Panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof, ambiance lighting, and LED Light Carpet. Whatever this is.
The BMW 7 Series is in its sixth generation. Updated this year is the extensive use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the structure of the passenger cell and that BMW claims will make everything better.
Coming to the US as a 740i and a 750i
The new 7 Series Innovative Design
The 7 Series is the BMW’s flagship when it comes to innovation in design and technology. The design of the new BMW 7 Series aligns elegance of the exterior and interior with luxurious workmanship creating harmonious proportions for a distinct look and feel. The cabin is framed by predominately horizontal surfaces and lines, presenting color and material compositions that create a relaxed ambiance.
Saved 190 lbs.
The lightweight design concept also entails the use of aluminum for specific sections of the body and chassis. For the first time doors and the trunk lid are made of aluminum. Taking suspension comfort and dynamic handling to new levels, the rigorous implementation of lightweight design measured at the suspension, brakes and wheels, reduced the unsprung masses by as much as 15 percent. Lightweight bonding technologies have been employed with near-source thermal and acoustic shielding for the engine, which enables the overall volume and weight of the insulating material to be reduced. The innovative insulation concept has the additional effect of further improving acoustic comfort.
As a result, the vehicle’s center of gravity has been lowered. Following BMW tradition the weight distribution remains 50 : 50 between the two axles allowing for perfect balance of the chassis. BMW EfficientLightweight technology helps to consolidate its lead with dynamic handling and comfort.
Redeveloped V8 engine and intelligent all-wheel drive
The engine line-up available at the launch of the new BMW 7 Series range is spearheaded by the BMW 750i xDrive and its powerful V8 engine. This engine features a 4.4 liter displacement and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with the turbochargers located within the V-shaped space between the banks of cylinders. This redesigned V8 engine now comes equipped with TwinScroll turbochargers featuring flow-separated, bank-specific exhaust manifolds made from thin-wall castings. Engine efficiency was increased with a change in the compression ratio from 10.0:1 to 10.5:1 and the latest generation of VALVETRONIC and Double-VANOS technology. The optimized engine cooling concept with separate flows through the cylinder heads and cylinder liners includes a map-controlled coolant pump. Throughput can be restricted to 10 percent to warm up the engine faster reducing energy consumption. For the first time in a production car the intake manifold has been partially integrated into the cylinder head allowing air-flow resistance to be decreased, maximizing air-flow volume while reducing the exterior packaging dimensions. Overall, the efficiency factor of the 445 hp engine has been greatly improved.
The new V8 engine is teamed up with the latest version of the intelligent all-wheel-drive system in the all-new BMW 750i xDrive. The fully variable, electronically controlled power split between front and rear wheels enhances traction and stability as well as the handling dynamics in corners. As part of the xDrive system’s ongoing development, the transfer case has been made more efficient, thanks in part to an optimized oil supply.
The inline 6-cylinder engine in the BMW 740i
The inline 6-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology fitted in the new BMW 740i comes from the BMW Group’s latest generation of engines. The 3.0-liter gasoline unit of the BMW 740i produces an output of 320 hp. The new engine’s crankcase, cylinder head and oil sump are all made from aluminum. The TwinScroll turbocharger features an indirect system of charge air cooling that is incorporated into the intake manifold and works in unison with High Precision Direct Injection, the very latest version of VALVETRONIC and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. Not only has the efficiency of the new inline 6-cylinder engine been increased, its response is even more spontaneous.
