By on January 11, 2016

2016_NAIAS_Lexus_LC_500_003_40A7CA57F9573A3B781A4B40D7A8FF9552992C8A

Four years after Lexus unveiled its LF-LC at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the automaker announced Monday that it would put into production largely the same car and call it the LC 500.

Powered by a 5-liter V-8 lifted from the RC-F and GS-F, the LC 500 will be the brand’s largest two-door coupe and mostly complete the turnaround by the automaker they started around four years ago.

Seriously, the LC 500 is by the same people who make the ES 350.

Lexus didn’t announce how much the LC 500 will cost, nor when it would be on sale, but said it would be available sometime this year.

In announcing the coupe, Lexus signaled that the LC 500 would ride on the same chassis that will underpin the new LS when that car is unveiled later. (In Detroit, Lexus showed an LF-FC fuel cell concept with four doors that could foretell what the LS looks like later on.) The coupe is underpinned by Lexus’s new GA-L global architecture for rear-drive, front-engine vehicles, according to the automaker.

While the LC 500 is more than a foot shorter than the newly announced Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe, both cars have their fair share of similarities. The LC 500 and S550 share nearly identical horsepower figures (although the Merc’s turbos give it significantly more twist) and the coupe’s are nearly the same height. Both coupes accelerate up to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and it’s likely that the two coupes will share similar prices.

Despite being an all-new car for Lexus, the LC 500 will feature mostly the same electronics as current Lexus models without any new autonomous drive modes or tech.

Trading on momentum from its earlier design, the LC 500 largely follows the same form as the LF-LC concept, including 20- and 21-inch wheels and wide hips.

Holy crap. These are the same people that make the ES.

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77 Comments on “NAIAS 2016: 2017 Lexus LC500 – Ur-Lexus for Next Generation?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Yes, because they are serious about demonstrating their brand’s talent.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    From the outside, it isn’t the clean, effortless styling I’d have *really* liked to see (a la S-Class coupe), but it is a fitting luxury flagship for the Lexus brand. From the inside, it looks like a great place to spend your time. I really like the he binnacle-mounted controls, which are a pleasant throwback to 80s and 90s JDM cars. And the all-camel colored interior is also a lovely change, because modern cars have too much black and gray.

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      Well, if you want something that looks like a Mercedes, buy the Mercedes. This is just as honest an interpretation from Lexus on what a large coupe should be as Mercedes with the S-Coupe.

      And since I can’t reply to the other convo in this thread, let me just say that I don’t think you’re fair to every brand. You sound like a Lexus hater in this thread and in every thread regarding GM, you have a zealotry for them that makes me wonder if in your parlance, GM stands for “God Motors.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Mercedes is talking about dropping 61hp and giving you a tUrBo fOuR in your 53K to start E-class, they’ve lost a say in my view. Lex FTW in the I have too much money segment.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Well, BMW has a 2.0T in the 5-series. And Lexus in the GS. And Cadillac in the CTS.

          Mercedes was the last one to the party.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sad as that is, I can still get a V6 in a RWD GS from what I can tell. There was talk of a V6 in an 4-matic E-class and it was a maybe.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @28-cars-later. Yes you can, and it’s the same starting price as the German and American 4 bangers. The Lexus has a 4 banger, but starts in the mid 40s. The Koreans and (different) Americans are still happy to sell you a good ole naturally aspirated large displacement V8 for your $50k and still offer a pretty nice car to go along with it.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Seriously?

        I’ve consistently said that I am a fan of GM, but don’t agree with a lot of the choices the company makes, especially when it comes to little design touches (like, who okayed the headlights on the new Tahoe and Suburban?).

        If you’re looking for the GM hater, talk to DeadWeight.

        I don’t say much about Lexus at all, but I don’t dislike the predator maw nearly as much as everyone else seems to. I think it looks good on certain cars.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I never noticed your GM-fanism. You seem more Toyota/Lexus and Volvo fannish to me! In any event, your commentary is balanced so I wouldn’t put too much stock in whoever that guy is.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “… in every thread regarding GM, you have a zealotry for them that makes me wonder if in your parlance, GM stands for ‘God Motors.’ ”

        You are ridiculous.

