A new car from Lexus has just joined the above-$500,000 club here.
SINGAPORE — The new Lexus LC 500 and 500h were launched in Singapore two weeks ago, and their price tag gives them the dubious honour of costing more than half a million dollars. They count the BMW 6 Series and Porsche 911 as rivals.
Still, that makes the Lexus LC only the third most expensive Japanese car here. Here’s a rundown of the three priciest cars from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Lexus LC $554,000 with COE
With a price tag of $554,000 (with Certificate Of Entitlement) apiece, either of the LC coupes costs as much money it takes to buy a small apartment.
What you get instead is a plush, powerful cruiser with four seats and outrageous styling (we know which we’d rather have).
The Lexus pair are technically accomplished, too. The more sporty LC 500 has a 10-speed automatic gearbox, while the more refined LC 500h (the ‘h’ stands for ‘hybrid’) actually has two gearboxes — one more for efficiency and smoothness, and another to introduce a more conventional feel to the way the car accelerates.
The car’s chief engineer Koji Sato was in Singapore to launch the car, and said the LC represents a new way of doing business for Lexus, and is meant to be more than just a car. You don’t think your half-a-million bucks only actually bought you a mere car, did you?
Nissan GT-R $620,000 with COE
Every driving enthusiast has some familiarity with the fearsome Nissan GT-R, although most of us are only acquainted with one in theory. It costs $620,000 to buy one here, after all.
Yet, if any high performance car could be considered a bargain, the Nissan is it. A mild facelift has kept this supercar-slaying car fresh, with mild tweaks for the twin-turbo, 3.8-litre V6 engine giving it 570 horsepower; that’s the sort of oomph you would have had to buy a Ferrari for, not long ago.
Most cars are evaluated in terms of 0 t0 100km/h time, but with the GT-R it’s probably more meaningful to ponder the time it takes to get to 200km/h: around 12 seconds, which means it must have the kind of acceleration to bend your spleen.
Apart from raw performance, the GT-R does offer unusual touches of perfectionism. Each engine is hand-built, and only five people in the world are allowed to assemble them. Its titanium exhaust system is also painstakingly crafted by hand.
Now do you feel better about the price?
Honda NSX $929,999 with COE
The big daddy of Japanese cars here (at least in terms of price) is a Honda with a legendary name. This hybrid super coupe is only the second car to wear the NSX badge, but it lives up to the spirit of the name (which stands for ‘New Sportscar eXperimenal’) in many ways.
It’s a standard supercar in some ways (lightweight body made of advanced material, powerful engine behind the passengers) but it has plenty of new tech to help it serve up fast laptimes effortlessly: namely, electric motors front and back.
Driving it is a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 worth 507hp alone, with a 48hp electric motor to add spice.
The front is driven by a pair of motors, each one producing 37hp. They can act individually, helping the car to steer aggressively into corners and feel painted to the tarmac.
The NSX may not be as dramatic as a Lamborghini, but it’s breathtakingly fast and, thanks to the technology, much easier to handle around a racetrack than its exotic rivals. Most of us would probably be faster in one than in a Ferrari.
Surely that’s worth the money?
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