Lexus Chief Engineer Koji Sato: “The LC project is not finished yet”

Lexus LC chief engineer Koji Sato sat down for an interview with Top Gear to discuss the future of the flagship coupe:

Top Gear: What do you think is so special about the LC?

Koji Sato: It shows that Lexus, working with Akio [Toyoda, son of the Toyota founder and Toyota CEO] has mastered the handling performance. Particularly the steering – you can feel the front tyres and get that feedback, have a conversation. This kind of feeling is our focusing point for Lexus, to create our clear driving taste.

TG: Is there anything about the LC that you would like to go back and change?

KS: There is no need to go back. The LC project is not finished yet. Every year we implement some important improvement points for LC. So we are always moving forward. It’s never ending.

Of course, the conversation turned to a high-performance variant of the LC:

TG: What’s next for the LC? We’ve seen spy photos of an LC-F being tested.

KS: I cannot share the details of that project but LC has a big meaning for the Lexus brand. So that means the LC needs to have some more – you see my face [breaks into a big smile].

Lexus LC: First Generation
I don't think i've ever seen anybody so confidently present baseless conjecture as fact as you have been in this thread.
Rhambler is no longer with us. :)
What he said was a bunch of nonsense and baseless to say the least... its one thing to have a dissenting opinion but at least back it up with facts and not baseless claims. This is the same type of thing that has been going on with the 5LS.... Fact is the LC500 performed BETTER than the Aston Martin DB9 and the firm that performed the test is neutral and nonbiased so it is results driven based on certain criteria. Hell the 5LS F Sport did much better than the 550 S Class!!! I also hate to see anyone leave but we are all supposed to be with the brand..


I have a good friend who works in product for MB, and for what it's worth, they're having an awful time trying to sell the AMG GT. Nobody wants it.

LC is not alone in this regard.
AMG GT is a proof that even MB needs a reality check from time to time. I personally think it's the worst buy in the segment. It's a tweener of a car, it really belongs in 8/LC/911 GT like category but somehow it wants to chase supersporty cars like R8/NSX/McLarens/Huracan etc. That chase has brought many compromises like size, usability and presence yet performance is still not there. And that interior is jus horrible. It has impeccable fit and finish but it's tacky level 99.
@Gecko I think the LC F has a real chance to change that.
@Gecko I think the LC F has a real chance to change that.
Change what? It's going to be a low production car that's facing an uphill battle in this market, so Lexus will need to:

1) Position it correctly - options, price, power
2) Market it cleverly - their marketing has been hit or miss, and this is a totally different type of car for Lexus so they need to get it right
3) Stay committed to it - even if it doesn't sell well, Lexus needs to remain committed to the car and make it work - not neglect it and let it wither and die

Does anyone realize there's never been a second generation F car? All have been one and done - IS F, LFA, GS F will go with GS dies, and there doesn't seem to be a succession plan for RC/RC F. I am hoping that LC F and LS F turn a new leaf for Lexus with a real commitment to F vehicles. A decade of dillydallying hasn't done much in terms of creating a real AMG/M fighter.
That’s what I meant @Gecko . Not make the same mistakes as MB has done.
All: The current LC500 has 471 HP the 467 is in the GS-F and RC-F. The LC-F will probably have a 4.0-4.4 liter TTV8 will close to 630 HP from what I read and whole bunch of torque. At that Point its going to be real hard to beat.


What is important is to see how Lexus deals with the LC500 weight of almost 4400 lbs. LCF might not be much lighter than the LC500 since it probably would not have a carbon fiber chassis.
The AMG GT is one of my favorite cars inside and out. Drives amazing and the V-8 sounds spectacular. I think the AMG GT has the same issue as the LS, the 911 is do dominant and crosses from 90k to 400k its a hard market to crack.

I don't see a bunch of LC F sales. What it does is continues to add halo and a much needed boost to the F marque. It will be the highest HP car to come from Japan stock.
There is a fine line between "building a car that feels good" and building a "numbers" car. Even with ~630hp, LC F probably will not be a numbers car because it is so heavy to start with, and RWD only. NSX and GT-R are/will be hybrid with AWD, so they'll probably both be faster all around.

I think that having a competitive HP number is a very important starting point... it looks good on paper, which is step 1. Nailing the other elements like steering, exhaust sound, etc. are things the Lexus F team has historically done very well, so I'm not worried about those.

The problem for GS F was that it was significantly down on power despite nailing the other elements, so I am hoping that LC F and LC F starting with a more competitive spec sheet will fare well for sales/interest.

I am not in the realm of $$ to buy a car like this, but I really don't think .4 seconds difference 0-60 makes a big difference for buyers. Plus, Lexus has significantly more prestige than Acura or Nissan. When you start comparing with MB, Aston Martin, Porsche, then that is a slightly different ballgame. But LC is a gorgeous car to start with, so they have that going for them!
But LC is a gorgeous car to start with, so they have that going for them!
Now just drop some weight with Carbon Materials, Add TT, 600++HP, 4.0 or higher V8, AWD and you should grab attention and buyers from the other manufacturers.
Now just drop some weight with Carbon Materials, Add TT, 600++HP, 4.0 or higher V8, AWD and you should grab attention and buyers from the other manufacturers.
Yeah, if they can lose 400 lbs and bring it around RCF's weight of 3960 lbs and then add 600+ HP (hopefully, supercharged V8) then that could be a very compelling car in its class.
No way it will lose weight while retaining all modern electronic toys.
The January next year will mark 2 years after the LC 500 was revealed. I will be disappointed if it is not revealed by then. Most performance variants of luxury vehicles in other companies take 1 year max. I don't want to wait so long. A lot of the hype around the LC 500 has also died down by now.
From what I’m told the LCF is going to be lighter then LC from the materials used. Forged carbon fibre with removal of seats and other tech not needed will help in its diet. Remember it’s not going to be a performance GT but a super car! We are entering the realm of the mighty 911 and will be very low volume to make it work! But not just a 911 but the GT3...this is a huge task to take on so I don’t mind the wait, we need it to be perfect so give it time and we will have an incredible car that the LFA might be proud of :blush: I’m sure most people would agree to give it a few years to create something special rather then a rush job and end up with a failed, bloated and slow product to help strip the F marquee it’s credibility. If it’s supposed to be an F car then it needs to deliver like the LFA and ISF. Not just looks and sound! I do not want another RCF story!
No... I don't think it will reach supercar territory or is intended for that segment either. It is just going to be a higher performance version of the LC 500. It will still keep it's luxury and comfort while still making it more track-capable and quicker. It will compete with the upcoming M8 and S 63 Coupe. None of these cars can be described as supercars, even though on paper they may seem like them.
Today "supercar" means "drag car. BMW M8 is certainly the new Nissan GT-R, even if less exciting. Supercars and Hypercars) car dead, except in Monte Carlo and London (UAE exports).