Tag: Luxe Life

2018 Jaguar E-Pace AWD First Drive

2018 Jaguar E-Pace AWD First Drive

The concept of Jaguar producing an SUV/CUV is already a foregone conclusion that has been met with great success thanks to its F-Pace. So now it’s the perfect time to broaden the segment with the introduction of the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace. Jaguar-Land Rover flew us to the French island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean, which itself is a combination of Franco-Italian style and culture, to sample this exotic combination of utility and performance.

Jaguar calls the E-Pace a “tweener” and we will, too. Tweener in the sense that just as the F-Pace did not directly match up with such competitors as the Mercedes GLC, and Audi Q5, it actually ends up somewhere in between. The same can be said for the new Jaguar E-Pace. It sits decidedly between the BMW X1 and X3, the Lexus NX and above the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA.

But an SUV from a company known for such icons as the D-Type, E-Type and the XJ220 supercar that rocketed to 212.3 mph? It’s called profitability, and with the F-Pace, and now the E-Pace, the brand’s SUV and CUV lineup has nearly doubled company revenue.

A Different Kind Of Cat.

While the F-Pace featured more of a style as found in its Land Rover cousins, the E-Pace is taking advantage of the latest refinements in the Jaguar stable. A front-driver in European versions, we Yanks will receive the all-wheel drive variant with a powerplant from Jaguar’s Ingenium engine series. With two variations, the Core Model and R-Dynamic version, the E-Pace will feature a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, or 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, respectively. Essentially identical engines, the more powerful version uses increased turbo boost to add more to its bottom line.

Jaguar E-Pace AWD
Jaguar E-Pace AWD

Transverse mounted, both engines are mated to the widely used ZF 9-speed automatic transmission that functions with a shift lever or steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. While the front wheels offer torque vectoring via the brakes, our R-Dynamic model offered Jaguar’s “Active Driveline” which accelerates the outside rear wheels in a turn with up to 100-percent of the torque going to the rear axle via a wet clutch. It’s the perfect thing for drifting, if you were so inclined!

Our tester included the optional Configurable Dynamics package, which allowed us to tailor the throttle, steering, shift speed and Adaptive Dynamics system, which varied damper ratios according to sensors that “read” the road every 10-milliseconds (0.01-seconds).

The E-Pace rides on the JLR D8 platform that it shares with the Range Rover Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Measuring up 12 inches shorter than the F-Pace, it includes an aluminum front clip (fenders, hood), roof and tailgate but adds more high-strength steel than its larger sibling. The steel makes for a more rigid ride, but also increases overall vehicle weight.

Honey, I shrunk the F-Pace.

The new E-Pace appears like its F-Pace big brother that may have spent too much time in the dryer following an intense wash cycle.

Jaguar E-Pace AWD
Jaguar E-Pace AWD

Actually the E-Pace steals some of its big brother’s design cues including the bold grille similar to the other vehicle. LED headlamps and signature J-Blade lighting flows around the outside headlamps for a distinct appearance like no other. The sharp looks continue rearward with “tight haunches” that wrap tightly around, into blade like rear lamps that bring to mind the rear appearance of the F-Type sports car, itself already an icon. Our R-Dynamic model included the full and fixed panoramic roof, which was just enough to allow us to enjoy the surroundings of this Mediterranean sea-based island.

The E-Pace’s interior is conservative, but still all Jaguar. If you have seen and enjoy the controls in F-Type vehicles, then too, you have seen the controls in this E-Pace.

Sport contour bucket seats offered numerous ways to become accommodated in total comfort. A grab bar, similar to the same device inside the F-Type sportscar, allowed a bit of stability for passengers on twisty Corsican mountain roads. But we would offer that despite the fact Jaguar calls this E-Pace a five-passenger vehicle, its backseat was better suited to handling just two extra passengers. As such, we’d call it a four-seater.

