable the LC F to hit 60 mph in less than four seconds, about a half-second improvement over the standard model. Other modifications should include a stiffer suspension system for improved handling and larger brakes for more efficient stopping power. Of course, these updates will likely make the LC F’s ride a bit harsh compared to the LC 500, but it’s a small sacrifice given the extra power and exciting performance figures.
With the pricing of the LC 500 still a mystery, it’s nearly impossible to estimate a sticker for the LC F. However, with the standard coupe rumored to fetch in excess of $100,000, the high-performance version will probably retail from $150,000 before options.
With its German competitors having introduced high-performance versions of nearly every model in their respective lineups, Lexus needs to expand and needs to do it really fast. While an LC F might not be a priority at this point, Lexus will definitely need a large high-performance coupe in the future, especially with no successor to the LFA around. Granted, the LC F won’t be able to replace the LFA entirely, but it would grant Lexus access to a niche it has yet to explore.