The LC 500 is Lexus's new flagship performance car, and a successor to the LFA supercar, which ended production in 2012. The new model will be available with both conventional petrol and hybrid powertrains, and will go on sale in the UK in spring 2017.
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What is it?
First revealed as the conceptual LF-LC in 2012, the LC500 is a four-seat sports coupé.
Drivers can choose from two different powertrains. First is a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine, which is already used in Lexus's RC F and GS F sports cars. It produces 467bhp and drives the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic gearbox. In this form, the LC 500 can accelerate from 0-60mph in less than 4.5sec. For reference, that's faster than all but the sportiest versions of the BMW 6 Series, and the entry-level Porsche 911.
There will also be a hybrid version of the LC 500, badged the LC 500h. It will have a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine working in conjunction with an electric motor to provide forward motion - it's coupled to a four-speed CVT gearbox, and in this form the LC 500 will still cover the 0-60mph sprint in under 5.0sec.
While the exterior of the LC 500 looks futuristic, its interior is more traditional. There's a new digital instrument cluster, and Lexus's next-generation infotainment and satellite navigation system mounted in the middle of the dashboard. Expect luxurious leather trim inside, as well as four comfortable sports seats.
What are its rivals?
The LC500 will be up against some much-loved and powerful performance coupés. The likes of the Jaguar F-Type Coupé and BMW 6 Series are both comfortable long-distance cruisers, while the Porsche 911 and Mercedes-AMG GT represent the pinnacle of this class. To compete here, the LC 500 must have sporty driving dynamics that provide real thrills for buyers, plus a sumptuous and tech-laden interior and jaw-dropping looks.
Anything else I should know?
Final prices for the LC 500 have yet to be confirmed, but Lexus has hinted that the car's starting price will be in excess of £70,000. At that price, the LC 500 will be more expensive than the 6 Series and F-Type Coupé, but Porsche's 911 and the Mercedes-AMG GT will both cost you more - to the tune of £6412 and £28,135 respectively.
Lexus is hoping the LC 500 will help give it more of a performance-focused image, and in doing so attract a younger, more affluent audience to the brand.
To read more on the Lexus LC 500, head over to our sister site, Autocar.
Watch Autocar drive the LC 500's successor - the Lexus LFA - in the video below.
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