Lexus has begun production of its Lexus LC sports coupe, bound for the UK and European markets, on an exclusive assembly line at its Motomachi plant in Japan.
The Motomachi plant was previously responsible for producing Lexus’ LFA supercar, which has now undergone a significant upgrade to create a highly focused environment, to deliver high standards of production accuracy and build quality.
The final assembly area has been reshaped and made an all-white area to help engineers and assemblers maintain the best focus on their work.
The line culminates in a new glass-walled booth where the car’s bodywork is subjected to final inspection under a battery of LED lights.
The area for exhaust silencer inspection is surrounded by thicker glass panels so that the slightest abnormality in sound can be detected. The operation and quality of functional components, such as the doors, are also checked here.
The LC benefits will also benefit from a number of technologies which Lexus first developed for the LFA. These include the use of a special process, Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) for the production of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) composite material.
By adapting RTM for volume production, Lexus has been able to incorporate CFRP in key areas of the LC’s body structure which helps reduce the car’s weight.
All Lexus RCs will be put together by skilled Lexus craftsmen, called Takumi, who were previously tasked with the LFA’s assembly. The average time for each Takumi’s task is around 20 minutes which is a generous time given today’s mass production standards.
The Lexus LC is available with two powertrains – a V8 powered petrol, LC 500 is equipped with a 'world first' 10-speed automatic transmission and the full petrol-electric hybrid LC 500h which utilises Lexus' Multi-Stage Hybrid System.
The earliest Lexus LCs are scheduled to arrive in UK showrooms in August 2017.