Lexus has been out testing a high performance version of its flagship LC coupe. Likely to be called LC F, the new flagship model will feature a new drivetrain and a more acute focus on handling. The distinctive Japanese GT will be developed to rival everything from sub-supercars like the Porsche 911 Turbo to performance-orientated GTs like the Aston Martin DB11 AMR, only with a very Japanese spin.
The Lexus LC is already an arresting shape on the road but the spy shots of the F version show visible asymmetric coolers (either oil-coolers or intercoolers) sat inside the front bumper on either side of the spindle grille. While this may not confirm what engine will sit under the bonnet, it does infer the need for extra cooling, something that usually goes hand in hand with more powerful units.
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Indeed, rumours have persisted of a new twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 being in development by Lexus, and it would make sense for it to be featured here. Currently, the LC coupe is available in both naturally aspirated V8 and V6 hybrid form, but both sit significantly under the 500bhp mark. Sources have suggested the new power unit could produce over 600bhp, with an equally stout torque figure finally giving the LC Coupe the sort of performance its otherworldly looks imply.
Alongside the changes to the front bumper, Lexus has also widened the front wings and fitted smaller 20-inch wheels, although we would expect to see different wheels and bodywork on the production car. What this does indicate is the extra emphasis Lexus is applying to how the big GT will drive in F form, something the rear-wheel steering system that is standard LC500 will only help with. At the rear, further evidence that the LC is likely to adopt the F nomenclature comes in the shape of the stacked rear exhausts - a distinctive styling feature used on all Lexus F models.
Although Lexus has remained tight-lipped about its forthcoming flagship, sources inside Lexus have confirmed the importance of this type of halo product for the brand. It’s also been a while since an all-new F model has been revealed, and the LC F alongside the refreshed RC F looks like the making of an exciting year for Lexus.