The Lexus LC 500 is a perfect cross between a smooth-riding luxury cruiser and a ferocious sports car. It boasts a powerful engine and well-balanced chassis, plus one of the best interiors in its segment. For 2021, the Lexus LC 500 gets even more racing control enhancements and Android Auto.
Of course, the LC 500 doesn’t come cheap, with a recommended starting price of over $90,000. To make this vehicle even more special, Lexus has announced the extremely limited LC 500 Inspiration Series. The automaker will produce only 100 of these units, arguably because of one costly component.
The Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series’ backstory
According to Lexus, the LC 500 Inspiration Series takes design cues from racing planes. Lexus engineers worked closely with air racer Yoshihide Muroya to design the new LC 500 model. The luxury automaker wanted his unique perspective for designing the car’s controls and make it as aerodynamic as possible.
These special models also benefit from performance overhauls introduced for the 2021 model year. It has lost 22 pounds of unsprung weight and comes with lighter wheels. The carmaker also revised the suspension to provide a smoother pedal stroke.
The Inspiration Series in detail
Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series models come with an exclusive roof and rear spoiler made from carbon fiber. However, it’s not just an ordinary spoiler: It has two “winglets” at each end that angle downward to prevent turbulence. This was one of Muroya’s direct contributions, inspired by an actual aircraft wing’s aerodynamic properties.
The LC 500 Inspiration Series is available only in one color, a jet-black shade the automaker calls Obsidian, Car and Driver reports. Blacked-out 21-inch wheels nicely accent the body. Under the hood, a 5.0-liter V8 produces 471 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a ten-speed automatic transmission, which changes gears with smoothness and accuracy.
Lexus promises this powertrain gives this LC 500 a 0-to-60 mph split of 4.4 seconds. And the transmission is optimized to give drivers better response and acceleration during daily driving.
Handling on this model is also improved thanks to the Torsen limited-slip differential and Yamaha rear performance rod. This rod makes the suspension a little stiffer for better performance on the track and better steering input. The torque-sensitive differential gives drivers even more traction so they can handle tight corners safely. Better yet, this model also comes with active cornering assist and stability control.
The LC 500 Inspiration also comes with some exclusive interior elements. Alcantara trims the black sport seats, complete with tan accents and seatbelts. A badge displaying the car’s serial number sits on the dashboard, and carbon-fiber trim lines the door’s scuff plate.
In addition to enjoying an upgraded sound system, drivers also get a head-up display. Inspiration Series models also come standard with the SmartAccess Card Key and a back-up key if the battery dies.
What makes carbon fiber so special?
Carbon fiber is often a choice material for racing cars because of its reduced weight compared to steel. It gives the car better aerodynamics and quicker acceleration. However, carbon fiber is expensive to produce — as much as $15 a pound — Technology.org reports.
In contrast, regular steel can cost less than a dollar per pound. For this reason, carbon fiber is reserved for cars with undeniable racing chops. And with all of its aerodynamic improvements, the Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series definitely belongs in that category.