Detroit 2016: Lexus LC 500 in 'production car looks like a concept' shocker

13 January 2016 | by Tom Phillips

It's been five years since Toyota and Lexus president Akio Toyoda said that the cars his companies produce should be more emotional, radical and fun to drive. We've seen some pretty controversial approaches to that brief – hello Toyota Prius – but the Lexus LC 500 is much more on target.

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Moments you double-take and have to clarify that a new car is actually a production car, not a concept are rare at motor shows, but the Lexus LC 500 achieves the feat.

It's built on a new modular rear-drive platform, and is a little longer, narrower and taller than the LF-LC concept that previewed it at Detroit four years ago, but its proportions remain very similar.

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There's lots of engineering hidden away here, with a very low, tapering hood necessitating very small lamps. The lamp graphic itself actually appears bigger, thanks to a complex overlapping DRL and lower grey trim that ensure they aren't visually overwhelmed by the ever-present spindle grille.

The rear lamps are made from L-shaped LEDs repeating into infinity, while there's something of the Corvette about the overall shape of the lamps, and the car's rear in general.

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Inside, the cabin is dominated by an upright, layered IP that's reminiscent of the LFA. The LC also gets knurled rotary knobs that sprout from the gauge pack that are similar to those of Lexus' first supercar.

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The interior colourway of the car shown here was an interesting choice too, with the tan, toffee and tobacco of the car's blend of leather and alcantara trim feeling more redolent of an old school American Personal Luxury Coupe than a new GT from Japan.

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However, the car as a whole was a welcome surprise at a show which wasn't exactly awash with new-car launches, and one that was a deserved winner of its EyesOn Design award.

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