        Kyree loves GM so much that he owns two Volkswagens and a Kia.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Woof. Dragging out the old line, looks like they just refused to stop styling it, well past when they should have.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Lexus V8 vehicles: 6
    Cadillac V8 vehicles: 2

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Lexus V8 HP: 467
      Cadillac V8 HP: 640

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The truth is, all of those Lexus V8 vehicles except the ones that end in “F” would probably drive better with a really good turbo six and/or a six/electric motor combo. I have a LS460. The V8 is a marvelous engine but it’s a bit peaky and high-strung, not totally suited for silent luxobarge duty. You have to spin the tach a bit more than you’d expect if you go beyond silent wafting at modest speed, and it’s a surprise how strongly it keeps pulling at the very top. The noise is beautiful but any noise at all is a bit out of place in the car.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        This is spot on. Despite protestations around here, luxury buyers want something quiet with low end torque, not a high revving NA V8.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Without CAFE pressures, medium displacement NA V8s delivered true luxury. I don’t want some crude heat pump when I’m paying more than mass market bucks. The 3.0Ts in my recent company cars were as powerful as anything I’ve had in a daily driver, but they were as sophisticated and entertaining as an electric toothbrush. Lexus should be putting NVH optimized 5.7s in their sedans. I don’t care if BMW’s 2.0T makes more power than their 3.0 did. Luxury is about quality, not quantity, unless you’re a philistine.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            If you want your engine to be “sophisticated” or “entertaining” you’re already way, way outside of the LS/LX/GX target market. That market wants torquey and dead silent, like, always. In the LS’s case, the rest of the car is designed to be as silent as possible, and the transmission clearly prioritizes smoothness over responsiveness. The engine *is* sophisticated and entertaining and it doesn’t quite fit. The headlong rush all the way to a 6600-rpm redline seems a bit uncouth and more appropriate for a GS F.

            Honestly, the most appropriate powertrain for the character of the LS would be pure electric. In a world where that’s not quite practical yet, the right powertrain would be a hybrid system with a totally silenced turbo six that never exceeds 4000 rpm as the prime mover.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            A big V8 is not the move. More NVH and nowhere near the off-idle torque. Medium displacement NA V8 will be totally outclassed.

            Lexus has the tools in its arsenal. They could have made a TT 4.0L V8 from the new little 2.0T they just released. Or even better, they could have used this as an opportunity to elevate Hybrid Synergy Drive’s profile beyond the granola crowd. Either way would have provided the torque this thing NEEDS to compete with its turbocharged German contemporaries.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I love how you guys embrace your cages. Nobody wanted 4 liter turbo V8s or 2 liter turbo 4s. They were forced on car companies who had to force them on customers by bureaucrats. People loved their sophisticated NA I6s, V8s and V12s. They’re what set premium cars above the rest before they started distracting with dashboard-mounted video games for over-medicated ADD sufferers. When buyers of forced-induction hybrid game consoles want something new, their puppet-masters will tell them what it is.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You’re so busy frothing about how regulators ran over your dog that you completely missed my point. My point is that a high-revving screamer of a V8 is not suitable for the character of a luxury sedan that, deliberately and completely in tune with the wishes of its buyer base, prioritizes quiet and isolation over driving involvement. It has nothing to do with “cages.”

            I agree that a four has a very hard time providing the needed level of refinement. But a six is easily capable of doing so. And an electric motor does it better than any ICE.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            The problem with turbo 6s, or turbo anythings, is that they are sluggish when wafting. Lots of torque after a half second delay, but that half second is the difference between Mohammad Ali and Mohammad Ali in ski boots.

            Make the car heavy, large and remote enough (RR, Bent, Maybach, 150 foot Riva….), and the sluggishness is kind of expected. But LS class cars are generally owner operated, and are supposed to be impeccable around the country club parking lot and trolling Rodeo Drive. Not to mention parallel parking on steep San Francisco hills, where any kind of turbo sluggishness is amplified many fold. A thoroughly blueprinted for smoothness OHV big block V12 is what the biggest of the luxos ought to come with, or possibly as you suggested, a pure electric or series electric.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “probably drive better with a really good turbo six”

        Blasphemer! I hope to see you in confession, my son.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I don’t know. It seems like Lexus is almost there, but they fall short in the end. Too luxury oriented and lacking on performance and it still carries over that obnoxious grill. So what if it has a V-8, that alone can’t make a car good. I’ll look for the reviews, but my expectations are low. Not only is it as big as an S-class, it’s also probably as heavy. That interior looks very awkward.