The BMW 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid model
The 740e xDrive joins the BMW plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model lineup which will be available in 2016.The forward-looking character of the new BMW 7 Series is further underlined by the inclusion of the BMW 740e xDrive. In the case of the plug-in hybrid model, it’s not just the Carbon Core for the passenger cell that is rooted in the know-how gleaned from the development of BMW i cars, but also the BMW eDrive powertrain technology. The intelligently controlled interaction between a 2.0-liter gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric drive unit integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, endows the BMW 740e xDrive with dynamic acceleration on the one hand and noticeably higher fuel efficiency with lower emissions figures in everyday driving. The energy for the electric motor is drawn from a lithium-ion high-voltage battery housed underneath the rear seat where it is particularly well protected in the event of a crash. It can be recharged by connecting to any standard domestic power socket, a BMW i Wallbox or a public charging station. The eDrive button on the center console enables the driver to adjust the hybrid drive’s operating mode. In the AUTO eDrive basic setting, the engine’s power is boosted to notable effect by the electric drive when accelerating. With the MAX eDrive mode engaged, the BMW 740e xDrive is able to run purely on electric power, meaning zero local emissions at speeds of up to (75 mph) for a maximum range of 23 miles. The driver is also able to select the Battery Control mode, which raises or maintains the high-voltage battery’s state of charge so that electrical power can be deliberately conserved. Whenever route guidance is active in the navigation system, the predictive power management function calculates a trip-specific strategy for electric driving through to the entered destination.
Eight-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission linked-up with navigation system
The standard-equipment eight-speed Sport Automatic Steptronic transmission serves to boost efficiency with its wider ratio spread, reduced weight and optimized efficiency. A new transmission control system makes for more comfortable shifting and allows the transmission to be linked up with the standard Navigation system. The navigation-data-based shift strategy means that the gear selection can be adapted to the driving situation and the route profile even if route guidance has not been set. The shift characteristics are adjusted in accordance with the selected driving mode, so that the emphasis can be placed on both driving comfort and sportiness. The transmission also includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a Launch Control function that allows acceleration runs from standstill with maximum power and optimum traction.
Features such as Brake Energy Regeneration and the Auto Start Stop function ensure highly efficient energy management. Activating the ECO PRO mode with the Driving Dynamics Control switch allows use of the coasting function which decouples the powertrain in coasting phases while travelling at speeds between (31 – 100 mph). This mode’s range of functions which are now individually programmable for the first time additionally include efficiency oriented operation of comfort functions, efficiency tips, as well as the Route-ahead Assistant, which gives recommendations for an efficient driving style based on the navigation data.
The all new Air Breather and Active Kidney Grille
The new Active Kidney Grille optimizes engine cooling and aerodynamics. Whenever additional cooling air is required, the Active Kidney Grille bars and flaps in the lower air intake automatically swing open. This feature tailors the amount of air for cooling the engine and brakes in a total of five stages as demands dictate. This system activates depending on several temperature thresholds as well as the speed of the vehicle. For instance during the warming-up phase and when operating at low loads, the BMW Active Kidney Grille is closed completely to maximize the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle.
Another distinctive efficiency-enhancing feature are the Air Curtains and Air Breather in the front apron and side fenders. The Air Curtain accelerates the energy-rich air flow before the front apron and guides it past the side of the wheel arch while the Air Breather guides the air flow into the front wheel arch via a vertical air inlet through the side fender. Together they provide more efficient aerodynamics allowing air to be carefully directed out of the wheel arches reducing the turbulence around the wheels. The reduction in air drag of over 15 percent compared to the predecessor models has also been achieved thanks to the cladding covering almost the entire underbody as well as the new contouring of the exterior mirrors.
Chassis technology and driving experience
Highly sophisticated, precision-honed chassis technology combined with 50 : 50 weight distribution and chassis control systems give the new BMW 7 Series both sharper driving dynamics and ride comfort.
The latest array of innovations offers drivers more freedom of choice for configuring the ideal vehicle set-up, which means they can now opt for even sportier handling or yet greater ride comfort. The selection is made using the standard Driving Dynamics Control switch. At a touch of a switch adaptive control of the vehicle set-up, mirroring current driving style and the changing route profile can be selected.
The smooth ride is handeled by Air suspension and Dynamic Damper Control as standard. The suspension is supplied with air by an electrically powered compressor with pressure reservoir. Even when the engine is switched off, the height of the vehicle body is adjusted to keep it at a constant level and air supply is controlled individually for each wheel, compensating for an unevenly distributed load.
The level control can be operated manually, allowing the vehicle’s ride height to be raised by 20 millimeters when driving along a rough stretch of road or approaching a particularly steep driveway. At speeds above approximately 22 mph, the level control automatically reverts to its standard setting. When SPORT mode is activated with the Driving Dynamics Control switch, on the other hand, the ride height automatically drops by 10 millimeters when travelling at high speed.
