Lexus LC Series family features

Lexus LC Series family features

15.09.2020: The following sections cover the established features of the Lexus LC series, including design, powertrains, chassis dynamics, craftsmanship, safety and audio systems. DESIGN Distinctive LC design based on award-winning LF-LC Concept

The following sections cover the established features of the Lexus LC series, including design, powertrains, chassis dynamics, craftsmanship, safety and audio systems.


    Distinctive LC design based on award-winning LF-LC Concept car

    Fluid interpretation of Lexus’s “seduction and technology” design theme

    Luxury 2+2 coupe proportions, with authentic front engine/rear-wheel drive design characterised by low bonnet and roof lines and aerodynamically efficient surfacing


Making the show car’s styling a practical proposition for a full production car required a new way of working at Lexus, bringing the engineering and design teams together with an unprecedented degree of co-operation to achieve the desired results. The success of this teamwork was rewarded when the LC won two further EyesOn Design honours when it in turn was revealed at the 2016 Detroit motor show.The LC Coupe’s exterior design is immediately recognisable as being a faithful reinterpretation of the styling of the LF-LC concept, winner of an EyesOn Design Award when first revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The LC has luxury coupe proportions with an exterior design that projects an avant-garde elegance, remaining faithful to many of the defining features of the LF-LC concept car that inspired it.

The car’s athletic profile is characterised by its sweeping roofline, which tapers rearwards from above the centrally positioned cabin to create a distinctive silhouette. Chrome-plated mouldings along the side of the glass roof amplify the elegant shape, their rear edges shaped to echo the lines of a traditional Japanese sword. The blacked-out finish to the roof and rear pillars creates a floating effect that visually separates the roof from the rear spoiler.

The sporting appearance can be heightened with an optional CFRP composite roof and an active rear spoiler.

The LC Coupe has a 2,870 mm wheelbase, very compact overhangs (930 mm front, 970 mm rear) and a notably low bonnet line. Overall length is 4,770 mm, width is 1,920 mm and the height 1,345 mm. The prominent front and rear wings flare away from the centre of the car, housing wide, large-diameter wheels, while the door panels are pulled inwards, creating a powerful three-dimensional form that mirrors the spindle shape of the Lexus grille.

The LC is available with a choice of 20-inch cast aluminium or optional 21-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels.


The spindle grille is finished in chrome and has a mesh design with a visual tension that changes as it spreads across the front of the car. The unique LC lighting signature is created by independent daytime running lights in an arrowhead configuration and ultra-compact triple LED headlamp units. Achieving this remarkably slim headlight design played an important role in helping the designers achieve the coupe’s low bonnet line and short front overhang.


At the rear the roof tapers down between muscular wheel arches, reinforcing the car’s wide and stable stance. The Lexus spindle shape is visible here in a three-dimensional form that is generated by lines flowing from the front of the car and along the sides, before cutting back around the inner edge of the rear combination lamps. The line of the spindle then moves outwards, following the shape of the licence plate mounting and outer edges of the tailpipes.

The rear combination lamps, set vertically at the outermost edge of the bumper, have a graphic that accentuates the flow along the sides of the body and emphasises the vehicle’s strong, planted look.


Lexus worked to introduce a high level of aerodynamic performance to improve the coupe’s handling stability and ride quality and to suppress wind noise. The aim was to achieve a smooth, unbroken front to rear airflow, both over and beneath the body. Design elements that help control and direct the airflow include small but critical aero stabilising fins on the front pillars, just forward of the door mirrors.

The optional active rear spoiler is automatically deployed when vehicle speed rises above 80 km/h. This suppresses lift at the rear to give a high degree of stability when driving at speed.

Aero ducts are featured just forward of the rear wheel arches. These feed air into the wheel arch, which then exits smoothly across the sidewall of the tyre. This contributes to the car’s high-speed straight-line stability and steering responsiveness. It also generates improved grip feel from the rear tyres.

The treatment of the underbody has been given equally close attention, with an almost completely smooth finish. Parts are aligned with the aero line, which kicks up towards the rear – notably the silencer is angled upwards, like a diffuser.


