The V8 in this luxury grand tourer can make a nice grumble.
Customers can start driving the Lexus LC 500 in early 2017, and a new video shows the Japanese automaker continuing to flog the new luxury grand tourer around the Nürburgring right up until its release. Because of the baritone exhaust note, we suspect this is the version with the 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8, rather than the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid.
The helmet-wearing driver doesn’t push the LC 500 too hard around the ‘Ring. Early in the clip, he dips the coupe into the banked portion of the carousel but goes around the outside in a later portion of the video.
The V8 makes a nice rumble around the track. The sound isn’t obnoxiously loud, but it’s enough to tell other drivers that the LC 500 has power in addition to its sharp-edged style. The noise has the right balance between aggressiveness and good manners for a vehicle that likely costs around $100,000.
Between unveiling the production LC 500 at last year’s North American International Auto Show and actually putting it on sale, Lexus made intake an exhaust tweaks that increased the 5.0-liter V8’s output to 471 horsepower (351 kilowatts) and 398 pound-feet (540 Newton-meters) torque – versus 467 hp (343 kW) and 398 lb-ft (527 Nm) originally. Customers who don’t mind sacrificing power for fuel economy can order the LC 500h with a total system output of 354 hp (264 kW) from its hybrid V6. Prices for this version is reportedly about $10,000 higher than one with the V8.
We look forward to finding out how the production version of the LC 500 handles because Lexus uses a significant amount of aluminum and carbon fiber to keep the weight down. For example, the doors have aluminum exteriors and a carbon-fiber inner structure. Buyers who really want to save weight can choose to replace the standard panoramic glass roof with a lighter carbon-fiber piece.
Lexus will also take its range-topping coupe racing next year in Japan's Super GT series. However due to the series' rules, it must use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The design looks fantastic in competition trim, though.