Lexus sharpens its LC coupe

Lexus has given its LC luxury coupe a mid-life update, but could this be the last hurrah for the 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8?


Lexus’ flagship luxury coupe, the LC, has received a mid-life facelift which aims to make it ‘sharper and more refined’, with the changes taking place mostly under the skin.

Key updates include a lighter suspension system, improved brakes, and mild tweaks to the gearbox and exhaust system, while the LC 500h hybrid version also gets a more powerful battery for improved performance.

For now, local distributor Borneo Motors is only offering the LC 500 variant, which retails for $530,800 with COE. The LC 500h hybrid model will be available here on an indent basis.

The car remains unchanged visually, and Lexus has concentrated on improving the LC’s mechanicals in the mid-life facelift. The front and rear suspension has had its unsprung weight reduced by 10kg, achieved through the use of forged aluminium for the lower arms, thinner anti-roll bars, and stiffer springs.

The electronic shock absorbers have also been optimised for better ride comfort, while the rigidity of the anti-roll bars have been been adjusted to improve the car’s manoeuvrability.

The 10-speed automatic transmission meanwhile gets slight programming tweaks to offer quicker and smoother shifts and enhance driver involvement. The gearbox is now able to hold revs higher, as well as automatically downshift to second gear instead of third when braking into a corner.

Larger brake pads give the updated LC improved stopping power, while the LC’s exhaust system gets a relocated valve that delivers a better sounding note from the 5.0-litre V8 engine when the car is started up, or when revved above 4,000rpm.

The LC 500h hybrid model also gets slightly improved performance via its updated lithium-ion battery pack with 90Nm more torque and 17kW more power, resulting in quicker off-the-line acceleration when driven in electric mode.

The current non-hybrid LC 500 features a 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 that produces 470hp and 540Nm of torque, and while it remains unchanged for this update, it’s unlikely to stick around for much longer due to tightening emissions requirements.

A high performance LC F that was in the works has reportedly been cancelled due to the economic uncertainty at parent company Toyota caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

That car was set to use a newly-developed 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that is said to produce somewhere between 500 to 600hp, but that powerplant could see itself shoehorned in the regular LC 500 in the near future instead.

about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world.