The LC’s 2+2 cabin combines elegance, superb comfort, sophistication and intricate attention to detail with a driver-focused cockpit. The area around the front passenger spreads outwards to create a comfortable and welcoming space. The line of the door trim is an extension of an exterior line that flows from the bonnet and through the windscreen, building a sense of continuity between the outside and inside of the car.

The driver’s cockpit is designed to instil confidence with intuitive layout of the controls and an excellent seating position. The driver’s hip point has been located as close as possible to the car’s centre of gravity, maximising direct feedback of the vehicle’s dynamic behaviour. The driver also has a clear view of the road, uncompromised by the seating position thanks to the low bonnet line, the low-profile instrument panel and the location and narrow width of the front pillars.


Lexus has ensured getting in and out of the LC is easy and comfortable by providing generous legroom beneath the instrument panel, reducing the height difference between the rocker panel and the vehicle floor and enlarging the door aperture to provide comfortable head space.


Particular attention has been paid to the steering wheel design, with a change in the cross-section around its circumference to allow for variations in grip and twisting of the wrist. New, larger magnesium alloy paddle shifts have been profiled for easier hooking with the fingertips and have a positive and satisfying click action.

The information displays are arranged in order of importance, with the most critical positioned closest to the driver’s sightline, within the dashboard’s upper display zone. All are positioned at the same height, to reduce the degree of eye movement required for the driver to read them. The instrument binnacle features the latest development of the TFT (thin film transistor) meter technology introduced in the Lexus LFA supercar, including a moving central ring.

Driving-related switches and controls are arrayed in a control zone that is concentrated immediately around the steering wheel. These include the paddle shifts, steering wheel combination switches, Drive Mode Select switch, starter button and shift lever, each located for the best ergonomic performance, focusing on easy reach and operation that allow the driver to concentrate on the road ahead with least distraction.

Throughout the cabin, the quality and finish of the upholstery, trim materials and detailing reflect the takumi craftsmanship and fine attention to detail for which Lexus is renowned worldwide. These are witnessed in the hand-stitching of the leather gearshift lever, the draping treatment of the Alcantara door panel trims and the discreet use of the Lexus L motif.


Providing the driver with a seat with the best possible combination of support and comfort was a focus point in the development of the LC’s cabin. The aim was to deliver an advanced design with excellent holding performance and superb comfort. Lexus has achieved this with a new two-part construction technique in which the main part of the seatback drapes over the shoulder area of the seat and wraps around the back.

To ensure superior lateral support, additional bolstering is provided for the driver’s shoulder blade area; resin inserts improve the holding performance of the side bolsters. On the Coupe’s optional sports seats, the bolsters are even more substantial, with a focus on keeping the driver’s back in place during high-speed cornering.


The Direct Shift automatic transmission was designed for the LC 500, a 10-speed unit with close ratios and even spacing between each gear – a Lexus world-first for a passenger car.

An extra gear was added to eliminate the feel of second and third gears being drawn out for too long, and a 10th gear allows for efficient high-speed cruising at lower engine rpm. The system provides some of the world’s quickest shifts, giving a crisp feel, fast response, rhythmic shifting with no “shock” effect and a harmonised engine sound.

In another world-first for Lexus, the transmission uses an AI-SHIFT control with a drive mode switching function. This selects the optimum gear according to its estimation of the driver’s preferences and intentions, based not just on vehicle speed and use of the accelerator, but also from past driving history.


    LC Coupe and Convertible constructed on Lexus’ GA-L front engine/rear-wheel drive platform
    Low centre of gravity and superb body rigidity
    Multi-link front and rear suspension
    Lexus Dynamic Handling and limited-slip differential


The quality of the GA-L platform allowed Lexus to craft a highly rigid body with excellent noise and vibration characteristics. It plays a pivotal role in the LC’s dynamic performance, giving the car a low centre of gravity and enabling the design of a new driving position. Control of vehicle mass, ideal weight distribution and new multi-link suspension systems add to the platform’s essential qualities.


