The Lexus LC 500 is definitely one of my favorite grand-touring coupes, with its stunning good looks and it’s powerful 471-horsepower naturally aspirated V8 engine marrying luxury and performance in a way that only Lexus can. Last year, Lexus introduced a new convertible LC variant for those sun lovers out there.
But that’s not all. Lexus just introduced a new limited-edition LC 500 that is sure to get your heart racing. The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series takes the grand-touring coupe to the next level with an aviation-inspired design from a partnership between air race pilot Yoshihide Muroya and Lexus engineers.
Standing apart from the standard LC 500, the 2021 Inspiration Series is accented with a combination of features not found on any other LC package. The limited-edition vehicle is offered in one exterior color (Obsidian), which is paired with bold and beautiful 21-inch black forged-alloy wheels that fill out the wheel wells. An eye-catching carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof is standard, and it proves to be the perfect complement to the carbon-fiber rear air wing spoiler.
The 2021 LC 500 Inspiration Series also gains some additional enhancements in driving performance thanks to the Torsen limited slip differential. The high-capacity torque-sensing limited-slip rear differential efficiently distributes engine power to the rear axle, helping to optimize traction, handling and control in a variety of conditions. The standard Yamaha rear performance rod with damper, an available option on other LC models, provides added rigidity to the suspension package.
Stepping inside, the serialized badge on the center console immediately identifies the limited nature of the vehicle and its sequence of the 100 produced. The cabin is adorned with black Alcantara-trimmed sport seats that feature elegant Saddle Tan accents and seat belts. The steering wheel and shift lever are also accented in black Alcantara trim. A carbon-fiber scuff plate accents the door, and once inside driver and passengers can bask in the sound of the standard Mark Levinson 13-speaker 915-watt Reference Surround Sound Audio system.
The LC Inspiration Series also comes standard with a large color Head-Up Display (HUD) that projects a range of information onto the bottom of the windshield glass. Relevant information can be displayed to the driver without taking their focus from the road such as: road speed, gear, engine speed; turn-by-turn directions; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control status; Pre-Collision System; Lane Keep Assist/Lane Departure Alert; master warning indicator; information icons; clearance sonar.
The LC 500 Inspiration Series benefits from the same updates to the standard LC 500 for 2021. Lexus engineers were able to trim 22 pounds of unsprung weight from the vehicle, which is highlighted by the use of aluminum lower suspension arms, lighter suspension stabilizers with a hollow design and revised diameter, new high-strength coil spring material, and lighter 21-inch rear wheels.
With unsprung weight reduced, the LC’s suspension was refined to provide a smoother, softer stroke for an enhanced connection to the road. This was accomplished with adjustments to the electronic absorber controls of the front suspension to increase the length of the stroke. Engineers then optimized the bound stopper rigidity to help create a smoother overall suspension stroke. Rear stabilizer rigidity was enhanced to aid front turn-in ability to provide more linear steering input.
Vehicle control at mid- to high-speed ranges are enhanced thanks to the LC’s Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system gaining Active Cornering Assist (ACA). This system helps with cornering by providing brake control to the inner wheels based on G-force and lateral acceleration demands during spirited driving.
Upon startup, thundering through the variable Active Exhaust, the LC’s 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 issues a full-throated engine note as a call to driving enthusiasts. The LC 500 puts out 471 hp and 398 lb-ft of peak torque. The LC is also capable of delivering a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and has an EPA estimated 25 mpg rating on the highway.
Other key enhancements for the 2021 model were made to the 10-speed automatic Direct-Shift transmission on the V8-powered LC 500, as the shift logic was updated to help provide improvement for daily driving in what engineers refer to as the “active zone,” or the area where most drivers find themselves at in the 50-70% throttle range. The Direct-Shift transmission allows engine RPM to expand in this range to accentuate the feeling of acceleration before shifting into the next gear.
I’m unsure about the black and brown interior, which comes with unique black Alcantara-trimmed sport seats with Saddle Tan accents and seat belts. While it does help to break up all the black on this car, the seat material and color looks a little “off” in these pics. Hopefully the brown seat inserts look better in person.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series is expected to be available later this winter, and pricing should be somewhere just north of $100,000. If you like the color black and all of the extras that come with the Inspiration Series, you’d best not wait too long, as only 100 vehicles are being produced.