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Driving LEXUS LFA and LEXUS LC: atmospheric enjoyment! – AutoRAI TV

June 7, 2024

Lexus LC and Lexus LFA

Sometimes everything comes along. The weather, the conditions, the space where you can ride. In this comparison of the Lexus LC and Lexus LFA, that was the case. It was an almost perfect day, with the necessary minutes of goosebumps, tears of happiness and jitters in the belly. But I think it would be wise anyway to first clarify why these two Lexus models are side by side. Okay, both cars are white in color. That’s a heads-up. In addition, they are unique Lexus models, with the LFA, of course, easily winning out in terms of exclusivity. But these two Lexus models have another important similarity: they both have atmospheric powertrains. The Lexus LFA has a V10, the LC500 a V8.

Driving LEXUS LFA and LEXUS LC: atmospheric enjoyment! – AutoRAI TV

Saying goodbye

Besides, all the wonderful things in life come to an end. That did not just happen to the Lexus LFA when the last example left the production hall of the Motomachi plant in Japan on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Number 500. Now the career of the Lexus LC is also coming to an end. With this Lexus LC500 Ultimate Edition, the Japanese automaker appropriately bids farewell to one of the sexiest Lexus models ever. To me, the honor of driving in both models. And for that I am eternally grateful not only to Lexus Netherlands, but also to Louwman’s Toyota World.

Lexus LFA and Lexus LC

Lexus LFA

Time to take a closer look at these two unique Lexus models. Starting with the Lexus LFA. Development of the LFA began in the year 2000. That development took years, because the car had to be right on all fronts. Lexus’ pursuit of perfection was unprecedented with the LFA. Production of the Lexus LFA began on Dec. 15, 2010. A team of 170 employees produced 1 Lexus LFA every working day. Production took place under the direction of Haruhiko Tanahashi. Uniquely, he added his signature to each car at the end of production. The Lexus LFA was eventually produced in a run of 500. A total of four examples of the LFA were sold in the Netherlands at the time.

4.8-liter V10

The 4.8-liter V10 engine produces 560 hp with 480 Nm of torque. The rev limit is only at 9,000 rpm. Because a normal tachometer couldn’t keep up with the rapid rev build-up of this V10 engine, Lexus adopted a digital gauge in the LFA, in the familiar colors of white and red. This tachometer design also found its way into other Lexus models, including this Lexus LC.

The LFA’s powerplant was developed in collaboration with Yamaha, as was the sensational exhaust system. Shifting is done in the LFA with a rear-mounted six-speed sequential transmission that transfers all atmospheric power to the rear wheels. The automatic can upshift in just 0.2 seconds and has four modes: Auto, Sport, Normal and Wet.

Lots of carbon fiber

The 0-100 time takes just 3.7 seconds and the top speed is 325 km/h. Figures that still allow the LFA to compete with contemporary supercars. The weight of the LFA comes out to 1,480 kilograms. That low weight was achieved primarily through the use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. The car had a new price of 325,000 euros in 2009, excluding taxes. Anno 2024, the LFA is worth more than 1 million euros in some cases. The car we are driving is prototype 13 (P13), a right-hand drive car with all the same things you find in a customer car, including seat belts that incorporate airbags.

That sound: sensational!

An LFA is not a car to be parked in a collection where the car never sees the light of day. No, the LFA is a car to be enjoyed. After all, this is one of the best-sounding supercars ever. Goosebumps up to your fingernails. Unprecedentedly loud, deep, hellish, but most of all beautiful. As a car enthusiast, the LFA stirs a lot of emotion in you. But then how does this LFA drive? In the meters I have driven in the LFA, I can conclude nothing but that this LFA feels like a big Lotus Elise. It provides exceptional feedback and steers very lightly. It is a very communicative car.

Lexus LC 500 Convertible Ultimate Edition

The latter also applies to the Lexus LC, by the way. Of course, the LC is not a Supercar like the LFA. No, the LC is a GT. A car that lets you stroll along boulevards in comfort, or plan a crazy red-trip towards the Alps. Although we would be quite happy to do the same with an LFA. 

The days of the Lexus LC are numbered. Because production is about to stop. To end the career well, Lexus is introducing the Ultimate Edition of the LC Coupe and LC Convertible. We drive the LC Convertible, with creamy V8 engine. Price tag: thick 220,000 euros. But the car is worth every euro. After all, this LC 500 Ultimate Edition is a car with a story.

Lexus LC 500

Hakugin White

The car is painted in the color Hakugin White. This color is inspired by traditional Japanese porcelain. The lacquer work has a matte finish with a satin lacquer topcoat. The grille is black and the rims around the headlights and exterior mirrors are also done in black. The Ultimate Editions are also instantly recognizable by the different front bumper with “canards” or wings, an aerodynamic addition widely used in racing. They improve stability by better controlling airflow along the bumper and reducing elevator at the front of the car. For the LC Coupe Ultimate Edition, even more aerodynamics are applied, in the form of a black carbon rear spoiler. Then again, the LC Convertible does not have those.

Kachi-Blue interior

The Ultimate Edition also features a Kachi-Blue interior, a color considered beneficial in Japan since ancient times, when the threads used for samurai armor were a shade of bluish black known as kachi-iro (“winning color”). To see a masterpiece. The latter also applies to the power source: an atmospheric 5.0-liter V8 with an awesome soundtrack. Dark brown, deep and especially intense.

Interior Lexus LC 500 Ultimate Edition Convertible

10-speed automatic?

In numbers: the red line on the tachometer is at 7,300 rpm. Maximum power of 341 kW (464 hp) is delivered at 7,100 rpm and maximum torque of 530 Nm is available at 4,800 rpm. Shifting is done with a 10-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission, which sends drive power to the rear wheels. The driver and passenger enjoy additional sound experience in the so-called “active zone,” where the accelerator pedal is depressed 50-70%. Here, the transmission allows higher speeds before shifting to the next gear. Again, the extra intense V8 sound further enhances the dynamic effect, especially with the roof open.

Blue soft top

Speaking of which, the soft top of the Lexus LC 500 Convertible opens and closes in 15 seconds. This can be done even driving at speeds up to 50 km/h. Thanks in part to aerodynamic lines, the LC 500 Convertible is capable of reaching the electronically limited top speed of 270 km/h even with the roof open. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 5.0 s. So not as fast as the LFA, but very pleasing numbers.

Full enjoyment!

Both Lexus models focus on enjoyment and experience. In the LFA, of course, in an even more extreme and pure form. But both models prove that an atmospheric engine does a lot to the human body. The sound pierces through your marrow and caresses your eardrums continuously. It’s perception. It is pure. And rewarding. The more revs, the more power and sound. In these Lexus models, the main thing is enjoyment. But as I said, all good things in life come to an end. Therefore, it is especially important to make every day a celebration. In the LC and LFA, this is perfectly possible. You take the LC every day. The LFA at times when you need an adrenaline boost.