    Interesting observation, I feel like I see fewer and fewer Lexus performance models on the road. I see as many LF-A’s as I see RC-F’s and I’ve yet to see a GS-F. If you’re spending that kind of money, there are just better options.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Wait…there’s an LS-F? I knew there was an LS F-Sport, but not an F. That sounds absolutely pointless.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        Sorry, I get confused in all the silly Lexus nomenclature. I’d swear they just throw three darts so what what letters to use.

        LF-A, not, LS-F. My bad. And yes, I’m aware Lexus no longer makes them.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I see.

          I agree that the brand’s performance models almost necessitate the disclaimer “…for a Lexus”.

          Sporty…for a Lexus.
          Thrilling…for a Lexus.
          Powerful…for a Lexus.

          What these cars lack in competitiveness is somewhat made up in price. The GS-F undercuts cars like the M5 or E63 AMG by several thousand dollars.

          I’d still get one of those other cars…or a CTS-V, which is a bit less expensive than the GS-F, as it turns out.

          But I do feel like the non-performance products are quite competitive in that regard. The IS350 can hold its own against or outright beat out a 335i, for example.

          • 0 avatar
            kit4

            Why does Lexus need a disclaimer? Why are they not given the same type of objectivity other brands are? If you can do that, I guess I can play too.

            Reliable…for a Mercedes.
            Not too much of a gross polluter….for an Audi
            Not too cheaply built..for a Cadillac.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            You sound like a Lexus fan with a chip on his shoulder. But realize that I’m pretty fair toward all brands. I’m on my third Volkswagen and second TDI, but will be the first to tell you that they really effed up on the emissions thing, that they deserve whatever they get for such mass deception…and that, quite frankly, most people have reasons to buy from other brands.

            The fact of the matter is that Lexus pulls back somewhat on its F-series cars (which is a shame, because I love that N/A 5.0-liter V8). It’s like they go to 8/10ths. That’s fine…but it means that many people will shop elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      kit4

      never mind that reviews for the GS and IS have been better than recent BMWs especially in regards to handling. Tell us more about how Lexus isn’t “there”.

      And maybe you’ve not seen a GS-F since they’re only now arriving into dealers. Never mind that your observations don’t translate into the real world.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        My observations are simply that. Observations. I do think it is telling that you see less and less of the F cars. It’s just anecdotal, don’t try and make it more than that.

        Not there. Weight and handling. As noted above, Lexus is in the 8/10ths realm. I say it’s a shame, because the potential is there, but in the end, they simply fall short of competitors in the performance categories. They’re good cars and they seem to be focused on improving, but I would go elsewhere if I was looking for performance.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      Lexus makes a good “sporty” car. That is the extent of their performance. I can’t imagine this will be any bigger. Too big, too heavy, and comes up short in handling. It has been a common Lexus performance theme.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    I think this is the car with smallest amount of exterior detail changes from concept to production since….erm… the Countach :)

    Ps! The guy with the Porsche wheel on the avatar… let’s wait for the road test before judging the handling and driving characteristics of the car, shall we? :) and there is no such thing as the LS-F, the model is IS-F. And GS-F deliveries haven’t started yet, that is why you dont see them on the streets.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      We haven’t seen a final version yet….

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      Seems most every Lexus has similar performance characteristics. Not sure I would expect more from a bigger heavier Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Sorry if I made this personal. That was not my intent. I look forward to the reviews as I do with all cars.

      In my opinion, Lexus is lost when it comes to performance against it’s competitors. I just assumed when the author said the car was announced, that this was pre-production pictures. You know how much cars change. It seems a natural conclusion.

      I wasn’t talking about the IS-F. I was talking the LF-A. I realize neither is in production any longer, but I do still see both. What I rarely ever see is the RC-F, the latest and greatest. I think you’re focusing far too much on a typo or some GS-F comment. That’s tertiary to the discussion. Look if you like Lexus, more power to you. But in top tier performance, Lexus isn’t quite there and that is simply my opinion.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Something about that first image makes me think it may be lighter than it looks, explaining how less twist can yield identical acceleration to the Merc. If it ends up more agile with a lower top speed, it will be the better car in my eyes.

  • avatar
    Cole Grundy

    Love the headlights.

