WHEN Lexus applied for a trademark on the “LC F” name at the start of February, the intent was clear – the Japanese luxury automaker is planning to turn up the wick on the already-swift Lexus LC 500 two-door, and fairly soon too.
But besides the fact that an F suffix is in the LC’s future, detail was scant. Engines maketh the performance car, but with the LC 500’s Yamaha-tweaked 5.0-litre atmo V8 seemingly at the limit of its power and torque ceiling the question of what would motivate a faster LC remains unanswered.
Or at least, Lexus themselves aren’t answering. Not officially anyway. US mag Car and Driver, on the other hand, reckon they have the inside line on what will motivate the speedy Lexo, and the numbers are encouraging to say the least.
According to C&D’s un-named source, the LC F will debut an all-new hi-po engine for the Lexus brand – a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. That’s big news on two counts, for not only is it the first all-new V8 for Lexus in a long while, it’s the first turbocharged V-format engine of any kind to be employed by the Lexus brand.
The report says this new bent-eight will essentially take the heads off Lexus’ existing 8AR-FTS 2.0-litre inline four (first introduced in the Lexus NX 200t and IS 200t) and join them at a 90-degree angle with a bespoke alloy block. The result is expected to be a stonking 447kW of peak power and 637Nm of torque.
Power will go to the rear wheels via a version of the LC 500’s 10-speed automatic.
If true, then those numbers will put the LC F in direct competition with the track-ready Mercedes-AMG GT R, which makes 430kW and 700Nm from its own 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. The Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe is also another natural rival with 423kW and 700Nm surging from its 5.0-litre V8 – also force-fed, but supercharged rather than turbo.
It’s also worth noting that the last high-performance Lexus coupe, the LFA, made ‘only’ 412kW and 480Nm from its 4.8-litre V10 – though that high-revving mill did so without the aid of forced induction. Oh how we miss its sonorous howl.
Eventually the new 4.0-litre V8 is expected to find its way into the GS F as well, which should address criticism that Lexus’ executive express didn’t have the performance stats to challenge the Audi RS6, BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63. Is a detuned version also waiting in the wings for the long-overdue IS F successor? Watch this space.
But it’s the LC F that’ll be our first look at Lexus’ double-huffer V8, and it’s slated to debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in late October. Expect wilder bodywork, big rubber, mega brakes and plenty of vents to extract all of that twin-turbo heat as well.
Lexus? Conservative? We’ll see about that.