Jaguar E-Pace AWD
Jaguar E-Pace AWD

A 10-inch touchscreen display helps to control the Touch Pro infotainment system in handling navigation, audio, telephonic and vehicle controls. Our top shelf R-Dynamic E-Pace was equipped with an available 12.3-inch display that displayed all pertinent controls within our field of view from behind the steering wheel.

And just because, Jaguar has left little details that are what other manufacturers call “Easter Eggs.” You know, those small details designed to amuse the vehicle’s owner. In this case, it’s a Jaguar mother, and her “cub,” representative of the larger F-Pace, and its E-Pace cub. Get it? The outline is seen in several locations around the cabin, waiting to surprise and delight its owner, everywhere it is seen.

Driving Impressions.

The first thing we noticed was the spritely pickup accompanied by an engaging exhaust note from the 2.0-liter inline turbocharged engine. The paddle shift levers offered a great degree of shift control from the 9-speed gearbox. The engine, despite its being only a transverse-mounted inline four-cylinder, is raspy like a turbocharged V6 when pushed hard.

Despite that raspiness when driven in anger, the engine was relaxed at speed, as the gears climbed in the ZF 9-speed. In normal driving modes, its sound managed to keep to a very respectable level rather than going to low rumble or a high-pitched wail. Consider it having a Jekyll and Hyde personality. The sweet sounds from the Meridian Audio system displayed a delicate voicing that allowed you to single out a particular instrument. It became quite soothing after a spirited run through Corsican twisty turns along our sometimes-mountainous routes.

The E-Pace offered great handling with a totally connected feel, which might be antithetical for a semi-tall CUV like this. Credit the new lightweight steel knuckle-based front suspension, which increases camber, and in the process helps minimize understeer. Lighter and greatly refined, it makes for a very responsive steering feel that becomes even stronger in the Dynamic mode. It was enhanced by the active torque vectoring that helped to shorten the length of a curve during aggressive corner cutting.

Taking the Leap(er).

The new Jaguar E-Pace proves once again that good things do indeed come in small packages. Sure, it isn’t the biggest cargo hauler in the segment, nor will it offer three-wide rear seating for a trio of burly man-types, but it will offer lots of fun both on and off-road, with capabilities that will allow you to get wet, dirty, sandy and snowy, too. In other words, this CUV is a “Cub” for all seasons.

Story and Photos by Mark Elias

2018 Jaguar E-Pace R-Dynamic AWD

Base Price: $38,600 (Core E-Pace) $47,250 (R-Dynamic)

 

Specifications:

Type: Five passenger AWD CUV

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder Ingenium engine series.

Horsepower: 296 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm

Torque: 295 torque @ 1,450-4,500

Transmission: ZF 9-speed Automatic

Length: 173-inches

Width: 78.1-inches

Height: 64.9-inches

Wheelbase: 105.6-inches

Cargo: 24.2-cubic feet, seat up

52.7-cubic feet, seat folded

0-60 mph: 5.9-secs

Top Speed: 151-mph

Fuel Economy: 21 city / 27 highway / 23 combined

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”99″ gal_title=”Jaguar E-Pace AWD”]

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

New ownership at Jaguar is not that new anymore. Tata (makers of Eight-O-Clock Coffee and others) came in and dropped the brand on its proverbial head and in the process, shook things up quite nicely, we’d say. One of their grandest achievements is the latest iteration of their flagship 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD. The ability to go topless has never been more appealing than in this personal two-seat neo-spectacular near-supercar. Sure it’s a mouthful, (with a few hyphens) but please work with us here.

Available in a variety of configurations, the Jaguar F-Type has even helped to grease the skids for its newly arrived F-Pace SUV. But is it really all that? We spend a week in the F-Type R Convertible to find out.

Breathtaking.

