Works Nation: The LB Performance Lexus LC
The Overfender Generation

Welcome to the nation of works. Overfenders, as they’re now commonly known, have been referred to as ‘works style’ flares by the Japanese for a long time. It’s a term that harks back to the early days of domestic motorsports when factory teams used to widen the track of their race cars by cutting away sheet metal above the wheel arch lines and bolting widened extensions over top.

It’s a rudimentary yet brutally functional way to fit wider wheels and tires, and thus a method that has never really changed much. Sure, it’s evolved into fenders with integrated flares or blisters being designed for off-the-shelf hot versions of cars, but in amateur racing circles and more modern style-oriented movements the good old ‘slap some flares on her’ process is not only still alive, but enjoying immense popularity.

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It’s funny that for the last few years we’ve been asking ourselves when will it all die down, or what the next big thing will be. I ask myself this question all the time, but if you think about it, there may not really be a next big thing. I mean, how could anything better the resulting look of widened fenders?

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Sure, you can try different takes on it, but at the end of the day you are still just pumping a car’s girth. Unless basic car design drastically changes and wheels disappear, this is what we’ve got to work with.

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Which brings us to Liberty Walk.

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This is a brand that has capitalized on the overfender movement in its own unique way, sticking to more premium vehicles and creating a very recognizable style. And every year more cars are added to the list, either under the LB Works or LB Performance banner. Combined, they’ve created something that Kato-san has begun referring to as “Works Nation”.

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I’m sure you can figure out the inspiration for the term, however this one not only represents stance, but also those cars that are fitted with overfenders.

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Kato believes it’s a true movement and one he’s a key player in. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see overfender-specific events pop up, just like there are ones for lowriders.

Here at Speedhunters we continue to look on as it all evolves, and with every passing year new ideas are thrown into the mix.

Wider Is Better. Case Closed
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In case you haven’t already figured it out, the Liberty Walk creation we’re looking at today is a Lexus LC 500h. The base machine is the pinnacle of Lexus design and hybrid performance, so it was inevitable that it would fall pray to Kato’s ways. And with the help of one Mr. Kei Miura, the LB kit has come to life in spectacular fashion.

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You could actually call the front overfenders ‘extenders’, as they closely follow the edges along the headlights and down along the doors to then reach halfway up the top fender lines. Curiously, the bumper join line has been covered to give a cleaner look. Artisan Spirits was called in to supply its front lip extension which is then mimicked along the under-skirts.

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Then there’s the rear, a large single piece that sweeps up and over the cut wheel arches, kissing the fuel filler’s panel gap and then meeting the bumper with a little taper for added effect. It does all sorts of wonderful things for the LC’s profile, enhancing the flowing and aggressively styled design language of the base car.

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The LB Performance demo machine also comes with a carbon roof to help shed as much weight as possible off the very top of the car to improve handling.

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Out the back, a raked trunk spoiler helps give a less serious feel to the car. I’m not sure about you, but I think this part brings an 86-like look to it all.

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In show car fashion the passenger side of the car runs a different pair of wheels, but I’ll get more into that shortly with some detailed shots.

Leather Cabin, Hybrid Powertrain
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You never really understand just how much Lexus has pushed the envelope on its latest cars – and the new LS is possibly even more refined – until you take a look inside.

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This car was sourced new for demo machine purpose, and as you’d expect on something built to run slow and low the cabin has been left untouched.

There’s absolutely no need to fiddle around with what is arguably one of the best appointed cabins in the segment. The quality of the materials, the fit and finish, the level of equipment – or gadgetry as I like to call it – is off the charts. It would be awesome if Toyota did things a little more boldly in some of its more run-of-the-mill models.

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And then we get to the performance, and this is where I could potentially branch off on a tangent and blabber on ad infinitum.

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But I wouldn’t be talking about this specific variant of the LC, because there’s no way this hybrid model (denoted by the blue highlights around the Lexus badges) has got anything remotely to do with fun or driver involvement.

The 300hp 3.5L V6 mated to the electrified driveline (which adds an additional 180hp to the mix) is nothing more than a smooth and refined choice for a car aimed primarily at refined commuting.

