June 27, 2017, 10:08 pm
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Lexus LC coupe launched in Japan, will reach PH

LEXUS new LC coupe, the Japanese ultra premium car maker’s current flagship was launched across Japan over the weekend. The domestic model version will not be different from the international variant except for left hand drive in the appropriate markets. The car represents the evolution of Lexus moving from simply a premium transport vehicle into lifestyle brand. 

The new LC is built on the newly developed GA-L platform, which is the basis of the sporty Lexus FR lineup. Fastidious attention was paid to factors impacting the vehicle’s inertia, together with the body rigidity and weight reduction, which contribute significantly to the achievement of the driving appeal and design of the FR.

In a text interview with Lexus Philippines consultant Danny Isla, the LC coupe is slated for release in the Philippines. But he did not disclose the timing of the launch.

Lexus developed this model based upon the groundbreaking design of the LF-LC concept car which was shown at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show. Leveraging the framework of a newly developed platform and harmonizing both the driving performance and design has enabled Lexus to achieve a new sense of ingenuity.

Based on the photos provided by Lexus International, the LC achieves a strong profile with its low center of gravity, lower overall height, and wider body. The lines express the agility of a coupe with wide and flowing fenders emphasizing 20- or 21-inch wheels. Yet there are no hard edges and a modulated yet solid geometry create attractive surfaces and sharp lines throughout, enhancing the elegance expected of a luxury coupe.

At the front, there is a continuous, accentuated design that extends from the base to the hood, integrating the spindle grill into the body. The newly developed ultra-compact LED triple-projector unit and the L-shaped LED clearance markers (with daylight functionality) have also been included. Altogether, they present a bold and elegant image.

The center of the rear employs a spindle design, incorporating the lines flowing from the front. The turning lamps, which extend vertically downward from the exterior of the tail lamps, as well as the low placement of muffler diffusers on both sides of the coupe emphasizes its low center of gravity and spaciousness.

In Japan, eleven color options are available, including a newly developed Naples Yellow Contrast Layering, which accentuates the car’s sportiness with the realization of a high intensity yellow for the exterior panels.

The drive—including the steering feel and superior handling during direction, a front mid-ship layout has been adopted and in addition, the weight of the vehicle has been concentrated near the center. Through proactive utilization of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum components, the center of gravity has been lowered and inertia has been reduced.

While the body has been made highly rigid, at the same time, attention has also been paid to the application of power throughout the body, where flexibility has been ensured by being attentive to the transformation during vehicle motion, and the uniformity of tort of the overall frame. This contributes to the smooth turning performance, which is in line with the driver’s intentions.

A newly developed suspension has been adopted for both the front and rear. The front high-mounted multi-link suspension uses a double-joint, upper-lower four-link suspension construction which delivers greater control for a more refined movement in response to driver’s operations and road conditions, achieving excellent responsiveness. Furthermore, optimizing the arm placement allows the fitting of 21-inch tires, and the realization of a lower hood height. Geometrical optimization and the reduction of friction in the rear multi-link suspension also assists in the achievement of superior stability and riding comfort.

The tires have been set at 20 or 21 inches. In the rare event of a puncture, run-flat tires allow for continued driving for some distance, whereby a spare tire is unnecessary, which further lightens the car, contributing to the realization of better coupe styling. In addition, optimization of the tire resistance improves the comfort in comparison with conventional flat-run tires.

The S package combines the new Limited Slip Differential (LSD)7 with the standard Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system to improve acceleration performance during turning. Advanced engineering, such as understeer/oversteer control, an advancement of Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) control, Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), and active rear steering have been actively adopted to provide both greater comfort in handling and safety.

Utilizes the advanced technology including the world’s first multi-stage hybrid system

Lexus Hybrid Drive technologies have completely changed the image of hybrid vehicles. The world’s first multi-stage hybrid system and the Direct Shift-10AT has been adopted as part of the latest powertrain. 

The newly developed Direct Shift-10AT provides for a smooth and clear gear shift. Also, adopting aluminum in the components achieves significant weight reduction and makes the components more compact.

In addition, it employs a new control system that reads the driver’s intentions from the accelerator, brake and vehicle gravitational acceleration to allow for optimal gear selection.

The multi-stage hybrid system is a world’s first construction that combines the Lexus hybrid system with variable gears. By controlling output of both the higher rpm 3.5-liter V6 engine and the driving motor, it achieves powerful performance from low speeds through to high range driving. In addition, operating points were selected for high system efficiency from low through to high speeds and the sphere of EV performance has been enlarged. Altogether, these helped to deliver an emotive driving experience, superior fuel efficiency, and comfortable cruising.

The car uses an advanced Driver’s Mind Index (DMI) control to understand the driver’s intentions which helps to optimize gear selection. When driving along winding roads, the car changes to a lower gear, and proceeds to actively downshift when braking. On the other hand, during more challenging sports driving, the battery provides additional output so as to achieve a greater torque sensation. Driving comfort is achieved when the operating characteristics have been changed with the Drive Mode Select.

The LC is motivated by the renowned Lexus high-performance 2UR-GSE 5.0-liter V8 engine, achieving superior response expected in a naturally aspirated engine, and provides for a dynamic engine sound. It also features a D-4S direct fuel injection and the Atkinson cycle operation to ensure fuel-efficiency.

The coupe inherits the LFA’s sporty and uplifting engine sound, known as the “cry of angels.” An engine sound generator using aspiration pulsation and an exhaust switch valve enables quiet cruising and intensity during acceleration.

The basic functions of the audio equipment have improved sound system to boost sound quality without added correction, and their placement has also been meticulously verified. The acoustics have been designed from the body frame up, with total attention to detail even in areas where no equipment exists for testing, realizing sound which enhances driving comfort. 

The advanced active safety package, Lexus Safety System +, is a standard feature in all cars. The package includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist (LKA), which helps to avoid collisions caused when a vehicle deviates from a traffic lane, and Automatic High Beam (AHB), which enables early detection of pedestrians at night, and will switch the headlights between high and low beams. 

Furthermore, the Radar Cruise Control (with All-Speed Tracking function) automatically maintains a pre-set distance from the vehicle in front within a set vehicle speed range. This helps to facilitate multi-faceted driving safety support, achieving a high degree of recognition performance and reliability.

The Philippine specifications may differ slightly but no information is available at the moment. What is sure is that the main applicable technologies are the same as the Japan variant.
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