Does the 2017 Lexus LC 500 name leave room for an LC F?
Lexus uses a naming scheme that mostly makes sense. The first two letters are the series and the type of vehicle. The ES is the E series Sedan. Then comes either a letter or an engine designation. IS 350 is an I-Series Sedan with the 3.5-liter engine. So, the new 2017 LC 500 is the L-Series Coupe with the 5-Liter engine. The odd part is that the last three cars that used this engine, the IS F, RC F and GS F were all F-Series cars when they used the 5-liter V8. So we are wondering. Is Lexus saving the name LC F for a higher state-of-tune LC?
Lexus could be. In an April interview with Car and Driver, Lexus Executive Mark Templin was asked if future F cars at Lexus might used forced induction. His reply was, “[F program chief engineer Yukihiko] Yaguchi is a big fan of naturally aspirated engines because of the visceral effect that you get, the sound of it, and the way that it feels. That being said, it doesn’t mean we’ll never have a turbocharged F product, but if we do, it will probably be a big engine that still gives you all of those attributes that he wants.”
So, would a future LC F be a forced-induction V8 or V6? It is hard to say. The real reason for more power is simply for customer bragging rights. No street-going coupe needs more than 470 hp, which is what the current engine will provide. BMW and Cadillac use turbocharged V6 engines in coupes the size of the LC 500 and they can barely put the power to the ground. However, fans are already expressing disappointment that the LC 500 does not exceed the power of the RC F and GS F. Perhaps Lexus is thinking two steps ahead?
Main story image courtesy of Patrick Rall.