Amid a sea of electric, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel-cell, and other vehicles at this year’s North American International Auto Show—a.k.a. the Detroit auto show—Lexus went old-school.
There, Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda pulled off the wraps of a dramatic two-door flagship vehicle, powered by a 467-horsepower V8 engine connected to a rear-wheel drive transmission.
Its name? The LC 500.
The car is meant to be “a strong statement about our brands’ emotional direction,” Toyoda said, “and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”
Lexus engineered an all-new platform for the vehicle, which uses high-strength steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and composites to reduce the weight of the frame and increase its rigidity for a stiffer, sportier ride.
The car will also feature a 10-speed transmission. It will go on sale in the U.S. in 2017.
The LC 500 is intended to compete with the likes of the BMW M6, Maserati GranTurismo, and Mercedes S-Class Coupe. At just under $100,000, it will carry a base price below them all.
The other two-door standout at the auto show was the Buick Avista—a stunning, clean-lined GT. It’s built on the same platform as the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac CTS and ATS but exudes a certain European (if not downright British) elegance. The concept car features a 400-horsepower twin turbo V6 engine and is rear-wheel drive.
Sadly, Buick has not announced any plans to produce the Avista. Why isn’t Cadillac showing and building cars this attractive? The Avista proves just how wide a range of vehicles can be built on the same platform.