With a naturally-aspirated V8 and gorgeous looks, the want-factor is already sky-high with the Lexus LC 500. As such, this ‘Inspiration Series’ with its moodier aesthetic leaves us dangerously weak at the knees.
Not to be confused with the very green UK-bound LC 500 Inspiration Series released last year, this US model is part of an unlikely partnership between Lexus‘ engineering bods (including workers from the LFA project) and air race pilot Yoshihide Muroya. Their input to his aircraft’s aerodynamic profile helped Muroya snag the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championships.
That same team of engineers has since developed a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic rear wing for this special LC, revealed last year for the Japanese Domestic Market as the ‘Aviation’. From what we can see, the Inspiration Series is identical, with that rear wing sporting the same downturned ‘winglets’ at either end. This arrangement helps reduce the turbulence caused by air flowing down the car’s sides.
The Inspiration Series is finished in Obsidian black, with 21-inch black forged wheels at each corner. Complementing that CFRP rear wing is a carbon fibre roof, and carbon trim on the sill treadplates.
Nothing has changed under the bonnet, and that’s just fine by us. There, you’ll find a 4.7-litre V8 unsullied by turbochargers, providing 471bhp and 398lb ft of torque to the rear wheels via the Inspiration Series’ standard-fit limited-slip differential. The vibration-absorbing Yamaha ‘rear performance rod’ damper, normally an option on the LC 500, is also present.
The inside neatly matches with the outside, featuring black Alcantara sports seats with Saddle Tan accents. There’s yet more Alcantara cladding the gear selector and steering wheel, and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
There’s no mention of the price at this stage, but we do know it’ll be limited to 100 units, compared to 70 examples of the JDM Aviation edition. As far as we know, nothing like this is heading to the UK.