Exceptional body rigidity and careful management of the car’s inertia specifications have delivered just the kind of engaging driving dynamics Lexus sought for its flagship coupe. To gain the best results, materials with different properties have been used in different areas, giving strength, rigidity and light weight in the appropriate measure and in the right place.

To create a strong frame, the non-deforming parts are made of ultra-high-tensile strength steel, while high-tensile steel with good elastic properties is adopted for elements that are designed to deform in an impact. The rigidity of the frame is supported by general steel with a high degree of stiffness, and aluminium is used strategically for its energy-absorbing performance and for external bodywork where its lightness and tensile rigidity are of value. Finally, strong yet lightweight Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) is featured inside and out.


Precise control of the LC’s inertia specifications played an important part in securing the essential “even sharper, more refined” quality. This included giving the car a low centre of gravity, balanced front-to-rear weight distribution and a good moment of inertia. The GA-L platform allowed the packaging to be reconsidered, to improve the inertia specifications and achieve the best combination of handling stability and ride comfort.

Measures included moving the tyres outwards to the corners of the vehicle, reducing overall weight, lowering the driver’s hip point and moving the engine 50 mm rearwards. The removal of the spare tyre in favour of run-flat tyres and relocation of the battery to the luggage compartment further helped balance the car’s weight distribution

By achieving a low centre of gravity, Lexus was able to reduce the roll angle without stiffening the springs and detracting from ride comfort. Overall, the LC displays controlled body motion and precise, linear response, creating a rhythmical and smooth driving experience, notably when cornering and making lane changes.


The high-mount front suspension system has an optimal arm design to secure the required level of steering feedback. Conversely, the rear suspension has a low-mount configuration, with precisely defined arm locations to achieve high-stability steering characteristics.

Double ball joints are featured on each of the two upper and two lower control arms, allowing for control of the smallest movements from driver inputs and the road surface. This arrangement helps optimise the suspension geometry and create more precise steering response with better initial effort. The driver can appreciate the effectiveness of the LC’s suspension designs in the car’s immediate response at initial turn-in, with the tyres quickly developing lateral force, delivering stability, controllability and ride comfort.

The LC Coupe and Convertible use run-flat tyres as standard. Tyre sizes are 245/45RF20 front and 275/40RF20 rear with 20-inch wheels, and 245/40RF21 front and 275/35RF21 rear with 21-inch wheels.


The LC Coupe is available with the Lexus Dynamic Handling system (included In the Sport+ specification), which delivers a higher level of handling in all driving scenarios.  It provides four-wheel steering, integrating Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) with the car’s Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), the Adaptive Variable Suspension and the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) to ensure controlled co-operation between the front and rear wheels at all times.

The system allows the rear wheels to turn slightly, in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds, giving increased agility, and in the same direction at high speed, for increased stability. The result is excellent steering response in everyday driving, true to the driver’s inputs, with a high feeling of rear tyre grip and instantaneous response in high-speed cornering that give a greater feeling of security.


Torsen limited-slip differential is also included in the specification for both the LC 500 Coupe and Convertible. This allows the driver to enjoy secure acceleration while cornering. When used in conjunction with DRS, it will simultaneously control power to the wheels in co-operation with the vehicle stability control, while the DRS controls the steering angle. The LSD will counteract over or understeer and help keep the car to its intended line. At the same time, a natural driving feel is communicated to the driver, even at the limit of performance.


The standard (non-Sport+) LC 500h Coupe features Active Cornering Assist (ACA), which functions within the Vehicle Stability Control to help keep the car faithful to the driver’s intended line when cornering at higher speeds. The VSC applies brake control to the wheels on the inner side of the curve to help prevent the car from spinning out. The ACA suppresses the tendency to understeer that occurs when the accelerator is pressed in high-G cornering, to achieve superior performance.

The operation of the VSC is co-ordinated with other handling and stability systems through the LC’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) and Lexus Dynamic Handling. This allows control of rear-wheel torque and steering torque in addition to braking, in over and understeer conditions.


The LC 500 Coupe and Convertible are fitted with a performance damper, located at the rear bumper reinforcement, optimising the attachment point structure and the damping force. This quickly absorbs twists and small vibrations, enhancing the car’s handling stability and ride comfort.


