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Future models - Lexus - LC - 500

Lexus shows off LC luxury coupe

Coupe de grace: The Lexus LC500 will land in Australia in V8 form in the second quarter of next year.

Orders already flowing for Lexus LC500 ahead of V8 weapon's mid-2017 launch

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Lexus logo23 Nov 2016

By TIM ROBSON

AFTER a successful outing in front of hundreds of potential buyers at the Melbourne Cup in November, Lexus Australia has showed off its latest high-performance machine, the LC500, to journalists in Melbourne.

While no pricing details have been released ahead of the car’s expected Q2 2017 debut, Lexus Australia sales manager Vin Naidoo told GoAuto at the launch of the facelifted IS sedan that dealers were already taking orders for the high-performance rear-wheel-drive coupe.

“Even though we haven’t announced a price yet, people are still keen to sign expressions of interest for the car,” he said.

“As soon as we showed the concept, customers were walking into dealers saying ‘when can I have this?’ It’s been pretty amazing.”

While he would not be drawn on a price for the four-seater, he suggested that the LC500 would be a “flagship model” for the local arm.

The brand’s most expensive sports car currently is the $156,500 (before on-road costs) GS F Semi-aniline four-door bruiser, which uses the same V8 engine as the LC500 in a lower state of tune.

The LC500 will be available with a 5.0-litre V8 making an estimated 351kW and 530Nm, backed by Lexus’s first ten-speed automatic transmission.

An LC500h petrol/electric hybrid variant will also be made available with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine mated to an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

The electrified LC will be backed by a stepped four-speed automatic transmission mounted at the rear of the hybrid system, and will make a combined 264kW and 348Nm.

Mr Naidoo said that customers were not yet at the stage of deciding which of the two drivetrains would be most suitable for them.

“People will wait to try both, I think, before deciding,” he said.

The LC500 is set to premiere a number of new technologies for the Lexus brand, including the latest GA-L (Global Architecture Luxury) platform that will eventually underpin all of the company’s front-engined, rear-wheel-drive models.

The platform eschews the use of carbon fibre, with high-strength steels offering a level of torsional rigidity that, according to Lexus, exceeds that achieved by its carbon fibre-tubbed LFA supercar.

There are, however, carbon fibre door structures and an optional carbon fibre roof.

The LC500’s major components have also been packaged as low and as centrally as possible, while aluminium front strut towers increase rigidity and save 10kg over steel items.

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