There are no perfect machines. Not because some of the designers must necessarily confuse or do something wrong, no. Only the nature of the machine. You can't grasp the immensity – each machine is sharpened for some specific features, specific requirements.
In the end, they all solve the same task: take you from point A to point B, but they do it differently. A car takes you to the desired point as quickly as possible, the other will allow you to travel the shortest route, ignoring roads and obstacles, and the third will do the same if not so quickly, but it will not shake you and yours family.
And the price of the car does not change the image. Even the most expensive cars worth tens of millions could still be defenseless in a situation from which an unpretentious crossover easily reaches the winner for several hundred thousand rubles.
I thought of all this on the way to the Toyota representative office, where I had to pick up a new Lexus LC500 Yellow Edition for testing. The LC500 itself is no longer a novelty – it went on sale last year. But the Yellow Edition has just arrived in Russia, and we were the first to try it on our roads.
I must say that with the positioning of the Lexus LC500 the situation is contradictory – it seems that the company itself has not yet decided on it. The car belongs to the sports car, therefore to the Gran Turismo. Basically, sports cars and Gran Turismo cars are very close, but there are some differences.
The main one is that a sports car is a car in which speed and dynamics are fundamental, while Gran Turismo, as the name suggests, although having powerful engines, are mainly aimed at travel and means comfort. Simply put, you choose a sports car to drive on the nearest runway. If you have to go from Moscow to St. Petersburg and go back, drive through Europe or cross the United States from one coast to the other, you will prefer Gran Turismo.
Lexus designers and designers have done everything to turn the LC500 into a real sports car. At the same time, marketers are more likely to insist on a niche than Gran Turismo and diligently separate themselves from the competition with other sports cars. Who is right – let's try to understand it.
The LF-LC concept car, which became the prototype of the LC500, appeared at car shows in 2012. Journalists and experts obscured their languages, but unanimously agreed that there was virtually no chance of see the car in this form in the series – as usually happens, as soon as the project reaches the technologist, its appearance will become much simpler and more banal. Then they forgot about the project for a while …
And then a small miracle happened. The project was not remembered by anyone but by the head of the Toyota Motor Company, Akio Toyoda. It was he who brought the project back into operation and insisted that the car be as close as possible to the concept. His will has created a difficult task for technologists and has significantly increased development time, but in the end they have succeeded and the production car is not very different from its prototype.
I am deeply convinced that LC500 is the best Lexus designer I've ever done. Its appearance at the same time is "family", with very recognizable features of Lexus sports models, and at the same time very bright, unusual, unlike anyone. Moreover, it is difficult to say which is the most profitable corner for the LC500: it looks very impressive in the front, side and rear and leaves almost no one indifferent.
In practice, this means that the attention of others is provided to you. They look at the car, take it to the phone, ask questions about it. Going unnoticed on the Lexus LC500 is downright impossible, especially when it comes to the Yellow Edition. Not all cars have a yellow color, but everyone I spoke to said that the LC500 is very suitable.
Another difference: the dimensions of the 21-inch rear wheels "grew" from 245/40 to 275/35. But this solution is not a feature of the Yellow Edition – now all the LC500s will look like this, regardless of the version. Once again, the argument in favor of sports cars – the wheels of different sizes in the GT are used rather rarely, while for sports cars it is almost the norm. And I must admit that, with the large rear wheels, the appearance of the car has become even brighter and more aggressive.
In addition to the real color (by the way, the yellow Flare Yellow was included in the LC500 color range and before the yellow edition), the new version is also significantly different in its interior. The inside was a bit boring one of the few, so to speak, controversial solutions in the LC500, but in the Yellow Edition this controversy was resolved in the most resolute and successful way.
The LC500 single-color sedan in Yellow Edition was very well diversified with contrasting solutions: armchairs in light-colored semi-aniline leather and, of course, yellow alcantara inserts on the doors. Alcantara, only dark, padded and ceiling. Now the interior looks not only brighter, but also much more expensive, which has contributed to the carbon coating on the thresholds.
If we talk about passenger seats, then the strong handles for the front passenger hit, so they can withstand when the driver decides to add petrol. The decision is certainly not taken from the GT world, but for the sports car it is not superfluous at all, even if the sports seats offer good support. By the way, in the yellow edition, the armrests also have an electric adjustment.
The rear passenger seats also suggest transparently that the LC500 is not Gran Turismo. There is so little space in the back that you can't use it for a long journey. There is a very restricted category of 3-7 year olds who can stay there more or less normally. Putting an older man is already very problematic. It is impossible to physically place a chair for children: the front seats must be pushed back so far as to make the machine difficult to operate.