    But where is the pic of da ass?

  • avatar
    gasser

    Is this the competition for the Mercedes SL or for the bigger S Class CL??
    The pictures seem to show a useless back seat, smaller than the S Class coupe offers.
    To my eye, the car is over styled. Lexus has now succeeded in “niche stuffing”, creating more models than there are vocabulary words to describe.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      I think it’s supposed to be in the flavour of the original SC400, so competition for the mercedes CL or now S-Class Coupe.

      This thing is cool, but it has nowhere near the effortless styling or gravitas of the S-class Coupe — which I personally think is one of the most beautiful big coupes on the road right now.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I like the S-class coupe but depending on what this one costs and offers, I’m not feeling S-Klasse oder Büste!

        • 0 avatar
          gasser

          +1.
          I’ve seen the S class coupe in person and it is great looking and especially well proportioned. I had a 560 SEC in the ’90s and this LC500 will not fit that spot in the market. If I drive an S class, I want to be able to take another couple to dinner. I also want a car that’s high enough off the ground to get in and out of at 70 years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I once drove an SEC and looked hard at a CL500 before getting gun-shy. I have not seen the new S-Class coupe in person but using the rear seats in the CL500 would not have been a joy for an older person.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The S-Class Coupe is far from the most comfortable way to take another couple to dinner. Its back seat is not particularly large or easy to access.

            Based on the folks I’ve known who are in the S-Class Coupe demographic, the trip to dinner will be made either in a S-Class or E-Class sedan, a Range Rover, or maybe a GL- (now GLS-) class.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would think older couples who are S-Class coupe owners have another vehicle for transporting passengers and would use it as need be.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The S-Coupe in person has QUITE a presence, and it’s massive. It’s better looking IMO than this Lexus will be, if only because of the grille and pointy lamps. But I’m sure it is much more expensive as well.

  • avatar
    kit4

    And the next time Mercedes releases a car are we going to get a bunch of “holy craps, this is the same automaker who makes the CLA”???

  • avatar
    cretinx

    Yes, this car is by the same people who make the ES.

    And if any of their past “performance” variants are any indication, this car will also have the same soporific driving characteristics as all the rest of their portfolio, despite how it looks or how much power it makes.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Your remedial reading assignment:
      http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/road-tests/reviews/a5213/the-comparison-65-3-roa1013/

    • 0 avatar
      Brock_Landers

      Soporific :) Funny how some myths die hard. The “durable german luxury car” legend was based on 80’s and early 90’s Benzes and aura lasted unil late 2000’s or so :) In some “car enhusiast” circles its still floating around. How many years Lexus has to make good handling cars to shake the soft and floaty image of the yesteryear.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I don’t think anyone who has owned a German luxury car (myself included) in the last twenty years thinks they are “durable.” My X5 had so many issues that I sold it after just four months…and it had a CarMax warranty that covered *everything*. They have nice fit-and-finish, sure, but the Japanese and certain American cars dominate in that arena.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Who bought the problematic X5?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I sold it back to CarMax for about what I paid, believe it or not. I think that car was cursed beyond the issues you’d reasonably expect for a later E70 X5, and that there was something seriously funky with the wiring harness. But CarMax seemed to be having a shortage of X5s at the time, so they gave me a nice figure for it.

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            I’m aware of the trend with BMWs and other German cars (at least SOME German cars). I’m on my 6th German car in a row, but I seem to have done very well and minimal drama. My car is fantastic and my wife’s BMW we’ve had for 5 years and I’ve never spent a dime beyond brakes and tires on hers. One of those previous cars I owned was an X5 btw. I absolutely LOVED it. I bought it used also and owned it 7 years before finally selling it to buy an M car. Apparently I had far better luck than Kyree had. it was a tank…nothing ever went wrong with that one. That’s just my experience though.

        • 0 avatar
          fvfvsix

          @Kyree – I worked at a major semiconductor supplier when the E70 was being developed. That platform was the lead vehicle (read: guinea pig) for a new comms network architecture that BMW was adopting. I’ve seen enough of that kluge work that I’d never buy or recommend an E70. It was an idea ahead of its time – which can manifest itself in modules completely losing contact with one another momentarily. Glad you got rid of the X5.

          The X3, on the other hand, is a magnificent car.