That’s pretty much what it will do. Designed to take your breath away from 20-feet, and mold you to it once inside, the 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD is the al-fresco (topless) version of the F-Type that was introduced in 2013. A two-door, two-passenger sportscar, it is offered with several engine flavors. Our sampler featured a 5.0-liter Supercharged V8 engine built by a Jaguar team in a dedicated facility within Ford UK’s Bridgend Engine Plant. In this guise, it produces 550-horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque that is capable of motivating the all-wheel-drive F-Type to 186 miles per hour. Power is delivered to all four wheels, as sensors see fit, by a ZF-built eight-speed automatic transmission and Jaguar Instinctive All Wheel Drive.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

With its instinctive features, the system sends virtually 100-percent of the torque to the rear wheels for a typical sports/performance joint, in normal circumstances. Get in over your head (as determined by onboard sensors) and a center coupler can send up to 50-percent of the available torque forward to help control any possible over- or understeer that may swamp you. Like an insurance policy, it’s not always needed but good to know its there.

Also on board: Jaguar’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). As the company explains, it is capable of sensing rain, ice and snowy conditions on the road and provides full functionality of AWD to the F-Type. Conversely under dry, optimum conditions, it sends approximately 90-percent of the traction and torque to the rear wheels. The beauty of the system, according to company brass, is that it works seamlessly and still maintains the F-Type’s Jaguar DNA.

This Jaguar now comes in five flavors ranging from base F-Type, F-Type Premium, F-Type S, F-Type R and top flight F-Type SVR. The three former are equipped with supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engines, while the two latter are supercharged V8 powered.

While not necessarily in the same wheelhouse as a rear-engined supercar, the Jaguar F-Type could almost sit at the same table. As such, it will be cross-shopped with such legendary rides as the Acura NSX, the Audi R8, the Mercedes-Benz SL and Nissan GT-R.

A looker.

The 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible, in our mind’s eye, appears shorter than its E-Type predecessor. Still, it’s plenty slick without being over the top. While the Jaguar signature grille reappears, the power bulged hood now features revised ventilation to allow trapped underhood air an escape route to aid in front-end stability.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

Designed at the same time as the coupé, the convertible has taken advantage of engineering that allowed the car’s rigidity to be a part of the initial construction rather than be cut out of it the same time the roof has been lopped off. The result is a car that is nearly as rigid as its hard-topped brother. The sidelines draw rearward in an appealingly swoopy design that culminates in signature LED taillamps and an underbumper diffuser. Oh did we mention the chrome-tipped exhaust finishers? A console-mounted button opens an internal exhaust baffle that makes the engine go from a purring gurgle to a toxic roar.

Inside lines.

With precision tailoring, occupants of the cockpit wear the Jag’s interior like a fine Savile Row suit. Constantly in flux, the F-Type’s interior has seen improvements since its introduction in 2013. While the basic design remains as it did four years ago, it has undergone refinements including updated gauges and other accoutrements. While we are not particularly warmed to the ivory and black leather color scheme, we like the way the seats fit with their adjustable bolsters and lumbar support. We did hear some whining about a hard seating surface here or there, but generally more occupants liked the seating than not.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

The F-Type now includes a standard 770-watt Meridian audio system with Sirius XM Satellite radio and Jaguar InControl Remote & Protect, and InControl Apps. With Remote & Protect, it’s possible for owners to check fuel level, door lock status, set the climate control temperature and even start the car remotely. InControl Protect automatically sends a call based on activation of a supplemental restraint trigger that alerts the emergency desk when a shunt has occurred.

Behind the wheel

The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is an eight-pot jewel of an engine that offers supercar performance at a not-too-outrageous price. Sporting an oil filler cap with the legend FOMOCO imprinted on it, the engine shows off some of the lingering remnants of the technology swap that did, and may still benefit the two automakers. The F-Type’s electric power-assisted steering offers, for the first time in Jaguar brand history, a more efficient, and in this case, better steering feel than found in any previous Jaguar.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

The cabin remains relatively quiet while at speed, thanks to the multi-layer fabric roof, which features a mechanism that can raise and lower in under 20-seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. On the other hand, if the interior gets too quiet, an exhaust by-pass valve can be opened which makes for a throatier growl coming out of the chrome exhaust finishers located within the rear under bumper diffuser.

