Seemingly out of nowhere, Lexus unveiled the all-new production LC 500 luxury sports coupe at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The LC 500 is actually a full-on replica of the LF-LC concept, which is a big deal because car manufacturers often unveil high-profile concept vehicles but greatly water them down when it's ready for production, if they decide to build the car at all.
The original LF-LC concept, unveiled in the 2012 edition of the annual auto show, was once thought to simply be a design exercise for the luxury branch of Toyota. However, that does not seem like the case, as the vehicle has been brought to life.
The unveiling of the LC 500 began with a video of Akio Toyoda, the president of Lexus parent company Toyota, in a racing suit, before the executive stepped onstage to make a rare personal appearance.
Toyoda, for the first time, showed his playful personality to the American crowd that either does not know him or recall him only from his testimony during the recall crisis that Toyota faced in 2010.
Lexus also revealed a promo clip that features a steel ball lined up to smash the LF-LC concept. However, before the steel ball hits the concept, the vehicle drives off, answering those who doubted that Lexus will actually build the vehicle.
Toyoda, the self-appointed "master driver" of Lexus, test drove prototypes of the LC 500 himself for fine tuning the vehicle. Toyoda told the audience that sitting behind the wheel and not behind a desk allows him the best opportunity to advise the team that was working on the car.
The result is a vehicle that Lexus states is a symbol of the beginning of a new phase for Lexus, with the LC 500 representing changes in design ideologies and engineering processes.
The LC 500's exterior features most of the design ideology of the LF-LC concept, with the vehicle's visual appeal defined by its athletic aerodynamic shape, while the vehicle's interior is influenced by the exterior's dynamic luxury theme.
Lexus also said that the LC 500 is the first car of the company to utilize its all-new, premium rear-wheel drive luxury platform, serving the stiffest unibody the brand has ever created and its most intensive usage of high-strength steel.
The 5.0-liter V8 engine that is found in the RC F and GS F also power the LC 500, capable of 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, with a 10-speed automatic transmission for a 0-60 miles per hour time of less than 4.5 seconds.