Lexus kicks the lovely LC 500 up a notch with this Inspiration Series


Alright, let’s be real: The Lexus LC 500 coupe is the most beautiful front-engine, two-door, V-8-powered car on the market today. I’d welcome debate in the comments, but for my money, nothing else currently on sale matches the LC’s elegance, sumptuous style, and concept-car design. In fact, just yesterday, I told someone it couldn’t get any better-looking. I was wrong.

Say hello to the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series, a limited-run variant of the slinky coupe derived from a special collaboration between Lexus engineers and air race pilot Yoshihide Muroya. When Muroya needed some development on his race plane, he tapped Lexus to help improve its aerodynamic behavior. The Japanese automaker’s engineers, using data collected from the brand’s vehicles, were able to implement a few improvements in the wings that helped Muroya clinch the 2017 Red Bull Air Race world championship.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series car and plane

In celebration of that partnership, and as a way to adapt their findings back into the car world, the engineers turned to the LC to create this ultra-special-edition car. The focal point is a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CRFP) rear wing nearly six feet in length. The wing drapes over the LC’s shapely posterior, angling down at each end like an accent line in a comic book. It’s fitting for a car that, from certain angles, has a rather geometric, animated look to it.

Predictably, Lexus engineers stuffed the Inspiration Series with content. It will only be available in Obsidian exterior paint—a rather Henry Ford-esque move, but the paint works on this thing. Gorgeous five-spoke, 21-inch wheels fill the wheel wells, and the same CRFP material from that fancy wing can be found in the coupe’s roof. Inside, a serialized badge adorns the center console to let you know which of the 100 units you’re driving. The black Alcantara-trimmed sport seats with Saddle Tan accents look all-day comfortable, a staple for GT cars such as this one. Equally as important for day trips across continents? Sound. And the Inspiration Series LC doesn’t disappoint here either, offering as standard the Mark Levinson 13-speaker Reference Surround Sound Audio system.

Or maybe just turn the surround sound down and let Lexus’ sublime, 5.0-liter, free-breathing V-8 play you a tune no scherzo could replicate. In this application, the LC’s eight-cylinder makes 471 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. When paired with the LC’s 10-speed automatic transmission, Lexus says the LC is good for a 4.4-second romp to 60. The Torsen limited-slip differential—optional in other flavors of the LC 500—comes standard on the Inspiration Series, as does the Yamaha performance suspension.

The LC stands on the shoulders of one of the all-time great coupes, the operatic V-10 toting Lexus LFA. We named it one of our 2021 Bull Market List cars, and if we were betting folks, we’d hope to one day see the LC 500 get the same respect down the road. Just 100 units of the LC 500 Inspiration Series will be created, and Lexus says they’ll arrive at dealerships later this winter. While there’s no word on pricing, expect each of these 100 units to start will over the $100,000 mark. Steep? Maybe, but when a car looks like a million bucks, perhaps obtaining one for ten percent could be considered a steal.

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