The ZF eight-speed Sportshift automatic transmission really threw down when asked to, with sure shifts and no hunting for a proper gear. While it operates in a seamless manner in automatic mode, working the paddle shift levers clearly appeals to a driver’s emotional side. Downshifting while heading into a tight right-hander saw rev-matching do its thing to impart a feeling of oneness with the car. It was almost as if you thought about what your next move behind the wheel would be, and the F-Type would execute it for you. Flick the switch into Dynamic mode and it instantly causes a pushback into the seats. Running on bumpy roads did soak up most of the road imperfections but some of them still made their way through the harder than average seat cushioning.

Conclusion

Between the sound, performance and looks, the Jaguar F-Type R-Spec Convertible is firing on all cylinders. Along with others under the Jaguar/Land Rover (JLR) concern, it’s clear to see that Jaguar has a range of contenders in the stable.

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

Story and Photos by Mark Elias

Base MSRP: $108,250         As tested: $109,245.

Includes: Destination fee, $995.

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                         Supercharged V8

Displacement:                                  5.0-liter

Power:                                               550 hp @ 6,500 rpm

Torque:                                              502 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,500 rpm

Fuel System:                                    Direct Injection

Fuel:                                                  Gasoline

Acceleration:                                   0-60mph in 3.9 seconds

Top Speed                                        186 mph (limited)

Drive Type                                       AWD

Gearbox:                                          ZF eight-speed automatic with “Quickshift”

Tire Size:                                         255/35R20 front/255/30R20 rear

Unladen Weight:                           3,847-pounds

Length:                                            176.0-inches

Width:                                             75.7-inches

Height:                                            51.7-inches

Wheelbase:                                    103.2-inches

Cargo Volume:                              7.3-cubic feet (trunk only)

Cd:                                                   0.37 Cd

City:                                                15

Highway:                                        23

Combined:                                     18

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”35″ gal_title=”Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD”]

 

2018 Genesis G80 Sport

2018 Genesis G80 Sport

Punching above its weight class is always a way to be noticed. Think of the slight schoolyard kid who packs a wallop when confronted by the playground bully. That’s a perfect analogy to the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport.

Now in its second year of production, you may have remembered a previous version known as the Hyundai Genesis. At the time, it was part of a high-zoot tag team partnership with the Hyundai Equus. Both were good, but with the breakneck speed of advancements the brand, and the industry seemingly make, they were quickly surpassed both on the outside and within. In that sense, this new luxury spinoff from Hyundai is punching above, and actually landing a few blows along the way.

Muscle-bound.

Exhibit A: The G80 Sport sedan. It’s a muscular four-door that admittedly shouldn’t show up for track days at your local racecar country club and day spa, but does manage to transport its occupants in luxury, while managing to not squeeze its owner’s bottom line. Oh, and did we mention its 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty?

Genesis G80 Sport
Genesis G80 Sport

Clearly the best value in midsize luxury cars today, it competes against the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, and BMW 5-series. It is loaded with nearly everything a salaryman could hope for as he climbs the corporate ladder. The 3.3-liter twin turbocharged V6 is a direct injection powerhouse that makes 365 horsepower and a genuine 376 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to Hyundai’s eight-speed automatic transmission that does everything asked of it, even if the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are a little on the smallish side. Zero-to-60 mph times come on in 5.3-seconds for this somewhat heavy (4,519-pounds) lead sled, but it still imparts a sense of power by way of the growl that comes on while added pressure is loaded on the skinny pedal. Quiet isolation is this sedan’s strong suit.

In the oft chance that you don’t speak turbo, the G80 can be equipped with either a 420 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 or a 311 horsepower 3.8-liter V6.