    LC quality and performance benefit from the precision skills of Lexus’ takumi master craftspeople

    Motomachi factory provides ideal environment for luxury coupe manufacturing

    High-quality interior materials benefit from hand-finishing and stitching

    Continuous, detailed refinement of driving dynamics

The skills of Lexus’ master craftspeople – the famous takumi – are central to the exceptional quality Lexus delivers in every car it builds.  The LC benefits from this precision approach, not just in the intricate details of its fittings and finishes, but also in the way the car rides and performs.


The LC Coupe and Convertible are built at Lexus’ Motomachi plant, famously home to production of the hand-crafted LFA supercar. The factory’s lay-out and its facilities have been tailored to production of the LC, to ensure the highest quality levels.

Many of the takumi and skilled workers who built the LFA transferred to the LC project, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in areas such as the handling of carbon fibre components and hand-finishing.


The skills of the takumi can be seen in precise stitching that maintains a flawless finish where leather spreads across complex surfaces. The draping effect of the Alcantara in the door panels and the arrangement of the perforations in the leather seat upholstery are further hallmarks of the attention to detail.

The shape and feel of the steering wheel – a critical link in communicating the quality of the LC’s performance to the driver – were defined through hours of testing and re-testing by a takumi master driver. His exhaustive analysis produced a highly complex cross-section design and the ideal shape to suit the driver’s changing grip and hand position as they steer. The same process was applied to developing the shape and action of the paddle shifters for manual gear selection, crafted in cool-to-the-touch magnesium alloy.


The finish of the LC’s Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) has a twill weave effect, made possible by a new, high-speed resin transfer moulding (RTM) process, developed at the Motomachi factory from a technique originally used in production of the Lexus LFA. Raw carbon fibre material is inserted into a mould and clamped in place before the insertion of the resin material. As a result, the process has been made suitable for volume production. The use of the CFRP roof makes a major contribution to the LC Coupe’s low centre of gravity and reduces overall weight.


Lexus has adopted a new technique for combining aluminium with steel to help save weight in key areas, notably the construction of the front suspension towers. Using self-piercing rivets allows these different metals to be securely joined where traditional welding methods are unsuitable: in place of spot-welding, the material is pierced on its upper side only.


The skills and experience of the takumi were further invested in securing excellent driving dynamics.

The sharpness and responsiveness of the steering, the strong, rhythmic progress of the transmission, the supportiveness and comfort of the seats and the position of the driver’s feet and the pedals – all these elements and more were scrutinised to produce the best possible combination, with the goal of not just a rewarding drive, but performance that actively makes you want to drive.

Prototypes were assessed on all kinds of roads, including in Europe and the USA, to ensure that ride and handling meet the different demands of drivers and driving conditions around the world. A takumi master driver worked exclusively on the LC to maintain a complete focus, making fine adjustments to achieve the best results, right up to the start of production.


    All LC models equipped with Lexus Safety System +

    Package of active safety features includes Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane-Keep Assist with Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam and Road Sign Assist

    Lexus Safety System+ helps reduce the risk of an accident, alerts the driver to potential hazards and can help reduce the consequences should an impact be unavoidable

All versions of the LC Coupe and Convertible are equipped as standard with Lexus Safety System +, a collection of active safety and driver assistance features that can help the driver avoid an accident, or help lessen the consequences of a collision.


The Pre-Collision System (PCS) detects the risk of an impact. Working in unison with warning and braking systems, it can help lessen the damage sustained in a collision. It can recognise both vehicles and pedestrians in the vehicle’s path, using data from a forward recognition camera and a millimetre-wave radar sensor.

If it determines that the possibility of a collision is high, pre-collision warning control and pre-collision brake assist control are initiated. If a collision is imminent, pre-collision braking control will be engaged help reduce the severity of the collision, or avoid it altogether. If the driver fails to react and the system judges a collision to be imminent, the brakes are automatically applied to reduce vehicle speed by up to 40 km/h, which could potentially bring the car to a stop, to help mitigate the force of an impact.