The advantages of the air suspension in the front and rear are enhanced thanks to the standard Dynamic Damper Control system. The electronically controlled dampers improve ride and suspension comfort adding to the sedan’s dynamic handling qualities. A variety of modes can be engaged using the Driving Dynamics Control switch, which serve to foster all driving experience such as driving comfort (COMFORT, COMFORT+ modes) or sporty, agile handling (SPORT mode).
Premiere for Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview
The levels of comfort, dynamism and effortlessly superior performance can be elevated further with an equipment option that is making its debut in the all-new BMW 7 Series: Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview. This active chassis control system which is available for all models with the exception of the BMW 740e xDrive, works in unison with the front and rear air suspension and the Dynamic Damper Control to achieve a remarkable standard of suspension, damping and driving comfort. It comprises the newly refined version of the Dynamic Drive system for reducing rolling movement at the front and rear suspensions. For the first time, active roll stabilization is now carried out electromechanically, minimizing body-roll tendencies when needed, providing light-footed sporty handling while increasing driving safety and ride comfort. Driving straight, the adjustable anti-roll bars are set to allow the suspension system the greatest possible freedom of movement for increased comfort. The comfort-enhancing effect is heightened by the standard air suspension. The new system is also more energy efficient compared to the previous hydraulic control.
Beyond all this, Active Comfort Drive also incorporates an anticipatory chassis control function with Road Preview. The advance information for regulating the combination of chassis systems utilizes the driving style analysis readings derived from the data from the navigation system to help respond to the road.
Redesigned Integral Active Steering
The Integral Active Steering system is available as optional equipment for the new BMW 7 Series. The planetary gear set previously used at the front has given way to a variable steering rack ratio which means that the Integral Active Steering can now also be offered in conjunction with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. By turning the rear wheels in either the opposing or the same direction when steering, depending on the specific driving situation, this system is capable of increasing both maneuverability in urban traffic and agility during high-paced driving, while also ensuring an especially smooth and composed response when changing lane and cornering.
Driving Dynamics Control switch with ADAPTIVE mode for the first time
For the first time, an ADAPTIVE mode can also be selected in the new BMW 7 Series via the standard Driving Dynamics Control switch. With this setting activated, the vehicle set-up is matched to the current driving style and changing route profile. The system logic reacts to movement of the accelerator and steering wheel factoring in whether the gear selector switch is in the D or S position. Depending on the driving situation, the powertrain and chassis systems are configured for either sporty or comfortable performance. Navigation map data is also taken into account in order to select the ideal vehicle set-up, for instance when switching from urban driving to the highway on winding roads or when approaching an intersection.
The Driving Dynamics Control switch located on the center console now sports a new design. The COMFORT, SPORT, ECO PRO and ADAPTIVE modes can all be activated directly at the push of a button, while the COMFORT button also has the COMFORT+ mode stored. Drivers have the option of programming an individual configuration for the SPORT and ECO PRO modes via the iDrive operating system. This makes it possible to combine dynamic gear shift characteristics and direct steering response with comfort-oriented damper tuning, for example, when SPORT mode is engaged. In ECO PRO mode, it is now also possible to individually program the damper control and steering characteristics while the extent of the efficiency-enhancing settings can also be modified.
Operation, interior and travel comfort
The arrival of the latest generation of the BMW flagship takes interior design, functionality and passenger well-being to yet greater heights. The new BMW 7 Series once again is a trail blazer for technology, this time with intuitive operation. The iDrive system has been re-designed to enhance comfort and infotainment functions for driver and passengers. The luxurious ambience is achieved by the utilization of fine materials, craftsmanship and attention to detail that can be sensed from all seats. Travel comfort is taken into a new dimension by the Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package, which redefines the meaning of long-distance comfort in a luxury car.
iDrive 5.0 with touch display and Gesture Control
The all-new 7 Series features standard four-zone automatic climate control and a separate control console in the rear. The control panels now feature a touch-sensitive surface. The intensity of the ventilation, the seat climate control functions as well as the fragrance system can all be controlled by touching on-screen buttons. New comfort focused features also included heated front and rear armrests, which heat the armrests in both the doors and the front and rear center consoles, a hands-free phone system complete with Bluetooth audio streaming and USB port is included as standard on the new BMW 7 Series. A universal holder compatible with a range of cell phones with Wireless Charging comes standard. The Wireless Charging feature includes a holder in the center console with LED charge status display along with a second microphone to optimize the hands-free functionality for the front passenger.