The 2018 Genesis G80 Sport includes nearly every item on the Genesis options list except for the available winter-oriented AWD system, which comes with a heated steering wheel and a $2,500 price tag. A huge standard panoramic sunroof lets enough UV light in to insure your dermatologist is able to send all four of his children to college. One thing we would love to see in the Genesis lineup is an alignment with a major watchmaker for an added sense of caché. Mercedes-Benz dances with IWC. Bentley rides with Breitling. Ferrari shuffles with Panerai. It goes a long way to help boost a car’s bonafides, especially in this luxury segment, where attention to detail is everything.

Genesis G80 Sport
Genesis G80 Sport

The 2018 Genesis G80 Sport is a real charmer, but it’s not without a few minor quibbles. We found at various times the volume on the stellar Lexicon (by Harman) audio system with Clari-Fi would creep up prompting us to reach towards the centerstack for a quick readjustment. Soon we discovered we were riding along with the air conditioning blowing a balmy 85-degrees. That’s’ a result of Genesis designers placing the climate control dials where the volume and tuning knobs of the audio system are traditionally located.

Genesis G80 Sport
Genesis G80 Sport

Secondly, and this might be a bit more subjective, and perhaps a result of not being gifted with an adequately padded gluteus, but to our bottoms, the Genesis interior designers apparently received their degrees from the Major League Baseball College of Seating Design. The seat cushions in the Genesis are as hard as a bench in the dugouts of Chicago’s Wrigley Field (Home of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs).

But does it go?
Power from the 3.3T spooled up rather quickly, putting out almost V8 power with the mileage of something you would expect in a Hyundai Accent. Not really, but you get our drift. While the Comfort settings did the job for the most part, we found the Sport gate to be much more engaging on backroads where we had a chance to see this Genesis unwind. When you hit the Drive Dynamics button to go from Eco to Comfort to Sport, things firm up in the steering and throttle departments. The suspension, whether it actually does or not, felt like it firmed up, too.

Critics commented how audacious it was that a South Korean econo-car company felt like it was time to compete with the big boys. Along the way, there have been fits and starts but they seemed to get fixed quickly as the Genesis brand does not seem content to work things out over the long term.

We find their rate of progress to be part of a plan that includes punching above that weight class, and making a name for themselves in relatively short order. With the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport, they are on a fast track.

Story and photos by Mark Elias

2018 Genesis G80 Sport
Base MSRP: $55,250 As tested: $56,225.
Includes: Destination fee, $975.

Key Specs
Cylinders: V6
Displacement: 3.3-liters
Power: 365 hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
Fuel System: Direct Injection
Fuel: Premium
Acceleration: 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds
Drive Type Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox: 8-Speed Shiftronic Automatic Transmission
Tire Size: 245/40R19 F 275/35/19 R
Unladen Weight: 4,519-pounds
Length: 196.5-inches
Width: 74.4-inches
Height: 58.3-inches
Wheelbase: 118.5-inches
Cargo Volume: 15.3 cubic feet
Cd: 0.27
City: 17
Highway: 24
Combined: 20

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”34″ gal_title=”2018 Genesis G80 Sport”]

2018 Lexus LC 500 First Drive

2018 Lexus LC 500 First Drive

Getting behind the wheel of a sporty Lexus has been a spotty affair since the brand was founded back in 1989. While the brand has had a great success with their sedans, there have been a few sporty hits, but mostly misses, on the path to establish the company as a full-line Japanese luxury brand. That was until recent years where Akio Toyoda decided enough was enough. That was until the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and LC 500h.

Fat, drunk and stupid Stodgy, boring and not very fun to drive is no way to go through life. (With apologies to Dean Wormer in Animal House https://youtu.be/rs_PkNkB-wQ ) So it was very apparent by Toyoda-san’s joyful display at the 2016 NAIAS in Detroit, that the brand had finally found its footing.

