NEW LUXURY COUPE FOR SA: Lexus showed off its stunning SA-bound LC 500 luxury coupe at the Detroit auto show. Image: Lexus
Detroit, Michigan - Fresh from making its world debut at the North American International Motor Show, Lexus South Africa announced that its luxury coupe, the LC 500, could be headed for Mzansi during the fourth quarter of 2016 or early 2017.
The LC 500 draws inspiration from the LF-LC concept that was first shown in 2012.
Read: Detroit show: 10 cars (and a robot) creating a buzz
The Japanese automaker says its made the LF-LC concept a reality by adding a 5.0-litre V8 engine.
Lexus says the V8 is capable of 351kW/530Nm. The engine is mated to a 10-speed auto and completes the 0-100km/h dash in under 4.5 seconds.
The LC certainly stands out courtesy of its triple LED headlights and floating L-shaped daytime running lights.
The profile features bulging curves and vents along its flanks. While the rear shows multi-layered tail lights, a rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler aides airflow.
Lexus says the interior is seductive and engaging for occupants. The standard seats offer comfort, while optional sports seats are available.
Expect high-class finishes on the door panels, centre console and dash pad structures mimicking Lexus's renowned obsession with quality.
A premium Pioneer audio system is available as standard. On the safety front, expect the Lexus Safety System + which includes a pre-collision system, lane keep assist, automatic high Beam and all-speed active cruise control.
The LC 500 uses a new rear-wheel luxury platform that isn't shared with any other Lexus model yet.
Engineers focused on the platform's fundamentals by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralised, and lower in the chassis to improve the centre of gravity.
Internally, Lexus engineers referred to this menu of mass-arranging tactics as the "inertia spec". The driver hip and heel points have been lowered, wheels pushed to the corners of the car with shortened overhangs, and the drivetrain mass located behind the front axle line to create a front mid-ship layout.
In order to save weight, the LC benefits from a carbon-fibre roof, aluminium door skins mounted to the carbon-fibre door inner structure, and a composite boot floor. Balance is key with front/rear weight distribution of 52/48.
*Lexus SA said that details of the local model will only be shared closer to the time of launch.