Lexus’ take on the upcoming BMW M8

After more than two years of constant teasing and two concept cars, Lexus unveiled a new 2+2 coupe at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Dubbed LC500, the new coupe is stunning to look at, has a luxurious interior, and comes with a stout, naturally aspirated V-8 powerplant. Come 2018 and the Japanese firm is working on a beefed-up version with an "F" badge.

Despite having two extra seats and missing a V-10 powerplant, the LC500 is already being considered a successor to the mighty LFA. Granted, the two have very little in common as far as underpinnings go, but I can totally understand why Lexus enthusiasts are comparing it to the LFA. The LC500 has a strong presence, a low-slung stance, and it blends luxury and sportiness under the same roof. It’s nowhere near as powerful as the LFA, but what if Lexus is planning to release a more potent version later on? These new spy shots suggest that we may soon be able to buy an LC F model with more power and a more aggressive exterior.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Lexus LC F.

  • 2018 Lexus LC F
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600
  • Torque @ RPM:
    450
  • Displacement:
    5.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    150000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Lexus LC F Exterior

  • Bigger vents up front
  • Black trim
  • Bespoke wheels
  • New rear diffuser
  • Stacked exhaust pipes
2018 Lexus LC F Spyshots Exterior
- image 788335
The prototype sports much bigger vents in the front bumper

We don’t know to what extent this prototype is ready to go into production, but we can see that the coupe got an extra dose of aggressiveness. When our artist rendered the LC F a couple of years ago, he replaced the vertical and skinny vents under the headlamps with much larger outlets. And it appears that the production model gained similar vents. Sure, they’re much bigger on the actual car, but the bumper is not yet complete, as the vents still need grilles and surrounds.

Every other detail seems to be identical to the standard LC500, but the F model also appears to sport a bigger splitter and black grille trim instead of the usual chrome. Despite the beefed-up engine, there’s no dome on the hood.

2018 Lexus LC F Spyshots Exterior
- image 788333
Around back, the diffuser is the only feature that's different

There’s nothing new to talk about onto the sides except for a new set of wheels. The multi-spoke rollers seem to be of the lightweight variety, but Lexus could add a few extra carbon-fiber bits, like mirror caps and side skirts, in order to save more weight. The front fenders are camouflaged and seem a tad wider, so the LC F could have a wider track. Also, the only uncamouflaged part of the front fender reveals a different color, so these elements could be made from a lighter material, like carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The rear fenders should get similar treatment, but maybe this prototype is not so close to production as we think.

Around back, the diffuser is the only feature that’s different. Actually, we could say that it’s missing, because Lexus is using a weird prototype contraption that’s far from finished. But by the looks of the center section, it will have a race-inspired design. Also, the coupe has a quad-pipe exhaust layout with two stacked outlets on each side. There’s also a small red light atop the license plate, likely for testing purposes only.

Lexus LC F Interior

  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Sportier seats
  • Leather and Alcantara
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Extra features
2018 Lexus LC 500 High Resolution Interior
- image 661493

Note: Lexus LC 500 interior shown here.

Much like the exterior, the interior will also be heavily based on the standard car, but fitted with sportier features and new trim

Much like the exterior, the interior will also be heavily based on the standard car, but fitted with sportier features and new trim. Look for race-inspired seats with a special integrated foaming construction that helps them better fit the driver and front passenger, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a bespoke instrument cluster. Although it will still have a massive amount of leather and Alcantara, the LC F’s interior will also get significantly more aluminum inserts and carbon-fiber trim in the center console and door panels.

The infotainment screen should also have a custom display to set it apart from the one in the standard model. To further enhance the LC F’s sportiness, the cabin will come with different upholstery options, ditching the light and elegant hues seen on the presentation car. Much like the LFA, the LC F will most likely get a black dashboard, door panels, and center console, with the option of having the seats and various surfaces on the steering wheel and lower console areas finished in brighter colors such as red, blue or white.

By the way, have you noticed how similar the LC 500’s interior (especially the dashboard and center console) is to the LFA’s? This might be more than just a coincidence...