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The latter is something reflected in the use of a CVT transmission, my pet peeve. Sure, CVTs have their place in some cars – or should I say transportation appliances – but not in a luxurious coupe that is desperately trying to be sporty. I won’t say anything more about that, but what I will talk about are the positives, like the LC 500 which runs a 470hp 5.0L V8 mated to a 10-speed automatic with lock out, and the LS 500 with its twin-turbo 3.5L V6 for even more power. So let’s think happy thoughts and not dwell on this particular hybrid version, shall we?

While the stock LC 500h is a pretty quiet car, it does allow some hearty V6 frequencies to escape when put into Sport# mode. Here Liberty Walk has added a cat-back Fi exhaust system with quad tail pipes to give the car the soundtrack its design warrants.

What’s Next On The Cards?
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I mentioned the wheels a moment ago, and on the right side of the car we have a set of Forge Tech FTW204s with custom Liberty Walk embossing on the inner disk.

The split 5-spoke 2-piece rims measure 20×10-inch at the front and 20×12-inch at the rear and are shod in Yokohama Advan Sport V105s.

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On the left side we have some Yaba King wheels courtesy of 326 Power, which in my opinion work a lot better with the whole style of this LB Performance LC.

The classic 5-spoke design mated to a massive lip will never get old, especially when it’s there to really make a properly stanced car stand out. Plus the fact that you are probably more likely to see these Yaba Kings on drift cars or crazy VIP rides makes this application even more unique.

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If you ask the guys at Liberty Walk, works fever is indeed something that’s happening right now. The overfender is here to stay that’s for sure, so rather than trying to pick the next trend, we are probably better off wondering what the next car to get the treatment will be.

Any guesses as to what Liberty Walk will or should work on next?

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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54 comments

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1

God damn, I think those rims cost more then my apartment :))

2

Damn, where'd y'all confiscate these rimz from, man?

3

you get that from the newest DT from hoonigan? Lol

4

The LB Performance demo machine also comes with a carbon roof to help shed as much weight as possible off the very top of the car to improve handling.



Common Dino, I doubt they are too worried about handling. Shedding weight is always good, but in this case I think it has more to do with looking cool. As far as I can see, LB usually takes an expensive/unique car, gives it the "Works" treatment, and shows it off. "Cool" is probably the main purpose, to draw attention, parked or driving. It's a model of doing things that seems to work well for LB.

Author5
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The stock LC comes with a carbon roof, irrespective of what people do with the car.

6

Ah! Thanks for clarifying Dino! I had no idea.

I interpreted the phrasing of "The LB Performance demo machine also comes with..." to mean LB was the one who did the install.

7

I almost like this. But you have to laugh at how absurd it is putting on a carbon fibre roof panel to 'save weight' when they've added so much extra bodywork, wheels that must weigh a fair bit more than the stock items due to all that extra width and all the air suspension bits and pieces. And it's probably unlikely to 'help with handling' enough to compensate by how much it's hurt by the 11 degrees of negative camber in the rear...
I think the front fenders look fine, but something about the rears just doesn't look right to me. I think that a slight nip and tuck here and there along with wheels that fit better and usable ride height, and this would be a great looking car. It's close...

Author8
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The carbon roof is stock

9

Not sure about packaging in Japan, but in the US, the LC has either an all glass roof on the Touring package, or the CF roof on the Performance package.

Surprised they would have the CF roof on a hybrid model.

10

I get that they have a "formula"...and I understand the crowd-pleasing nature of the build, but it's just too busy.

Carbon roof, black stickers randomly placed all over the car, distracting black flare bolts. It cheapens the aesthetic of a brilliantly designed vehicle.

To be brief, consolidate the sticker-bombing and eliminate the bolts from the flares and it'd be much cleaner.
Those wheels aren't cheap, but they LOOK cheap. Very reminiscent of those (unjustifiably expensive) Niche wheels of the early 2000s.

When a car is as great looking as the LC500 from the factory, it becomes a delicate art to improve upon it. This attempt is too heavy handed.

