DETROIT, Michigan (WKBN) – When your name is on the company, and your customers say your product is boring, you probably take offense.
Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of the Toyota motor company and its Lexus luxury division, took the criticism of his company – journalists and customers who said Lexus cars were smooth but dull – to heart when he heard it a few years ago. And that started him and the Lexus division on a mission to turn around that image.
Hence, Monday’s unveiling of a bona fide Lexus muscle car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The LC 500 is a real car, born from an earlier concept car.
Toyoda wants Lexus to become “a more emotional brand,” he told journalists at the Detroit show. He said he doesn’t want Lexus just to build cars that fill the Lexus line up.
“I want to make cars to fill people’s hearts,” he said.
The LC 500 should at least thrill your heart, if you like fast powerful sporty coupes. Described as the flagship sports coupe for the brand, it sits on a new rear-wheel-drive platform with a 5-liter V-8 sporting 467 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
In showrooms next year, Toyoda promises “this is just the beginning.”