The Lexus LC 500 stunned attendees when it debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in January, and now we’ve learned the company is readying a 600-horsepower, twin-turbo V-8 to power top-spec F models.
The news comes via our friends at Car & Driver, which said a source inside Lexus described the potent power plant as two 8AR 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines — the kind which currently power the NX 200t — joined together at 90 degrees. Unless you’re as dense as the sound deadening in the LS 500, the message is clear: Lexus isn’t messing around with its new high-end coupe.
For years, Lexus struggled against the perception — at least among enthusiasts — that its cars were nice enough, but lacked the soul and athletic performance of its European competitors. But with dedicated gearhead and racer Akio Toyoda now at the helm of parent company Toyota, the brand has made a determined push toward performance, and it’s proven exciting. We’ve been fortunate enough to test recent F models — the “F” stands for Fuji Speedway — on various circuits, and can attest that the days when Lexus just made wallowy, silky smooth cruisers are over.
In fact, the latest GS F was one of the best cars we drove last year.
But one criticism we’ve seen — and have admittedly leveled — at the Lexus stable is that it needs an engine above its current 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8. While it’s a great unit and makes a good noise, it’s currently slated for duty in three different cars, the RC F, GS F, and even the V-8 version of the LC 500 — which is expected to cost around 100k.
Now, using 5.0-liter in the RC F and GS F makes sense, even if we would have given a slightly different level of tune for the sedan. But also using it in company’s flagship, high-dollar coupe? We’re not sure we’d go there. And offering this new 600-horsepower twin-turbo gives the LC an added level of prestige. So it’s a great development, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one of these beasts.
The big question now? Whether we’ll see this new engine trickle down to the unconfirmed, but widely expected next-generation Supra. Because that’s the car that’s really going to set enthusiast’s imaginations alight.
We’d expect 600-horsepower versions of the LC to ship in pretty limited numbers, so we’d recommend prospective buyers check in with their AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer toward the end of the year to secure a spot.