In general, the LC500 is a 2 + 2 nominal version completely typical for sports cars, where only two people can actually be in the car. In addition to the driver, it can be a child – but only one, and only if the front passenger seat remains free so that it can be pushed to the bottom.
In this sense, it remains only to ask the reason why we should create a row of completely purely nominal places, and if it were better to remove it and increase it, for example, the size of the trunk. Because here is also a "sports car" – a pair of sports bags will fit here, but we're not talking about suitcases for traveling.
In Europe, traditionally skeptical about the ability of the Japanese to furnish the interior, but in vain. Today, the quality of Japanese car finishes is not nearly as low as in Europe and, in terms of ergonomics, it has always been far ahead. In good Japanese cars, as a rule, the space around the driver is organized almost perfectly, all you need is at hand and the use of any device is very convenient.
And the LC500 is no exception. Unlike some European brands, even the most expensive ones, Lexus does not need to get used to anything: you sit in the car and feel immediately at ease and comfortable. The only thing he had to spend a few seconds – to find a way to adjust the position of the steering wheel. As it turned out, it is controlled by a special joystick servo.
Seen from the driver's seat, a large rev counter is at the center of attention, with a red zone that starts at 7000 rpm. The speedometer ring is natural, but the arrow inside is the electronic emulation. Electronic speedometer, speed indicated in numbers. Furthermore, the information on the dashboard is surprisingly small: oil temperature, fuel, time … But what about the numerous menus?
The secret is revealed as soon as you guess you are pressing a special button on the steering wheel. At this moment a small miracle happens: the tachometer ring suddenly moves to the right, opening the access to additional menus. Here the settings are already much more – everything you can imagine in a modern car. The speedometer cannot be removed, even if I did it myself – at least to be able to push it again and again!
At the center of the dashboard multimedia system. It is controlled by a special touchpad under the right hand, just to the right of the gear lever. I had heard a lot about how uncomfortable it was to work with this touchpad, but I didn't feel any discomfort alone. In general, anyone who has played a game on a laptop is familiar with his algorithm – apparently, they have been calculated.
The older ones would probably be more comfortable joysticks, younger – touchscreens. However, the key functions are still duplicated by the keys and it is not necessary to contact the rest often. There is also a joystick here, partially duplicated the touchpad functions – in general, in any case, there is little to complain about.
A bit upset just the quartz watch on the right of the screen. This is also a tribute to fashion introduced by conservative Europeans: there must be a watch with a dial in the cabin of an expensive and prestigious car. Perhaps in the old-fashioned executive car salons, they seem appropriate, but in the Lexus vanguard design, this detail is absolutely fussy and redundant. Well, at least this has been removed from the driver's eyes.
Under the hood
Technically, the LC500 Yellow Edition is similar to the normal model. All the same 5 liter naturally aspirated V8 – with direct injection, variable valve timing system, but without turbochargers and hybrid elements. This engine, the 2UR-GSE, is also installed on the RC-F and GS-F, but on the LC500 its power was increased to 477 hp.
This power is transmitted to the wheels by a 10-speed automatic with a torque converter. Yes, you understood everything correctly, it has 10 gears! This is the first 10-speed box in the world for a car – even for Formula 1, there are only 8 passes so far. The change takes place in just 0.12 seconds – a person simply can't do it, so forget that the machine can do something less "pen".
It is also important that the car is built on a completely new GA-L platform. When it was created, the Lexus designers went in a rather unusual way: they almost didn't pay attention to the total weight of the car, but at the same time they put the weight on it – even the battery was moved in the trunk.
The result: a small coupe weighs almost 2 tons (the empty weight is 1935 kg), but at the same time this weight is distributed almost perfectly. Along the axes – 52:48, with a very low center of gravity – not least thanks to the carbon roof. And this, of course, is not at all what the Gran Turismo designers might think.
On the road
But just talk: the car can be judged only in motion. We press the start button, start the engine and the LC500 accessories version for sports cars gets +100 points. The car responds with a powerful, stern and incredibly beautiful roar, on which experts have obviously worked for more than a day.
It's nice that the sound of the engine is natural, not synthesized – today the atmospheric V8 in all its glory can be heard less often. Furthermore, the soundproofing of the cabin is perfect – you hear this roar as required. Not a single extra decibel enters the cabin, so if you want a quiet ride, nothing will stop you from enjoying the music from the Mark Levinson sound system.
In these moments, the balance goes even further towards the version of the LC500 belonging to Gran Turismo. The car offers you absolutely incredible comfort for sports cars: you can't even remember to drive such a powerful and fast coupe and simply enjoy driving. Traffic jams in Moscow behind the wheel of a sports car are pure suffering, but on the LC500 you feel extremely comfortable even in traffic. Maybe in a car like that you can really make a long journey.
