Lexus LC 500Lexus has revealed its new LC 500 2+2 luxury coupe at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show, the car with which it’s hoping to sway well-heeled Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe buyers.

And on looks alone, Lexus could be onto a winner. The new LC is a very striking and shapely coupe that successfully brings to production the bold lines of Lexus’ well-received LF-LC Concept of 2012.

Lexus is betting big on it. No less than Akio Toyoda himself is banking on it: “The new LC 500 coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will increase Lexus’s global luxury appeal.”

New architecture

Lexus LC 500

The LC 500 is based on Lexus’ new global architecture for luxury cars, dubbed GA-L. All future front-engine, rear-wheel drive Lexus will be based upon this.

It has a low centre of gravity, masses have been centralised and occupants’ hips and legs are lower than ever. Even the overhangs have been shortened – and Lexus says it’s used run-flat tyres to improve packaging (and make space for the battery that’s been relocated from the engine bay).

It doesn’t quite achieve perfect weight distribution, but 52/48 front/rear isn’t bad.

The familiar super-high-revving 5.0-litre V8 from the RC F and GS F is used here, in 467hp guise. Lexus is targeting 0-62mph in less than 4.5 seconds, aided by the first use of its all-new 10-speed automatic gearbox.

Yes, 10-speed.

Dynamic interior

Lexus LC 500

Inside, Lexus has poured over details such as the size and angle of the steering wheel, feel of the paddleshifters and detailing of the dashboard structure.

Tadao Mori, chief designer, said: “At an early stage, the designers worked with the engineers to understand their vision for the LC 500’s driving dynamics, and they incorporated this into the design.

“This was one of the first projects where designers were closely involved in the dynamic engineering development, so we could understand the driving goals and support them with the car’s design.”