While a great symphony orchestra deserves a concert hall stage, a concrete car park provides the ideal acoustic platform for a virtuoso “performance” by the Lexus LC 500 in Exit Music, a new short film celebrating the thrilling sound of the muscular coupe’s V8 engine.
True to its commitment to delivering exhilarating performance in its cars, Lexus has tuned the LC 500 specifically to produce a great sound, adding another dimension of driving pleasure to the car’s high style and performance appeal.
To create Exit Music, Lexus handed the keys to its flagship sports car to stunt driver and three-time British Rally Champion Mark Higgins. The master wheelman hustles the car through the tight confines of Bristol’s Cabot Circus multi-storey car park, using throttle and brake to produce a roaring crescendo of noise.
With the area closed to the public and working in controlled conditions, he explores the LC’s amazing aural range, with ultra-quick flicks of the paddle shifts to move through the 10-speed automatic transmission, brushing the 7,300rpm red line as the car power-slides between pillars and descends the car park’s spiral ramps. The wail of the naturally aspirated engine is matched by the scream of the car’s Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tyres.
Higgins, who has experienced many of the world’s most desirable and powerful cars, was impressed: “The LC is a lovely car and it looks gorgeous,” he said. “It gives you everything you want in terms of luxury but it’s fun to drive as well. And the sound it made through that car park at two in the morning was amazing – it echoed out all over Bristol. It’s a car that I would be very, very happy to drive every day.”
Lexus took great steps to give the LC 500 a sound that stirs the emotions, combining the noise produced by the air intake at the front of the car and the exhaust system at the rear to create a “concert hall” effect inside the cabin, both when the car is accelerating and slowing down. The air intake is fitted with a sound generator with dimensions precisely calculated to maximise the desired sound frequency and level. Its opening is connected directly to the car’s cowl reinforcement, to generate reverberation in the enclosed space, giving the sound a natural quality.
At the rear, extra valves in the front section of the main exhaust silencer open and close with the driver’s use of the throttle. The length and diameter of the main silencer pipe were also calculated to generate a rousing exhaust note.