11

EDIT: it's the wheels with the white dish that look the cheapest.

On that note, can the dual sets of wheels trend NOT HAPPEN???
Commit to a set and an aesthetic if you have skill and good taste.

Perhaps the build is TOOO crowd-pleasing.

12

I don't mind if they're symmetrical. If there's a different set on each side of the car, then I think it looks tacky.

Author13
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'm with you on that. I get why they do it and this car was at TAS the day before I shot it, so it makes sense... but it's something I don't like seeing haha

14

IDC if it's a hybrid or whatever, I think the LC is one of the best looking cars out there. Glass half full: at least there are different variants. Overall I think this is one of the better kits to come out. It looks wild, but also like it's supposed to be there.

As for the trend dying down at all; I think that it has never died/gone away and that this era of 'works' is just hitting it's stride. We had testarossa widebody kits, then integrated widebody kits, then F&F showcar kits, and now we've got essentially artisanal kits for lifestyle modification. If anything it's just a natural progression of the overfender rather than an in/out of vogue type of thing. imo

Author15
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The LC is a superb car, and I do look forward to driving the non-hybrid version soon to compare. As for overfenders, they've been around for ever and keep getting more and more popular as they enter different areas of car culture, spanning from motorsports all the way to the fashion oriented styles we have today

16

Non hybrid lc500 with normal auto gearbox is better?

Author17
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It can ONLY be better haha

18

Any guesses as to what Liberty Walk will or should work on next?

The new Ford GT. I know it seems like sacrilege to do it to such an impressive supercar, but think about it: Liberty Walk has already created body kits for quite a few supercars, such as the Aventador, 458 Italia, NSX, and the Huracan, to name a few. Besides, I personally think it'd be interesting to see what Kato-san's take on a beast like the GT would look like.

19

Good pick, but.... I had to go check out some GT pics, and how can u over fender a car that's already a "workx" car for real?

Author20
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Good point, I don't think it would add to the car in all respect

21

plus considering that there are only 499 of them, the resale of them is going to jump through the roof(probably in the multiple of millions). Well once people are allowed to re-sell them, which could be soon or in two years... See joe rogan experience with matt farrah where they talk about john cena

22

An awsome looking build. Would love to seen some rolling pictures of the car

23

Interesting look! The rear fenders make the car look excessively droopy and long from some angles, but the front fenders look great. Interested to hear what that V6 sounds like with that exhaust. Very nice overall, love the two different wheel choices as well.

24
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

All is good, right until the moment I see it use different sets of wheels on both sides of the car. OCD triggered.

Author25
Dino Dalle Carbonare

lol I get you

26

Would love to see a Liberty Walk Kia GT Stinger

Author27
Dino Dalle Carbonare

We don't get Korean cars in Japan

28

Because of japan-korean history conflicts?

29
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Wait, seriously? I thought you guys have Hyundais over in Japan!

30

Yeah sucks I know. I would love to bring one in.

31

Nope. Lose the air ride and those silly stretched tired and you have a winner.

32

The fitment of that front fender...oof. Especially in the side-view photo, that's some wheel gap of a different kind. The width of white fender flare that you can see behind each wheel...just totally breaks the illusion of these LB cars for me. Is it plastic?! It looks like it!

The rear flares are pretty well done, though the shape seems quite similar to the rear fenders of other LB cars.

'There’s absolutely no need to fiddle around with what is arguably one of the best appointed cabins in the segment.' I totally disagree. Makes these cars seem rushed and unfinished. An interior modified to the extent of the exterior would make this truly a work of art, and not just the next-of.

Cool show car, seems unfinished, 6.5/10.

Author33
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's FRP. As for the interior, what could you possibly do? Seats are ace, the steering wheel is nice and has a ton of buttons on it to control infotainment and the dashboard display. I really wouldn't mess with anything in there, maybe add a JDM can-coffee holder on one of the air vents LOL

34

Upholstery in a non-factory colour, for one? Just because something is already amazing doesn't mean it shouldn't be modified. Why bother modifying exotics at all, then?

I am admittedly a huge fan of 80's Koenig Specials with blue velvet interiors...