Lexus LC F Performance

  • Upgraded 5.0-liter V-8
  • Turbo 4.0 V-8 possible
  • Up to 600 horsepower?
  • Dual-clutch transmission
2018 Lexus LC F Spyshots Exterior
- image 788340
The Japanese firm could give the LF C in excess of 600 horsepower

The engine powering this beefed-up coupe is still a mystery, but logic dictates that the LF C will get an upgraded version of the 5.0-liter V-8 found in the LC500. The naturally aspirated mill cranks out 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet and it could easily be tuned to exceed 500 horses.

However, word has it that Lexus could use a newly developed, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. The turbos would enable Lexus to easily increase power without sacrificing reliability. What’s more, the Japanese firm could give the LF C in excess of 600 horsepower in order to better compete with cars like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe and the upcoming BMW M8.

2018 Lexus LC F Spyshots Exterior
- image 788338
Drivetrain modifications paired with the enhanced aerodynamics should enable the LC F to hit 60 mph in less than four seconds

The new or revised engine will also need a quicker transmission, so it’s safe to assume that the ten-speed automatic will be dropped in favor of a sportier dual-clutch gearbox.

These drivetrain modifications, paired with the enhanced aerodynamics, should enable the LC F to hit 60 mph in less than four seconds, a half-second improvement over the standard model. Other modifications should include a stiffer suspension system for improved handling and larger brakes for more efficient stopping power. Of course, these updates will likely make the LC F’s ride a bit harsh compared to the LC500, but it’s a small sacrifice given the extra power and exciting performance figures.

Lexus LC F Prices

With the standard LC starting from almost $100,000, it’s safe to assume that the F version will exceed this mark. However, the LC F might not be as expensive as the Mercedes-AMG S63, which retails from $167,700. I’d say that Lexus will eventually ask around $140,000 before options.

Lexus LC F Competition

Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63-S65 High Resolution Exterior
- image 729548

It’s been a few years since Mercedes is offering a coupe version of the S-Class, and the two-door is also available in AMG trim. While not as exotic looking as the Lexus, the AMG S63 is a sleek coupe with a commanding appearance. Its interior is hard to beat in terms of luxury features and technology, while its drivetrain is among the most powerful in its class. The "base" model is the S63, which received a new twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 instead of the old 5.5-liter unit. The mill cranks out 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, paired with all-wheel-drive for a 0-to-60 sprint in under four seconds. Next up is the S65, motivated by a larger twin-turbo, 6.0-liter V-12 with 621 horsepower and a whopping 738 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. But despite being more powerful, the S65 is actually slower than the S63 due to being a RWD-only model. Pricing for the Mercedes-AMG S63 starts from $164,750, while the S65 retails from $236,250.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe.

BMW M8

2019 BMW M8 Exterior High Resolution
- image 718299

The first M8 ever has yet to be unveiled, but BMW has already confirmed the grand tourer and the standard version is already on its to dealerships. Sleeker and much more appealing than the old 6 Series, the new 8 Series boasts improvements in just about every department. The coupe is semi-autonomous due to numerous driving assist features and boasts BMW’s latest technology. The 4.4-liter V-8 that BMW just redesigned for the 8 Series cranks out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, but output should increase for the M8 to around 600 horses. As a result, the M8 should be able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than 3.7 seconds. The drivetrain should get several M-designed upgrades, including a standard all-wheel-drive system. Pricing is likely to start from around $140,000 for this model.

Read our full story on the upcoming BMW M8.

Conclusion

2018 Lexus LC F Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 662618

With its German competitors having introduced high-performance versions of nearly every model in their respective lineups, Lexus needs to expand and needs to do it really fast. While an LC F might not be a priority at this point, Lexus will definitely need a large high-performance coupe in the future, especially with no successor to the LFA around. Granted, the LC F won’t be able to replace the LFA entirely, but it would grant Lexus access to a niche it has yet to explore.

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    • * Tough competition from BMW and Mercedes
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