To make it even more convenient for you, the designers provided a projection of the instrument's main indicators on the windshield. Here, without looking at the dashboard, you can monitor speed, speed limits (yes, of course, the LC500 tracks road signs), and some additional data is also displayed here – and for some reason a compass. It's hard to imagine that you'll find yourself in a Lexus LC500 in the middle of a steppe, but apparently this option was interrupted by marketers who insist on the car's GT status.
But the picture will change drastically if you press the gas pedal a little stronger. All 477 horses run simultaneously forward and carry you forward with dizzying speed. No, alone, the dispersion figures from one place are not too impressive: 4.7 seconds from 0 to "hundred", today you will not surprise anyone. Not only sports cars, but also many GTs can do more. But believe me, these are just numbers.
<img width = "574" height = "377" src = "http://cdn.f1ne.ws/userfiles/LC_YE_hand.jpg” alt=”Special pens so the passenger has something to hold onto.” title=”Special pens so the passenger has something to hold onto.”/>
Thanks to the 10 automatic speed, the acceleration is very smooth and smooth. The transmission meets the power that is at its disposal and the car accelerates much faster than officially declared. And the LC500 cools down from any speed, pressing gently and securely on the chair.
By the way, you can follow the overloads and visually – by default, in the most visible point inside the speedometer there is a quadrilateral accelerometer, similar to what you can see in Formula 1 transmissions! Furthermore, as in Formula 1, the greatest overloads can occur during deceleration – the brakes of the LC500 are very good and effective.
Independent front and rear multi-link suspensions and suspensions to tackle their simply amazing tasks. The body of the LC500 is resistant even to the standards of sports cars, but at the same time, the car not only holds firmly the set trajectory (in turns – much safer than one would expect from a rear-wheel drive car with such mass), but also easily swallow joints and bumps.
Of course, it is better not to fall into the pits of this machine, especially at high speed, when the suspension becomes more rigid. But at the same time with "speed bumps" or hatches in car yards they face each other better than the other crossovers. The 13.3 cm distance also lets you not worry too much about road irregularities, although you should stay away from the curbs.
If all this is not enough for you, the LC500 has another winning card for you. Remember how in "Taxi" the car was transformed when the main characters wanted to drive? I just had to change a couple of glasses, change the steering wheel and wait for everything to work. So – Lexus LC500 also knows how! Moreover, it is not necessary to wait, the changes take place immediately.
We turn a special switch over the steering wheel (the one on the right is left-handed, with the signature Snow, it was not possible to try), and the car enters another mode. Here you can choose the Eco mode, although it is not clear why you would need it, so rotate it in the opposite direction. Immediately scroll through intermediate sport mode, we don't need to compromise and switch to Sport +.
As soon as you do it, the car finally becomes a sports car: powerful, bright, angry. The tachometer is immediately transformed, changes color and design, and the 7000 speed range is lit up with a bright red fire. The car reacts differently to the pressure of the accelerator pedal – the engine explodes with an even more powerful roar (due to the opening of special shock absorbers in the silencer), the transmissions begin to pass later , with strokes and claps of hands.
The car turns into a wild beast: it still obeys your will, but you must be on guard with its strength and speed. As soon as the speed exceeds 80 km / h, the rear wing extends from behind to tame it (you can push it hard with a special button in the cabin), the suspension works more. The questions on the class disappear: the car becomes a pure, angry and determined sports car.
In principle, the machine cannot be returned to normal mode, but it is better to do so in any case. The problem with all sports cars is that they are completely unsuitable for ordinary and ordinary conditions. Behind the steering wheel on the track you get the sea of pleasure, but pay it with a continuous torment on the way to the track and back. And no matter how you like speed, using a sports car as an "everyday car" is a bad idea right from the start.
Lexus LC500 – one of the few machines able to solve this problem. He is like a Hulk, capable of turning from a "civilian" person into a real monster, and you just have to choose which of his disguises you want to face today. Getting to the track is easy! Take a short trip to another city – no problem! There are almost no more offers of this type on the market, especially for this money.
Of course, even the price tag of the Lexus LC500 bites: today it is possible to buy it 8 million and 240 thousand rubles. For the Yellow Edition only another 45 thousand are requested, and with such a difference it is not clear how one can refuse such an offer, since the "yellow" Hulk is much more cute and bright than usual. Personally, when I chose a car in this class, I would have bought the Yellow Edition without thinking, but I certainly don't have that kind of money. What to do: unlike the Lexus LC500, life is imperfect.
. (tagToTranslate) Toyota