It was all but assured that Lexus would introduce a more potent version of its concept-like LC sports car, and now, thanks to a trademark application, we are close to having proof.
Toyota recently filed for the name “LC-F” on behalf of its luxury brand, which matches the nomenclature for other high-performance Lexus models like the RC-F, GS-F, and IS-F. In an interview with Autocar last year, Lexus Chief Engineer Koji Sato wouldn’t confirm the company was working on a hotter LC, but admitted its dynamics and powertrain were suited to greater performance.
“Everyone is expecting an F model, but right now we are not sure,” said Sato. “The interesting thing is that Porsche is developing a sports car with electric power, and there is the BMW i8, so maybe a big engine with more power is a little bit heading in the old style. The hybrid model may be an interesting idea. The sudden torque provided by the electric motor is much faster and more unique — and perhaps more interesting for the customer. Lexus is a pioneer of hybrid systems and perhaps we have a role to show that hybrid has more capability now. It would be a unique driving experience, I think. So maybe the LC 500h is the car that would satisfy the requirement for a faster car.”
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Sato gives us a pretty nice picture of the LC-F despite his resolution not to pronounce its development. His focus on the hybrid powertrain is of particular interest, especially considering the LC500h (hybrid) sits lower on the performance spectrum than the standard LC500. Paired with a V8 instead of a V6, the LC-F could leapfrog the LC500’s 467 horsepower and 4.5-second sprint to 60 mph.
With the LC500 due later this year, we shouldn’t expect the LC-F sooner than 2018. At launch, the LC-F will challenge the Jaguar F-Type SVR, Porsche 911 Turbo, Audi R8, and other $100,000-plus supercars.