35

Rest of it their car is way to over the top though.

36

West coast customs retrimmed an interior and it does look much better

Author37
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Pix?

38
Александр Трофименков

Oh, come on, another one?... This whole overfender thing is starting to get repetitive, I don’t get the wow effect from these cars anymore.

39

It's not so much that the cars are bad/ugly/whatever. That's an issue of taste, and people will love or hate as they are so inclined. But, it's the overexposure of the LBW kits that bothers me at this point.

True, overfenders are classic and won't go away, but this *specific* style pioneered and typified by LBW is getting a bit tiring. It's not fresh and *wow* anymore, and I feel like the mere fact of LB putting fenders on a new car doesn't deserve a feature. Maybe do a 6-month or yearly round-up of what LB has been up to, rather than a feature every time a new car is out. Then it would be more special.

It's the same problem as LS engines. They're not bad, in fact, they're excellent. In real life, I'd love an LS swap in nearly anything. But the frequency with which they're featured on this site and others is diluting how special they seem.

Ace car, anyway. I don't even mind the hybrid aspect, as it's still faster than anything I'll likely ever own.

Author40
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I know what you mean, and believe me I do try to allow time to pass between features of these type of cars. But we are here to cover stuff, car culture is vast, it's diverse, there's a lot happening. What we can't do is expect everyone to like it. But that doesn't mean it doesn't happen or that we should ignore it, it's our thing here at Speedhunters to keep that proverbial finger on the pulse

41

This thing looks so futuristic !!

Author42
Dino Dalle Carbonare

The future according to Lexus :)

43

Man, I would love to see a kit for the Golf 7. That would be awesome

45

Dino,

Reading this I can’t help feel that you’re not especially moved by it? Apologies if I’ve misinterpreted it.

Personally I think they’ve ruined a really nice car. Shortly after they were released I got a test drive in one (a hybrid!) and in the flesh they’re a lovely looking thing. Maybe this is the same and looks better in person but to me they’ve messed with a winning formula and the result detracts from what is a pretty sorted car.

I’m not anti-overfenders but they really don’t suit this. Furthermore the camber just looks daft, I’ve never liked it and I’m not sure I ever will.

Different strokes for different folks but this isn’t my bag...

Author46
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It upsets me. Such a great car, amazingly futuristic and design design, sublime cabin all from a Japanese manufacturer. This is something to be celebrated. The hybrid driveline however is not. You are right, it doesn't move me one but, but I know there's potential for this car and I can't wait to see what the LC500 feels like.

47

who cares if it is a hybrid..if the end car is going to be a show pony?

48

The Liberty Walk "one style fits everything" is getting old. Calling the designer genius for fitting the same fenders to any car is wrong. That said the front fenders work well on the LC. the rear is garbage. Can some one design something specific to
the individual car.

49

You do realize that this slammed, overfendered stuff is the modern world's shag-carpeted 70s custom vans that look so ridiculous today?

Author50
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Possibly, but then probably not. There's some cohesiveness to it all, it fits and looks good. Those vans were interesting at the best of times of course some look cheesy in this day and age

51

That's my point.

A fad burns hot and when we're in the middle of it, seems like it'll last forever.

Then one day, it's no longer cool.

52

"Performance"

Uh...

Furthermore that rear camber is just ew even from a visual perspective.

53

I think they should do a Kia Stinger GT. It's an accessible and unique platform, a four door sports saloon that's very fresh on the market. It would raise eyebrows for sure, which is what Liberty Walk does best ;)

54

Great build, though I think the camber on the back wheels was a little TOO out there, but that's the point with builds like these. As for the next build, I have a few Ideas. Since we're dealing with a luxury-type vehicle, what about the Porsche Panamera, or either the Mercedes S-class or E-class? The last two could easily be showcased as a mixture of both the VIP and over-fender groups, ans would appeal to both! And maybe the Lexus GS-F. A LB kit would further accentuate the wide vents up front and even out the look a bit. And maybe the Ferrari F12 berlinetta and the Aston Martin DB9 for that grand tourer theme. Let me know if anyone else has suggestions.

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