Lexus says the LC 500, the new flagship sports coupe it revealed at the Detroit auto show on January 11, marks the start of a new era for the luxury-performance brand. The car features a powerful 5.0-liter V8, concept car-styling and a track-focused design.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda himself explained cars like the LC 500, which goes on sale next year, would help define the brand’s identity going forward.

The LC 500’s styling draws heavily on the LF-LC concept of 2012, with L-shaped lighting elements and an “athletic profile.” The car’s interior is built around its sporting intent—in fact, track aspirations defined its layout. “The driver’s hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s Cg (Center of gravity) where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver,” Lexus said.

The chassis underpinning the LC 500 is the brand’s all-new rear-wheel-drive luxury platform, which has also been laid out to make the car perform better. Weight was centralized and lowered by mounting the engine behind the front axle, giving the LC 500 a nearly 50-50 weight distribution.

The car is built from high-strength steel for maximum rigidity but also makes extenstive use of aluminum and carbon-fibre – the latter specifically in an optional roof panel – for lightweighting.

Driving the LC 500 is a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 delivering 467 horsepower; mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, Lexus is hoping it will take the car to 100 km/h from zero in less than 4.5 seconds.

Lexus also unveiled its new LF-FC hydrogen fuel-cell luxury sedan at the North American International Auto Show January 11, announcing it hopes to bring a similarly powered fuel-cell-driven Lexus by 2020.