Only few will be hybrids, but it's a different story in Europe.
Lexus is trying to get into your head. Well, it is if you're in the market for a $100,000, sporty, two-door coupe.That's because the company is launching the 2018 LC 500 this spring and it needs to figure out how many to make and where to send them. For the U.S., the company thinks that there are 400 people out there who will want to buy one each month. If accurate, that would put the LC 500 at the bottom of the company's U.S. sales numbers (not counting, obviously, the LFA). Nonetheless, Lexus has a plan in place. To start with, each Lexus dealer in the U.S. will get two LC 500s; the company will send the more cars out later as best it can to meet demand.
Pricing for the LC 500 will start at $92,000, while the LC 500h hybrid model will start at $96,510 (plus $975 destination and handling for either). Optioning up the gas model with everything can get you all the way to $102,000, while the hybrid tops out at $104,000. Since Lexus is currently taking orders, Brian Bolain, Lexus Marketing's general manager, said during a LC 500 event in Hawaii this week that most are coming in at just under $100,000.
Now we get to the part where Lexus really tries to figure out who wants what. All of the LC 500s will be made at the company's plant in Motomachi, Japan, but they're destined for ports around the world. It's usual that Lexus sells about half of its vehicles in the U.S. No other market even comes close, with Europeans buying about 15 percent of all Lexus vehicles, China another 15 percent, Japan around 10 percent, and other markets around the world picking up the slack. Bolain said that the LC 500 is not expected to shake up these trends, which means that the company may build between 800 and 1,000 LC 500s a month (when asked, Bolain said that Lexus could fulfill U.S. demand for maybe 500 vehicles a month, but not much more).
Those numbers are all based on historical data. As for which markets want the hybrids the most, it's a bit more of a guessing game. In the U.S., about 10 percent of LC 500 buyers will choose the hybrid model, Bolain predicted, but the expected take rate for the hybrid in Europe is over 90 percent, due to government CO2 emissions regulations that give car shoppers tax incentives for hybrid purchases.
We'll know for sure in the near future. Production starts in March, and the vehicles go on sale in the US in May.