Luxury Seating Comfort and Rear Executive Lounge Seating
The Luxury Rear Seating Package including Rear Ventilated and Comfort Seats, Heated Front and Rear Armrests and a 7 inch Touch Command Tablet provides unrivalled seating comfort. The massage function for the comfort seats offers a choice of eight programs, each with three different levels of intensity, which are designed to relax and stimulate the muscles in targeted regions of the body. In the rear, passengers can indulge in the Vitality Program. Specifically designed for new BMW 7 Series, the passengers can engage in active training to revitalize the body on longer journeys. The training program instructions are displayed on the Rear-seat entertainment system screens.
The optional Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package provides additional travel comfort in the rear seat behind the front passenger seat. The backrest can be reclined to an angle of up to 42.5 degrees, allowing the seat to be moved into a relaxing position. To offer the passenger in the rear even greater legroom, the front passenger seat can be slid forward by an extra 90 millimeters /3.5 inches and its backrest tilted all the way forward. For a completely unobstructed view to the front, the head restraint can be folded down. An electrically operated fold-out footrest can be found on the back of the front passenger seat. The Rear-seat entertainment system screen can also be electrically adjusted to the ideal viewing angle for the rear passenger. The Executive Lounge rear center console also features a fold-out table, two cupholders and a storage compartment, as well as the new BMW 7 inch Touch Command Tablet.
Ambiance light, Ambiance highlight, Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof
The exclusive atmosphere inside the all-new BMW 7 Series can be further accentuated by a precision-crafted lighting design. The standard Ambiance lighting provides harmonious indirect illumination in the near of the instrument panel, the door beltlines, the map pockets on the front seat backs, and in the foot wells. Courtesy lights and illuminated bars on the door sills provide additional light. There is a choice of six different color variants for the lighting effects, which can be selected in the iDrive menu. The LED Light Carpet incorporated into the side skirts produces eye-catching lighting graphics in the entrance/exit area of the vehicle.
When specified with the optional roller sunblind’s for the rear side windows and rear window, the new BMW 7 Series is additionally equipped with the Ambiance Light Pillar. Vertically arranged light sources in the B-pillar area illuminate the rear compartment. The intensity of the lighting can be adjusted by means of contact sensors, as well as from either the iDrive menu or through BMW Touch Command.
The new BMW 7 Series comes standard with a two-section Panoramic moonroof with an opening front section. An optional Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof where the light emitted by LED modules along the sides is spread evenly throughout the glass surface. At night, etchings in the moonroof glass strikes an imprinted graphic creating the effect of a starlit sky available in six different color schemes.
Since mercedes introduced it’s air freshner, BMW decided it also needed an “Ambient Air Freshner”
Now with Diamond tweeter technology original created for studios has now been incorporated to BMW’s flagship. Pumping 1400 watts through 16 speakers that light up and speakers made of Kevlar.
BMW ConnectedDrive in the new BMW 7 Series
The BMW 7 Series has always been a trailblazer in the field of intelligent connectivity. This top-of-the-line BMW model range pioneered landmark innovations such as the onboard computer with outside temperature display back in 1980, Park Distance Control in 1997 and a built-in navigation system in 1994. The latest innovations, once again takes comfort, safety and the infotainment experience to unbeatable levels in the highly competitive premium luxury segment. The all-new BMW 7 Series is offered with a wide range of all-new or optimized assistance systems including semi-automated driving systems. Also, unmatched by any other brand in the world is the number of functions that can be integrated in the car using Apps, either via the built-in SIM card or a smartphone and operated using the iDrive control system.
