Lexus launches tech-wonder LC coupe in Singapore

SAM 7490
Lexus LC coupe’s fine lines hide lots of new tech, V8 and hybrid options for Singapore both at $550k with COE

SINGAPORE – Lexus has unveiled its very first grand-touring luxury coupe, the LC, here on August 2, 2017 at a special pop-up concept store at Wisma Atria on Orchard Road. 

The LC is an all-new vehicle for Lexus, slated as a luxury 2+2 coupe, and the first car to show off the brand’s new premium rear-wheel drive architecture, named GA-L.

Lexus LC 500h Singapore 2017 price7
LC 500h hybrid (left) and LC 500 V8 model (right) both have the same price in Singapore

Two engine variants, the same as currently available globally, will be offered here, both priced at $550,000 with COE.

SAM 7458
The Lexus pop-up boutique at Wisma Atria Orchard. It’s open to the public on August 4-6, from 11am to 9pm, and on August 7, from 11am to 8pm. 

The LC 500 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 4,969cc V8 engine, the same technology packed unit that debuted in the superb RC F sports coupe in 2014.

SAM 7512
Under the bonnet of the LC, it makes 470hp, good for a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds, a top speed of 270km/h, though it also comes with a hefty 11.6L/100km fuel consumption and 267g/km CO2 emissions.

Lexus LC 500h Singapore 2017 price1

The guilt is alleviated by the LC Hybrid, or LC 500h as it is known abroad. This model pairs the familiar 3.5-litre V6 engine – also optimised for efficiency – with the latest version of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system. This system will also be found on the next-gen Lexus LS luxury limousine.

Lexus LC 500h Singapore 2017 price5
Hybrid drive system on the LC 500h generates 353hp, good for a 0-100km/h time of 5.0 seconds. 

The new hybrid system uses a 177hp electric motor and, a first for Lexus, uses a lithium-ion battery pack with 1.1kWh capacity. Toyota and Lexus hybrids have stuck to nickel metal-hydride batteries for stability, but the first Toyota hybrid with a lithium battery was the 2009 Prius Plug-In.

The power system generates a total of 353hp and 348Nm of torque – good for a 5.0 second 0-100km/h time and a 250km/h top speed. It pays its dues in huge efficiency though, with 6.7L/100km and just 152g/km of CO2.

Lexus LC 500h Singapore 2017 price9
The LC 500h hasn’t got one, but two gearboxes as part of its novel Multi-Stage Hybrid Transmission system. 

Another technology debut for the LC Hybrid is the new Multi-Stage Hybrid Transmission, which consists of not one, but two gearboxes working in sync.  As with all Toyota/Lexus hybrids, the main transmission is a CVT, but it’s modulated by an additional four-speed automatic gearbox.

The result is that the rubber-band effect of a CVT – high engine speed without accompanying acceleration – is eliminated. Chief Engineer Koji Sato says the auto gearbox also allows the torque to be magnified, which lets the LC 500h easily spin its rear tyres. Drivers can use a manual mode with 10 virtual speeds, made up of combined ratios between the CVT and automatic.

Despite the complexity of the hybrid model, it weighs just 50kg more on average than the V8 – average kerb weight of 1,952kg for the V8, and 2,002kg for the hybrid.

The V8-powered model isn’t to be outdone either – it debuts the world’s first 10-speed automatic transmission for passenger cars, which eclipses the Mercedes-Benz 9G-Tronic for number of gears (if you’re partial to that sort of thing). Lexus also debuted the world’s first eight-speed gearbox in the LS 460 luxury sedan, way back in 2007.

SAM 7516

Both LC models are similar in all other areas – multi-link front and rear suspension plus adaptive dampers, as well as a rear limited slip-differential and active aero wing that deploys at speeds above 80km/h.

Lexus LC 500h Singapore 2017 price6

As expected from a top-dollar Lexus coupe, the LC comes with a large list of other features including a new infotainment system, Mark Levinson hifi, eight airbags, blind spot monitoring, LED adaptive headlamps and more. The car’s interior sees a number of luxury design and material choices, from top-grade leather to magnesium shifter paddles, alcantara upholstery and carbonfibre trim. The eight-way adjustable electric seats went through nearly 50 redesign/test cycles, says Lexus.

SAM 7498

The LC marks the Japanese luxury brand’s entry into the two-door GT segment, something it has never tried before. At 4,770mm long, the LC is shorter than a BMW 6 Series, but occupies an interesting space in the GT segment, which sees sportier, less luxurious cars (Jaguar F-Type, BMW 6 Series) below it and larger, more expensive GTs (Bentley Continental GT V8, Aston Martin DB11) above it. The car’s most direct competition will likely be in the form of the upcoming BMW 8 Series.

about the author

Derryn Wong
Has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. Is particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.