Lexus Sports Car
Even Lexus’s language masks its intent with the LC500. The company is careful not to call this 2+2 a sports car, instead using descriptors such as “grand touring coupe” and “luxury sports coupe.” But the LC is studded with serious performance-car bona fides such as an engine that sits fully aft of the front-axle centerline, an active rear spoiler, an available carbon-fiber roof, even carbon-fiber inner-door panels and a composite trunk floor. Make no mistake: This is Lexus’s new North Star, one far better positioned to influence the lineup than the LFA. It points to the fact that this is a company on the verge of major change.
Lexus Sports Car
Lexus isn’t mincing words when it comes to the LC500’s skeleton, calling it an “all-new, rear-wheel-drive architecture that does not share components or design ideology with any current Lexus platform.” It will, however, serve as the blueprint for the brand’s future front-engine, rear-drive vehicles. Lexus claims that it is the most structurally rigid unibody the company has ever produced, with more high-strength steel than in any of its vehicles and stiffness exceeding even that of the LFA. Meanwhile, the bumper beams, the front suspension-mount reinforcements, and most of the suspension links are aluminum, as are the door skins. Expect a curb weight right around two tons, with a rear-mounted battery doing its part to limit the nose’s load to 52 percent.
Lexus Sports Car
Now, Lexus looks to alter the industry again, returning to the racing world in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. With two Lexus RC F GT3 cars, our sights are not set on merely taking part—we are here to etch our name in the record books and continue to push the limits of Lexus performance on the track.
Lexus Sports Car
The last time Lexus ran a supercar up its flagpole, people’s heads exploded. Well, the 500 LFA drivers’ heads did, but the rest of the 7 billion earthlings were merely confused. It was hard to see how the carbon-fiber tub or 9000-rpm 72-degree V-10 were going to trickle down to ES350s and RX hybrids. So this time, Lexus is cloaking its hi-po bellwether in, um, sheep’s clothing.
Lexus Sports Car
We expect that one version will also use the LC500’s new 10-speed trans, an automatic of Lexus’s own design. The high-performance intent is on full display here, too, as it uses the lightest, smallest-diameter torque converter ever used in a Lexus. The company claims a zero-to-60 time of 4.5 seconds for the LC500, which we assume to be conservative by at least a couple of tenths.
Lexus Sports Car
Lexus High Performance marks a shift in the natural order. Flawless craftsmanship. Striking design. Superior engineering. Announcing the arrival of a performance vehicle with power, control and zero compromise that puts the entire category on notice. With an impressive line of performance vehicles, including the GS F, RC F and the incomparable new LC 500—the highest expressions of performance from Lexus.
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As a counterpart to the recently evolved segment of shapelier but less practical SUV “coupes,” another contrarian group of vehicles has cropped up at the opposite end of the spectrum: luxury two-doors with only moderately powerful engines. While they may look like sporty grand tourers, they’re missing a key ingredient—power—to really call them that. The Lexus RC Turbo coupe, badged as the RC200t, is one of the latest examples, having joined the lineup for the 2016 model year. Following in the turbo path of the Lexus IS sedan, it’s the cheapest model in the RC lineup, and it shares its small forced-induction four-cylinder with the NX, IS, and GS.
The RC coupe brings sexy back to Lexus, with a blend of style and performance that has been lacking in the brand’s recent offerings. The RC200t offers a 241-hp turbo four with rear-drive and an eight-speed automatic. The RC300 has a 255-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive with a six-speed automatic; the RC350 has a 306-hp V-6 and rear-drive with an eight-speed automatic; all-wheel drive is optional and has a six-speed automatic. The F Sport adds adaptive dampers, special gauges and interior trim. Jump to Instrumented Test – 2017 Lexus RC200t
Even though Lexus shies away from calling the LC500 a sports car, the company does say the driver’s hip point was “engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s center of gravity.” The goal is to make the dynamic feedback clear, and chief engineer Koji Sato says his team spent “more than triple” the usual amount of time perfecting the LC500’s road feel.
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The rest of the RC200t’s driving manners are competent and agreeable. The steering is nicely weighted, not too heavy or too light, and the car turns in eagerly. The RC pulled 0.88 g on the skidpad, which is strong considering its all-season tires, although subpar against the performance-tire set. But the car is composed in corners, holding an intended line and communicating grip loss progressively. Lexus’s reputation for a comfortable and quiet ride rings true here, as the RC rolls over bumps and broken pavement all but undisturbed.
The Lexus RC200t is for budget-conscious luxury buyers seeking visual rather than driving excitement. It looks fast and has an upscale badge, but it lacks overtly sporting tendencies. It has the style of a sports coupe, but it’s built more for comfort.
Editors’ Choice GS F The Editors’ Rating summarizes a vehicle’s overall degree of excellence and is determined by our editors, who evaluate hundreds of vehicles every year and consider numerous factors both objective and subjective. Editors’ Rating Starting at $84,915 With its 467-hp 5.0-liter V-8, upgraded brakes, and tuned suspension, the GS F puts Lexus back in the performance sports sedan melee.
GS F The Editors’ Rating summarizes a vehicle’s overall degree of excellence and is determined by our editors, who evaluate hundreds of vehicles every year and consider numerous factors both objective and subjective. Editors’ Rating Starting at $84,915 With its 467-hp 5.0-liter V-8, upgraded brakes, and tuned suspension, the GS F puts Lexus back in the performance sports sedan melee.
GET LOW — Keeping a car’s mass close to the ground and centrally located fosters agility. To that end, Lexus focused on keeping the LC500’s occupants low, the wheels out at the corners, and the engine behind the front-axle centerline.
Born from passion, our decade-long mission to create the ultimate driver’s car led us to the iconic LFA supercar. A tour de force, it set a new standard in the world of high performance and inspired the future of Lexus performance.
And it’s likely that the LC will only lack turbochargers temporarily. The V-8 borrowed from its siblings is incongruous with its front-mid-engine positioning and other exotic cues. Lexus isn’t talking about any high-performance variations yet, but if the LC is truly going to be a flagship, expect two additional powertrains down the road. One, of course, will be a hybrid. But for the other: If Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda isn’t personally shepherding an LC F high-performance model through development, we’ll be shocked. Expect a whole new engine, likely something with a pair of turbos and output that moves it into the Germans’ 600-hp neighborhood.
With engineering, every millimeter matters. These seamlessly compatible parts have been track-developed and rigorously tested for a precise fit and finish on Lexus vehicles, and have proven to transform the driving performance.
LC 500 RC F GS F Options shown Professional driver on a closed course. Do not attempt. Options shown. Options shown LC 500 This is the embodiment of performance prowess. A 10-speed Direct-Shift transmission, a first of its kind in the luxury category, races through gears with lightning-quick precision, keeping you in the optimal gear and maximizing output from our most powerful production V8 engine ever. Explore Options shown Professional driver on a closed course. Do not attempt. Options shown. Options shown RC F With massive six-piston Brembo® brakes,* an available Torque Vectoring Differential and high-back sport seats that keep you firmly planted when undergoing high G-forces. The RC F initiates a direct line of communication between the driver and road. Explore Build Options shown Professional driver on a closed course. Do not attempt. Options shown. Options shown GS F The most powerful sedan Lexus has ever made. With a race-ready gauge cluster, 467 horsepower* and a top track speed of 168 mph,* it brings entirely new levels of exhilaration. Explore Build