Courtesy of the embedded BMW ConnectedDrive Services SIM card the Advanced Real Time Traffic Information function are part of the standard Navigation System. The SIM card also allows over-the-air automatic navigation map updates free of charge for the first three years after the vehicle is first registered. Intelligent connectivity in the new BMW 7 Series also supports interactive traffic sign updating which is new in the auto industry. Images of roadside traffic signs recorded by the optional Speed Limit Info camera, along with their position data, are relayed anonymously to a BMW server, which then makes any necessary changes to keep the map database up-to-date at all times. BMW 7 Series drivers who activate this function are helping to keep the navigation database accurate, reliable and up-to-date not only for themselves but also for all BMW ConnectedDrive customers.
BMW Head-Up Display: optimized graphics, larger projection area
The new-generation BMW Head-Up Display acts as a highly effective aid to driver concentration as it presents a broad range of information in graphical format on the windshield into the driver’s field of view. This system, which is standard on 750i models, projects information about road speed, speed limits, overtaking restrictions, Check Control messages, status and warning messages from other assistance systems, turn-by-turn directions and telephone and entertainment menus directly into the driver’s field of vision, where they can be read without looking away from the road. The new-generation Head-Up Display comes with a 75 percent larger projection area, while the displayed information and images offer further improved quality and detail with graphics in full color.
New generation BMW Parking Assistant
Now only can this thing park itself parrallel, now it can do perpendicular.
Active Driving Assistant and Active Driving Assistant Plus
The optional Active Driving Assistant safety package has now been extended to include Rear Crossing Traffic warning. These functions use data supplied by sensors at either side of the rear of the vehicle, Rear Crossing Traffic warning, assists drivers when backing out of parking spots in situations where there is a poor visibility. Audible and a visual alerts in the Central Information Display warn the driver. With the rearview camera, the extended view of the traffic situation behind the vehicle is shown in the Central Information Display. The Active Driving Assistant package also includes the Frontal Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with Light City braking function, Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Info. The Active Driving Assistant Plus package also includes, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Front Crossing Traffic warning, Traffic Jam assistant and Active Lane keeping assistant with Side Collision protection. These functions use a stereo camera and front and side radar sensors to detect lane markings, preceding vehicles or approaching side or rear traffic. At speeds up to 130 mph they provide comfort-enhancing steering assistance to help drivers stay in lane or follow the preceding vehicle. The various systems can also help prevent collisions with approaching side or rear traffic during a lane change. The Traffic Jam assistant also ensures more relaxed, stress-free driving in stop-go traffic. This semi-automated driving function provides comfort-enhancing steering assistance whenever the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel.
Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function has also been extended. When this system is active, drivers can simply press a button to acknowledge speed restrictions detected by Speed Limit Info. The speed setting is then adapted to comply with the detected speed limit.
BMW Night Vision, 3D Surround View
Night driving safety can be enhanced with the standard Adaptive LED headlights for maximized high-beam usage and optional BMW Night Vision. The Night Vision system which includes pedestrian and animal protection relays a real-time image to the Central Information Display highlighting people, larger animals and other heat-radiating objects. The new generation of the Surround View system can now show not only a Top View mode but also a 3D View mode, as well as a Panorama View showing side traffic in front and behind the vehicle. The 3D View mode uses the Central Information Display to show the vehicle and its environment from various perspectives to aid safe maneuvering in confined, low-visibility situations.
BMW wants us to know that their new carbon whatever is better in everyway.
Lots of airbags, too many to think about. I am sure they will keep you very safe.
One cool feature is the hands free opening of the trunk.
The market launch of the new BMW 7 Series will be accompanied by a BMW Individual Design Composition featuring the 750i xDrive with a perfectly harmonious combination of colors and materials. The new BMW Individual paint, Almandine Brown metallic, in combination with the premium features of the exterior design accent package; it emphasizes the characteristic surface, sculpting and bodywork lines. Sporting elegance is achieved with the 20-inch forged BMW Individual light-alloy wheels in V-spoke design that comes in Silver/Ferric Grey bi-color look with performance tires.
