Continuous improvements and a strong motorsport influence are very good things indeed
The Lexus LC has been a refreshing entrant into the usually German dominated Luxury GT segment, with its naturally aspirated V8, bold styling and sharp driving characteristics, it offers a unique experience for the well-heeled motoring enthusiast.
Having been absent from this segment for almost a decade (the lackluster SC430 was its last offering), Lexus has shown some real confidence in carving its own path in this competitive arena. In a recent interview with Top Gear, Lexus LC design chief Koji Sato gave some insight into what the future holds for the LC coupe.
First off, Mr. Sato discussed how the road-going LC has, and continues to benefit from the various racing formula that the track-focused LC racing cars compete in. The highly modified Super GT cars only share their upper body section with the road-legal LC so the lessons learned from these racers are limited to aerodynamic performance.
However, Koji Sato states that the GT3 and GT4 cars offer much more in the way of transferable information and as their race team consists of production engineers, instead of the more common race crew, it's well placed to put the lessons learned on the track to good use. He has strong ties with both the Gazoo and Lexus racing teams, which bodes well for future track-inspired LC variants.
The bit that makes the LC so special, according to Mr. Sato, is its handling performance. He cites feedback from the front end and the steering feel as particularly strong points of the package. Top Gear wondered whether there was anything he would like to have gone back and changed about the LC, Mr. Sato replied, "There is no need to go back. The LC project is not finished yet. Every year we implement some important improvement points for LC. So we are always moving forward. It’s never-ending."
The uniqueness of the LC compared to other sports cars is that it is imbued with something Koji Sato says is called 'Ichi-go-iche e'.
"It means that every moment you have is special and unique. That’s what you have driving the LC. It has a special reverberation that makes you look back at it when you have parked it. This is very Japanese."
When asked about the spy photos of a hardcore LC-F variant being tested, Koji Sato won’t be drawn on any specifics, but he clearly indicates that there is more to come from its stunning LC Grand Tourer. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next.