THE LC Coupe is one of the most striking and innovative cars Lexus has built, its elegant and powerful styling widely acclaimed as a masterpiece of modern vehicle design.
Lexus’ flagship coupe has always aimed to provide “even sharper, more refined” performance, ever since its original concept. Changes introduced for the 2021 model year deliver greater responsiveness, handling stability and agility, strengthening the driver’s feeling of being directly connected to the car and delivering an exhilarating driving experience.
To achieve its goals, Lexus has made changes to the LC’s suspension system, saving weight and improving ride and handling quality. Detailed adjustments have also been made to LC 500h’s Multi-Stage Hybrid system and the LC 500’s 10-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. The coupe’s steering has also been revised and the brakes have been tuned to communicate a better feel to the driver.
Changes to the LC’s front and rear suspension have reduced the car’s unsprung weight by around 10kg, thanks to the use of forged aluminium for the lower arms; thinner, hollow anti-roll bars; and a new high-strength material for the coil springs. The springs themselves have been made stronger (increasing in pressure from 1,200 MPa to 1,300 MPa).
The weight reduction contributes to the coupe’s dynamic performance, while further updates to the suspension to give a softer, smoother stroke add to the stronger feel the driver has of the car being firmly planted on the road. In the front suspension, the electronic shock absorbers have been reprogrammed for a longer stroke, while the rigidity of the bound stoppers (front and rear) has been optimised, giving an overall smoother performance with less disturbance from fluctuations in the road surface.
By adjusting the roll rigidity of the anti-roll bars, Lexus has also improved the LC’s turn-in manoeuvrability, giving more linear response and again promoting a sense of unity between car and driver.
Lexus has used big data to improve the drive force characteristics of the LC 500’s 10-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission, to achieve even more faithful responses to the driver’s intentions. With more drive force generated as engine speed increases, the driver feels a real sense of powerful torque and continuous acceleration.
The technical adjustments also yield smoother acceleration and allow for an automatic downshift to second gear (instead of third) when braking to take a corner.
The revised LC 500h benefits from a new control in the high-voltage lithium-ion hybrid battery that increases its operating range and allows more torque to be developed by the electric motor. This helps provide more powerful acceleration, both when negotiating urban streets, or driving on winding roads. For example, even with moderate pressure on the accelerator pedal, there is 90 Nm more torque output and battery output rises up to 17 kW, while vehicle speed increases by an extra 4 km/h after 4.5 seconds.