For the first time, BMW Individual fine-grain Merino full leather in Tartufo is being offered. The leather upholstery is carefully selected from unblemished raw materials which are processed using particularly gentle techniques that assure the softest texture. As a result, the leather used for the seats, door trim panels, lower instrument panel section, center console, armrests and door pulls retains its natural open-pore structure. The soft, fine-grain surfaces remain breathable and provide supreme comfort. Hand-woven piping and woven-look quilting on the seat surfaces lend expression to the precision workmanship and love of detail that defines the production process. To match this, the floor covering and floor mats, seat belts and BMW Individual Alcantara headliner also come in Tartufo. The harmonious and stylish ambience is capped by door sills with illuminated BMW Individual lettering, BMW Individual interior trim strips in Piano Finish Black and a BMW Individual leather steering wheel with fine-wood applications in the same finish.
Designworks, BMW’s California based design studio and consultancy offers a BMW Individual Consultation program where clients work directly with a Designworks designer to commission their very own BMW. Lead designer, Sandy McGill and the design team consult in-house or via the phone, to provide the best possible experience for BMW customers.
During the consultation sessions, clients are provided with image concepts as well as color, leather and trim samples they can touch and feel. Designworks represents the perfect platform for creating a customized BMW Individual vehicle as it provides access to professional designers that work hand-in-hand with clients throughout the commissioning processes
Global Debut of All-New Lexus LC 500 at the 2016 NAIAS Signals Dawn of a New Era for Lexus
Alluring, expressively designed luxury coupe defines a new era for the global luxury brand
The coupe’s styling, performance, and craftsmanship help position the vehicle as one of Lexus’ flagship products
LC 500 utilizes the brand’s new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability and performance
A symbol of an evolving vehicle development culture that embraces heightened collaboration between Design and Engineering teams
January 11, 2016
DETROIT (Jan. 11, 2016) — When the Lexus LF-LC Concept debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the press, loyal customers, and enthusiasts wondered if the concept’s arresting styling and dramatic proportions could ever evolve into a production 2+2 coupe. Today, four years after the debut of the breakthrough concept that inspired it, Lexus has revealed the all-new LC 500 luxury coupe. This provocative, athletic flagship coupe makes the strongest statement yet about Lexus’ future product direction.
The past five years have seen Lexus evolve rapidly with the creation of the luxury brand’s globally-focused organization, Lexus International. Exciting new models involving elevated levels of emotional styling and dynamic driving characteristics such as NX, RC, and IS have also helped Lexus’ brand shift with consumers. Akio Toyoda has been at the center of the Lexus global expansion, personally driving a heightened level of collaboration among design, engineering and marketing teams to help build a luxury brand better suited to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.
“The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”
Design and Engineering Teams United
Beyond its styling and impactful performance, the new LC 500 serves as a symbol of the achievement that can result from heightened collaboration between design and engineering groups and their commitment to help overcome each other’s hurdles. When Akio Toyoda challenged these development groups to produce this special car, it meant surpassing many manufacturing, design, material, and dynamic obstacles that could typically compromise a vehicle’s targets or design vision.
The LC 500 was driven by a strong, appealing fundamental design target (LF-LC), and engineering teams worked tirelessly to find new solutions to maintain as much of the concept in the production car as possible. Likewise, vehicle designers were very involved from the earliest stages of the dynamic development process to understand the engineering targets and collaborate with design viewpoints and potential solutions. With LC 500, additional levels of prototype vehicle build also allowed both teams to better study design or engineering ideas and refine key elements. For Lexus, the LC 500 project became much more than simply the development of a new coupe. The LC 500, with the shift in engineering processes and design ideologies it represents, symbolizes the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand.
“Design and engineering sides worked together on issues and obstacles that were overcome one by one. I feel we achieved something greater than simply preserving the spirit of the concept’s design,” said Chief Engineer Koji Sato.
At first glance, it becomes apparent that the engineering and design team’s collaboration was highly successful, considering how much of the LF-LC’s design ideology the team was able to transfer into the new LC 500. The new production model shares many of the key design elements, proportions and visual dynamism of the concept car that inspired it. The LC 500’s visual appeal is defined by an athletic aerodynamic shape. It features sensual curves, emotional forms, an available flowing carbon-fiber roof (glass roof standard), helping create a low, wide imposing stance that comes together for a highly functional, passionate package.
