The Lexus LC 500 was launched in July this year, and now we’re providing you with an in-depth gallery showing you the ins and outs of the new Japanese luxury coupé. Priced at just under a million ringgit (RM940,000 on-the-road without insurance), it’s a competitor to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz SL, Aston Martin DB11, Maserati GranTurismo and the upcoming BMW 8 Series.

That’s some rarefied company, so it has to look absolutely stunning to stand out, and that it definitely is. The design was first shown on the LF-LC concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, and the production version looks remarkably faithful to the low, lithe and swoopy show car.

Lexus went to great lengths to retain those supermodel looks. For instance, engineers spent six months redesigning the front suspension’s control arm geometry to achieve a low bonnet line, while the short front overhang necessitated the fitment of ultra-compact LED headlights.

At the front, the trademark spindle grille is finished in chrome and has a new mesh design – the visual tension changes as it stretches around the front of the car. Independent arrow-shaped LED daytime running lights add to the unique lighting signature created by the triple LED headlight units.

The sweeping roofline and a glasshouse that tapers towards the rear creates what Lexus says is a unique silhouette, with blacked out C-pillars resulting in a floating roof look. Chrome roof mouldings create a more elegant aesthetic, with the rear edges shaped to mimic a Japanese katana. Prominent haunches and a middle section that is pulled inward create a three-dimensional form reminiscent of the grille.

Moving to the rear of the car, the spindle grille outline is mirrored in lines that go around the tail lights, before moving outwards to follow the number plate recess and the outer edges of the tailpipes. The tail lights themselves feature mirrors to create a multi-reflection, three-dimensional series of L-shaped graphics. Massive 21-inch forged two-tone alloy wheels with striking polished spokes come as standard.

Aerodynamics was another major area Lexus worked on, with the goal of optimising driving dynamics while suppressing wind noise. To that end, there are small fins ahead of the door mirrors, ducts to direct air over the rear wheels, a flat underbody and an active rear spoiler that deploys at speeds above 80 km/h.

Step inside the 2+2 cabin and you’ll find a driver-focused cockpit, with a central spar separating the driver and passenger. The driver’s hip point is located as close as possible to the car’s centre of gravity, and Lexus claims that the low bonnet line, low-profile instrument panel (thanks to compact air vents) and slim A-pillars improve outward visibility despite the low driving position.

Other details include sports seats with increased bolstering and a two-part construction for improved holding and comfort, plus a distinctive TFT LCD instrument display with moving centre ring further developed from the one in the LFA. The screen has three display modes corresponding to the drive mode selected – Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – along with a gauge showing how economical your driving is in Eco mode.

Standard specification for the Malaysian market include a carbon fibre roof for a lower centre of gravity, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control with Nanoe air purification, leather and Alcantara upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation and a navigation system with a 10.3-inch screen, Lexus’ Remote Touch touchpad and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.

Safety-wise, there are six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), traction control, rear ISOFIX child seat anchors, a blind spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), a tyre pressure monitoring system, a reverse camera and a pop-up bonnet to improve pedestrian safety. However, we don’t get the Lexus Safety System + suite of driver assists available in other markets.

Under the bonnet sits the 5.0 litre naturally-aspirated V8 from the RC F and GS F. Fitted with VVT-i and D-4S direct injection, it can switch between Atkinson and regular Otto cycles, and features forged connecting rods and titanium valves that allow it to spin up to 7,300 rpm. There’s also a dual intake inlet to improve breathing and engine note, along with a double torsion damper on the crank pulley for reduced noise and vibration.

The result is 470 hp at 7,100 rpm and 540 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm, sent to the rear wheels through a Direct Shift 10-speed automatic transmission with AI Shift. This technology enables the gearbox to adapt the shift pattern based on its estimate of the driver’s preferences and intentions. The torque converter also has full-range lock-up control, delivering a more direct feel.

The headline figures are therefore as such – the LC 500 sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds before hitting a top speed of 270 km/h. On the other end of the spectrum, fuel consumption is rated at 11.5 litres per 100 km on the European NEDC cycle.

Built on the new Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L) platform, the LC features a rigid body using a mix of regular, high- and ultra-high-strength steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. To improve weight distribution, the front-mounted engine has been moved 50 mm rearward, and the spare wheel has been replaced by run-flat tyres, allowing the battery to be relocated to the rear and the boot to be made larger (it’s still only 197 litres).

A lower centre of gravity has enabled engineers to reduce roll angle without stiffening the springs and ruining the ride – the result is controlled body motion and precise, linear response, contributing to a smoother driving experience, particularly when cornering or changing lanes.

Suspension is via multilink front and rear systems, with the front gaining an optimal arm design for improved steering feedback, while the rear receiving a low-mount configuration with precisely defined arm locations for ideal high-stability steering characteristics. Double ball joints on the control arms allow for finer movement control, optimised suspension geometry and more precise steering response.

Lastly, there’s Lexus Dynamic Handling that uses Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS), Active Rear Steering (ARS) and electric power steering to enhance steering response and a more direct feel in high-speed cornering, providing increased security. There’s also a limited-slip differential for more stable mid-corner acceleration, working with the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and ARS to reduce understeer and oversteer.