      • 0 avatar
        Grahambo

        Agree with 05LGT and Brock Landers. In August, I spent my own hard earned money for an IS350 F Sport precisely because of its performance attributes. Great chassis, sublime handling and ride balance, awesome brakes, very nimble yet solid. The V6 is great as well. Not quite as powerful as some ot the other options, but more than enough for my purposes and I appreciate its proven durability. IMHO after driving all its competitors, it was the easy choice from an overall driving pleasure standpoint. In particular, I found the F30 to be vastly inferior. It may not be everyone’s choice and the predator grill is an aquired taste, but anyone discounting Lexus’ ability to produce a top of class driving experience (or reflexively thinking the German options are always better to drive) is relying on circa 2009 information. Things change. The expected stellar reliability is a nice bonus. I will agree to some extent that the RC is much less successful in these respects than the IS and GS and that Lexus’ extreme performance vehicles have yet to establish themselves as top of their respective classes. Not sure that will be the case much longer, however.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I think the IS 350 F-Sport is the best Lexus performance car. It makes a lot of promises, and it honors them. I thought it drove markedly better than the 335i *and* the ATS when I sampled it…and (bonus!) it’s probably a better long-term bet than either of those cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I drove an IS300 F Sport when our Rav was totaled and I had no idea what to buy as a replacement. It made a strong case for being the replacement. My wife really liked it, too. Then she asked me if I was going to put the recycling bins in the back of a lexus when I dropped off the recycling (that was actually what I was doing when I was hit head on by another driver). Touche.

  • avatar
    callmeishmael

    All right, another car with rhino haunches and way to much styling.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      And way, WAY too much grill, there are heavy duty pickups with smaller looking front intakes. It looks like a cartoon version of a killer cheese grater! Even worst is you know half of that grill is for decoration only, due to aero reasons I’d bet most of it is blocked off.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’m not a coupe guy, but I’m really looking forward to the LS sedan based on this platform. I think it’s going to make my current-gen car look old and busted, and that’s a good thing.

  • avatar
    carguy

    It looks promising.

    Let’s hope its not afflicted with the same obesity problem than the RC coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Don’t get your hopes up; the RC is supposed to be the smaller and sportier car.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I expect it’ll be heavier than the RC but by surprisingly little given the size difference.

        The RC is afflicted by being in effect a chop job of three cars: the GS in front, the IS in back, and the old IS Convertible in the middle. As a result the RC is very poorly optimized. The LC is on its own platform and should be more appropriately engineered.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I get it now… all these schmancy, expensive luxo coupes with navel-height roofs… they’re like the old whalebone corsets or their modern equivalent, the Buchenwald Body.

    Ya gotta suffer if you wanna look sexy, right ladies?

  • avatar
    Chan

    It looks good and much more cohesive than the predator grilles of Lexi past. But it’s a style of the moment; it won’t have the timeless appeal that the S-class Coupe has.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Are we talking about the S class coupe that is currently on the Mercedes-Benz configurator? There was one in my neighborhood for a while. I thought it was a Buick until I saw the grill.

  • avatar

    It’s an interesting car, but I could not even afford SC when they still made it, and I cannot afford RC now, so I’m interested but not too interested.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    I am confused why the author is so surprised Lexus could make this car, they started out making awesome cars like the SC400 way back in the day before they became boring and also did the LF-A and the RC-F.

    • 0 avatar
      Beemernator

      As the owner of an ’07 RX350 I like boring. It has none of the excitement of breaking down by the side of the road that I get from my E46 and E39 BMWs.

      Wait, there was an issue with the Lexus just this weekend. The cupholder in the dash under the air vent would not retract when I got home. I left like it and went looking on the internet on how to fix it. The next day it retracted just fine. Go figure.

  • avatar
    cantankerous

    Ughh! I’ll take my 2005 G35 6MT with 150k miles over this ungainly beast any day of the week.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Seriously, the LC 500 is by the same people who make the ES 350.”

    And the SL65 is by the same people who make the GLA. There are lots of examples of big disparities in product line.

  • avatar
    stuki

    I remember back when Ferrari came out with the F40, and people (me included) whined about how idiotic the snow plow height front end was on a road car…. Yet, compared to this thing from supposedly practical and sensible Toyota, that old track toy almost looks like it cribbed the front from a Wrangler Rubicon.


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