The LC 500’s front fascia features a powerful interpretation of Lexus’ distinctive grille, bordered by chrome on three sides and a radical new 3D mesh design that varies its visual tension. The “L”-shaped daytime running lights rest below a new Triple LED headlamp unit, specially designed to include one of the industry’s thinnest projectors enabling a low hood with a short front overhang. Functional venting also plays into the LC 500’s exterior design to help improve aerodynamic stability and cooling. The car’s athletic profile is characterized by its fast, sloped roofline, its wind-cutting silhouette, a long 2,870 mm (113 inches) wheelbase with compact front 920 mm ( 36.2 inches) and rear 970 mm ( 38.2 inches) overhangs and low hood height. The sexy curves and flowing lines maintain a consistent tension in sheetmetal through to the rear end that features slimly designed, multi-layered tail lamps with a unique lighting effect that helps convey a sequential L motif. A rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler also help manage airflow during performance driving. It rides on machined cast aluminum 20-in. or available 21-in. forged aluminum wheels.
The interior design of the LC 500 is influenced by the dynamic luxury theme of the exterior with a layout that is both cockpit-focused and elegant. The coupe’s driving position was calibrated to invite spirited, sporting driving, and help develop easier confidence with a more intuitive control layout. In fact, for LC 500, the driver’s hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s Cg (Center of gravity) where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver. The front seats offer excellent support and comfort for long drives while available sport seats offer additional bolstering and lateral support during cornering. Lexus engineers put considerable effort into creating an engaging yet seductive atmosphere for the driver, focusing on details such as the size and angle of the steering wheel, the feel and positioning of magnesium alloy paddle shifters, and available supple leather and Alcantara seating surfaces. The LC 500’s exquisite door panels, center console and dash pad structures feature elements of Lexus’ world-renowned, detail-obsessed Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.
“At an early stage, the designers collaborated with the engineers to understand their image for the LC 500’s driving dynamics, and they incorporated this into the design,” said Tadao Mori, the chief designer of the LC 500. “For example, we gave serious consideration to where the driver’s eyes would focus, and designed the surface shape in that area to help support a driver’s mindset. This project was one of the first times that designers were closely involved in the dynamic engineering development so we could understand the driving goals and support with the car’s design.”
In helping to drive the future of the Lexus brand, the mission for LC 500 is to offer a dynamic driving experience and character unlike any Lexus vehicle prior to it. The pursuit of a sharper, more refined driving experience became the mission for the development team who also sought to maintain a superior Lexus ride quality befitting a flagship luxury sport coupe.
The LC 500 is the first Lexus to use the brand’s all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform and is part of the new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for the company’s future front-engine/rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In an effort to sharpen the car’s handling, the LC 500’s engineers focused on the platform’s fundamentals by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis to improve the center of gravity.
Internally, Lexus engineers referred to this menu of mass-arranging tactics as the “inertia spec.” The driver hip and heel points have been lowered, wheels have been pushed to the corners of the car with shortened overhangs, and the drivetrain mass has been located behind the front axle line to create a front mid-ship layout. The LC 500 also relies on run-flat tires to improve packaging, reduce weight (thanks to no spare), and help shorten overhangs to achieve dynamic targets. The 12-volt battery has been relocated to the trunk as part of the mission to redistribute weight.
Other mass management measures include the available carbon fiber roof, aluminum door skins mounted to the carbon fiber door inner structure, and a composite trunk floor. The LC 500 also represents the Lexus brand’s most intensive use of high-strength steel. This provides enhanced rigidity while reducing—and ideally positioning—vehicle mass to optimize dynamics. As a result, the LC 500 is very balanced with a nearly ideal front/rear weight distribution of 52/48.
To help achieve the level of chassis performance targeted for this new coupe, Lexus engineered the stiffest unibody the brand has ever produced. For LC 500, the strategic use of lightweight, high-strength steel helps make for a high degree of torsional rigidity that is more resistant to twisting forces than the exotic, carbon fiber-intensive LFA supercar. The platform design maintains a consistent level of resistance to flexural forces and stiffness across the vehicle’s wheelbase to help create consistent, predictable handling behavior and sharper steering responses. Special braces in the engine compartment (usually a more twist-prone part of the chassis), the adoption of stiff aluminum front suspension towers, and the addition of a ring structure near the rear fenders are all measures that help further bolster the strength of key chassis structures.
