Right from the start, something was different. There I was, sitting in the audience of the Lexus press conference at the Detroit Auto Show, watching as Toyota President Akio Toyoda spoke earnestly about his goals for the Lexus brand. It was a refreshing presentation, full of humility and hope, and it culminated with the video introduction of a new Lexus model.

You have likely seen this video — it starts with the Lexus LF-LC concept being smashed to pieces by a giant wrecking ball, only to reveal what turns out to be the production LC 500. On the edge of my seat, I waited for the wrecking ball to swing back, to dull the edges, to soften the excitement.

In a way, we knew what to expect. Earlier reports had solidified around a new flagship coupe, based on the LF-LC and powered by a 5.0L V8 engine. But no rumor could have prepared us for the reality of the Lexus LC 500. It truly is the concept made real.