VIDEO: Here's what it's like to race a V8 Lexus around a grand prix circuit

The Lexus LC 500 V8 in action on Phillip Island. Photo:

Japanese luxury car maker Lexus launched its new two-door coupe, the LC 500 (for luxury coupe), in Australia this week.

The car comes in two variants for the same $190,000 price tag (plus on-road costs). The first is a naturally aspirated 5-litre V8 petrol engine in the LC 500 for 351kW in power and peak torque of 540Nm – their most powerful V8 production engine, while the hybrid LC 500h has a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and 300Nm motor generator.

The V8 will get you from 0-100kmh in 4.7 seconds, while the hybrid is, surprisingly, fractionally slower at five seconds. But the big difference between the two cars is fuel consumption. The V8 chews through around 11.6 litres/100km, Lexus claims, while the hybrid swallows nearly half that juice at 6.7 litres/100km – but of course you miss out on the throaty warble of the V8, which is part of the thrill of driving the car.

Lexus dropped a 10-speed direct-shift transmission into the LC 500 in what the company says is a first for the luxury market, and Business Insider had the chance to put the car through its paces on Victoria’s Phillip Island grand prix circuit this week. We’ll have more to say about the cars tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s what it’s like push the V8 at up to 230km/h around the race track.

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