Particular attention was devoted to the LC 500’s multilink suspension system. Double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms allow for control of the smallest movements from the driver inputs and road conditions. Beyond sharing workload, a dual ball joint arrangement helps optimize suspension geometry to increase wheel control and create a more precise steering response with better initial effort. To help reduce unsprung mass and improve suspension response, all but one of the control arms are made of lightweight forged aluminum. Providing the grip on the show prototype car are concept versions of Michelin Pilot Sport tires with Premium Touch® sidewall technology: 245/40RF21 up front and 275/35RF21 at the rear. When all the handling elements come together, LC 500 becomes a world-class luxury sports coupe that exhibits razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability. This all-new platform will continue to undergo continuous improvement and enhancement throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.
Said Sato: “We spent more than triple the usual amount of R&D time to pursue linear steering and to find the sweet spot for road contact feel. We also focused our efforts on suspension rigidity and enhancing geometry. Thanks to advancements in product engineering, we are now at a world-class level for suspension rigidity, and performance when lateral g’s are applied.”
The power delivery to the rear wheels for LC 500 is handled by a new, very well matched set of components that maximize output to the wheels. The heart of the new LC 500 is derived from the proven, high-revving 5.0-liter V8 that is found in the RC F and GS F. The naturally aspirated V8 was selected for its smooth, linear throttle response and emotional engine sound. The all-aluminum, 32-valve V8’s output targets 467 HP and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine is built for durability with lightweight, high-strength forged connecting rods and titanium valves that allow the engine to flourish at high rpm. This naturally aspirated engine makes an ideal pairing to a balanced sports coupe with its linear power delivery that allows easier control and exhilaration behind the wheel.
The engine in the LC 500 uses a dual intake inlet that help improve breathing and allow the engine to produce its fantastic sound. The new coupe features an active exhaust that opens baffles in Sport mode to help give the car a more aggressive exhaust note even in start-up. In fact, even when the vehicle is in Normal mode the exhaust baffles open above 3500 rpm. During acceleration, a Sound Generator involving tuned acoustic plumbing enhances the engine’s raucous melody into an aural thunder that helps distinguish the LC 500 in its competitive segment.
Helping power transfer to the rear wheels is a newly developed 10-speed automatic transmission—the first ever in a luxury automobile—with shift times rivaling those of a dual-clutch transmission. The component is smaller and lighter than some current 8-speed transmissions. The wide bandwidth of shifting afforded by 10 closely spaced gears is ideal for all forms of driving, providing an optimal gear in all conditions. This transmission is matched to a new electric control system with software that helps anticipate the driver’s inputs by monitoring acceleration, braking and lateral g forces.
The new transmission is just one key element in a vehicle that has had all of its dynamic control elements such as power application, braking, and steering tuned to operate rhythmically in sport driving conditions. Drivers will feel the controlled balance between the quick, smooth shifting actions, the application of linear engine power, and the deceleration afforded by 6-piston front brake calipers (4-piston at rear).
All of the platform and drivetrain engineering helped endow the LC 500 with performance and agility uncommon for a four-person coupe; the vehicle targets a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.
This flagship coupe will debut the 2017 Lexus Multimedia package that will feature updated, faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and a more inviting graphic user interface. Occupants also will be treated to an exceptional audio experience inside the cabin: in addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment. Pioneer’s sound engineers worked in collaboration with LC 500 body and cabin designers to enhance interior sound performance within the cabin, studying the acoustic environment and driving structural changes to enhance sound performance.
The LC 500 also will boast Lexus’ renowned safety technology, Lexus Safety System + , which integrates several of Lexus’s active safety technologies: an All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (All-speed DRCC) that relieves stop-and-go traffic stress, the Pre-Collision System (PCS) helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.
These technologies are part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System + package, and combines millimeter-wave radar with a camera to help achieve a high level of system reliability and performance.