With the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and LC 500h, do we have just another pretty face or does this newest grand tourer finally have what it takes to compete in the world of high-zoot personal luxury cars?

A sheep in wolf’s clothing or more?

The 2018 Lexus LC 500
2018 Lexus LC 500 5.0-liter engine

The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is a front-engined, rear drive, 2+2 placed sports machine. Offered from the start with a choice of two powerplants, the lead engine will be the 5.0-liter naturally aspirated, direct injection V8 engine that produces 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. It will be mated to a first-for-the-segment 10-speed automatic transmission that Lexus tells us is as fast as some dual-clutch gearboxes found in sports cars costing thousands more.

As an alternative to that engine, and capitalizing on the Lexus parent company’s expertise in hybrid technology, the brand managed to stuff a Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive system into the engine bay of the Lexus LC 500h. Based on an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 with two electric motors for a net 354 total horsepower. Instead of the ten-cog gearbox, the LC 500h uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that combines with a more traditional four-speed transmission, which works to keep the hybrid’s 3.5-liter V6 running in what engineers have determined to be the powertrain’s sweet spot. The system allows the electric portion of the drivetrain to giddyup to 87 mph before it starts drawing from the gasoline-powered V6.

2018 Lexus LC 500h Hybrid

The gas and the hybrid models of this 4,290-pounder top out at an electronically limited 168 and 155 mph respectively. While the gas V8 manages 16 city, 26 highway, with a 19 mpg average, the hybrid achieves 26 city, 35 highway and 30 combined. Zero to 60 from the gas 5.0-liter ticks off in 4.4-seconds, while the hybrid manages the same feat in 4.7.

The LC 500’s suspension manages to bypass the latest in high tech offerings including variable air suspension systems in favor of a more traditional front and rear multilink suspension with electrically assisted power rack and pinion steering kit. An optional rear-steering system is part of the LC’s Performance package and provides the means to shrink the LC’s turning circle or assist in lane change maneuvers. In total, the entire suspension system helps the LC sportscar perform more rigidly than the LF-A supercar

They said it couldn’t be done.

Doing a quick walk around the car, it is clear that there really is no bad angle from which to look at it. Design yields to innovations, including a nearly flat bottom for improved aero, and scoops in the lower front fascia that channel air over the outsides of the wheels, both front and rear similar to the Air Curtain feature found in select BMW models.

Mr. Toyoda asked, “Can it be done? Would it be possible to go all out and make a truly luxurious grand touring sport coupe worthy of the L-logo and the signature spindle grille?” About that spindle grille, we think this is the first time in a Lexus model where the cinched-waist opening really fits the design, rather than fighting it. The hood, fenders and door panels are aluminum. The rest of the exterior uses composites throughout, and even has an available carbon fiber roof.

Built on Lexus’s new GA-L platform that it shares with the new Lexus LS sedan, it is built to compete against the likes of the BMW 650i, Jaguar’s F-Type and the Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe. It manages to fit right in while remaining completely different from the others. Pricing is different, too, starting at $92,000 for the 2018 Lexus LC 500 with its naturally aspirated V8, to the LC 500h Hybrid, which checks in at $96,510. In the grand scheme of things, that’s almost in bargain territory.

 

The 2018 Lexus LC 500

Being a two+two grand tourer seems to be a bit of a reach. But the whole concept seems to be, doesn’t it? It does manage to source interior inspiration directly from Maranello, Italy, home of Ferrari. We loved nearly every aspect of the interior including the finely stitched leather that covered the high-performance driver and passenger seats. But all was not totally perfect. We thought it came up a bit short with the touchpad, which should be taken back for a bit of refinement. And then there was the LC’s fly-by-wire gearshift control. Despite its leather-wrapping, it still seemed as though it was pilfered from Toyota’s Prius parts bin. It just doesn’t seem a proper fit in a luxury sports coupe.

Either way, the cars appear the same except for the blue-background hybrid badging.

Behind the wheel.