The same radar unit used by the PCS provides the LC with all-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). This helps the driver maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, down to very low speeds, even to a standstill. Once the way ahead is clear, the LC automatically and smoothly accelerates to its pre-set cruising speed. If the car has been brought to a halt, the driver simply needs to press the accelerator briefly to reactivate the system.


The LC’s Lexus Safety System + package includes Advanced Lane Keep Assist, which recognises when the vehicle is deviating from its lane on the highway. It helps the driver steer the vehicle safely back to its correct path, automatically providing steering inputs to keep the car within its lane. Working with the DRCC, it can operate even at very low vehicle speeds. The driver can also choose which alert they prefer (warning sound or vibrating steering wheel) and the sensitivity of the warning, via the multi-information display. The system can also be switched off, if desired.

Lane Departure Alert (LDA) uses a camera on the windscreen to track the vehicle’s course between lane markings painted on the road surface. If it judges that the vehicle is about to move out of its lane without the turn indicator being used, the system triggers a light on the multi-information display and sounds a warning buzzer. It will also apply appropriate steering control force to help bring the vehicle back on course.

A Sway Warning function monitors the car’s position in its lane and the driver’s steering inputs. If it detects degrees of vehicle swaying, it will sound an alert and display a warning on the multi-information display, recommending the driver takes a break.


Lexus Safety System + includes Automatic High Beam (AHB), which detects oncoming traffic and vehicles ahead and automatically switches the headlights between high and low beam. This helps maximise illumination and give the driver the best possible field of vision when the road ahead is clear, while minimising the risk of dazzling other road users.


With Road Sign Assist the driver gains a “second set of eyes” when it comes to important road signs on motorways and major routes. The system uses a front camera which recognises principal warning and command signs; these are then replicated on the multi-information display, reducing the risk of the driver not being aware of speed limits, lane closures and other important information.

If the system detects the driver is not respecting no overtaking, no entry and speed limit commands, it will give visual and audible alerts. The driver can customise the system’s operation via the multi-information display, using switches on the steering wheel.


    Thirteen-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Product audio system option

    Twelve-speaker Pioneer premium audio surround system for real-life immersive soundscape


The LC Coupe and Convertible maintain Lexus’ auto-industry exclusive partnership with Mark Levinson, offering customers option equipment from the audio specialist’s top-of-the-range Reference Product.

The 13-speaker speaker system was designed specifically to achieve the best results within the LC’s cabin. Mark Levinson engineers also supported Lexus requirements for low vehicle weight, achieving an overall 30% reduction in speaker weight, without compromising performance.

The speakers use advanced materials and construction techniques to achieve the best results, including the first application of Direct Drive Unity, a speaker-within-a-speaker concept that allows sound quality and pressure level to be maximised in a compact design. The system also uses Clari-Fi music restoration that automatically analyses and improves the quality of all types of compressed, digital music sources.


The LC Coupe and Convertible are equipped as standard with a 12-speaker Pioneer premium audio surround system. Specifically designed for the LC, this system includes four 9 cm CST (Coherent Source Transducer) double speakers, combining tweeter and mid-range functions, located at the base of the front pillars and in the rear cabin side panels.

The two 16 cm woofers in the front doors are contained in a special housing to reduce vibrations, resulting in excellent low-frequency sound generation. Other elements include a 9 cm midrange speaker in the centre of the instrument panel, a 25 cm subwoofer in the back of the rear seats, and an eight-channel Class-D amplifier under the luggage compartment floor.


- Stephan Lesuisse, photos Lexus


15.09.2020 / MaP

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    Lotus Exige Sport 410 20th Anniversary celebrates two decades of the critically acclaimed and thrilling two-seater    Uprated models feature enhanced exterior and interior spec, with a higher level of stand more >>
New Bentayga is first car of Bentley’s Beyond100 business strategy
    Bentley to reveal new Bentayga at 17:00 BST on 30 June    Pinnacle SUV benchmark to be raised even higher    Bentayga to continue to have the widest brief of any car on sale more >>
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