The Lexus LC 500 features the same engine found in the GS-F and the RC-F. Sonorous, almost F1-like in nature, it punctuated the exhaust notes with an audible pop at the change of a gear. The closely spaced gearbox climbed rather quickly through the cogs, getting to the optimal ring in short order. But could this be a case of overkill? We experienced a bit of hunting while cruising around, which may just be the indicator that, in this case, maybe eight truly is enough.

Acceleration is sharp enough in both versions of the LC 500, with the shifting of the gears holding just long enough to make it interesting. When it reached the optimal point, a slight backfire is heard offering the emotional appeal that got you interested in cars in the first place, right?

This grand tourer is almost a one-size-fits-all proposition that could work for a wide variety of drivers. Think of it as an Aston Martin with reliability. It’s just the thing if you would like a little cash back from your $100-large. Still, with only 400 samples being built each month, and with dealers trying to eek every last cent out of a transaction, finding one at that price might be like finding one of those unicorn things.

Another cool thing: Lexus plans to go racing with the LC 500 in the IMSA WeatherTech and other European and Asian racing series. Do they have what it takes? Time will tell, but as a betting man, we’d say yes. According to Lexus officials, the brand is here to leave a mark.

Base MSRP: LC 500- $92,000.   LC 500h- $96,510.

Destination Fee: $995.

Key Specs                                 LC 500                                                       LC 500h

Cylinders:                                      8                                                                      6 + two electric motors

Displacement:                              5.0-liter                                                          3.5-liter

Power:                                           471 @ 7,100 rpm                                          354 hp (combined)

Torque:                                         398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm                               256.7 @4,900 rpm

Fuel System:                                Direct Injection                                            Direct Injection

Fuel:                                             Premium                                                        Premium

Acceleration:                              0-60mph in 4.4 seconds                             0-60mph in 4.7 seconds

Drive Type                                  RWD                                                               RWD

Gearbox:                                     10-speed automatic                                    Multi-stage Hybrid

Tire Size:                                     245/45RF20, Rr: 275/40RF20               245/45RF20, Rr: 275/40RF20

Unladen Weight:                       4,280-pounds                                             4,435-pounds

Length:                                        187.4-inches                                                187.4-inches

Width:                                         75.6-inches                                                  75.6-inches

Height:                                        53.0-inches                                                  53.0-inches

Wheelbase:                                 113.0-inches                                                113.0-inches

Cargo Volume:                           5.4-cubic feet                                              5.4-cubic feet

Cd:                                                0.33                                                              0.33

City:                                              16                                                                  26

Highway:                                     26                                                                 35

Combined:                                  19                                                                  30

 

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”18″ gal_title=”2018 Lexus LC 500″]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porsche Cars With Pedigrees.

Porsche Cars With Pedigrees.

Fans of the legendary Porsche marque were able to get up close and personal with the objects of their affections at the 22nd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, held March 2017 in Amelia Island, Florida, USA. Seen as part of the event’s racing display, they featured storied rides from the factory as well as by privateer teams that carried the flag of the sports car manufacturer based in Stuttgart, Germany. There was even a movie star or two.

1972 Porsche 917-10

Cars from the racing stables of Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, Florida, were also on display and included the legendary 1,100-horsepower 1972 917-10 Can-Am car, a 1977 model 934.5, a 1979 slant nose 935 and an ugly duckling 2007 Porsche/Riley Daytona Prototype, which at some time or another were all probably driven by Brumos ace Hurley Haywood.

1979 Porsche 935, left and 1977 Porsche 934.5.

Preston Henn’s T-Bird Swap Shop 962 was part of the collection of racecars driven by legendary hot shoe Al Unser, the racing honoree at the 2017 Concours. Also on scene were several examples of the 1959 Porsche RSK, as well as a pristine 1973 Porsche Carrera RS (Rennsport) Coupe owned by Dick and Sarah Butler.

Photos and story by Mark Elias