2018 LEXUS LC 500

BEAUTY AND MUSCLE

It’s been a long eight years since Lexus had a grand touring coupe in its lineup. But when you see the new LC 500 in the flesh, you’re bound to think that it was worth the wait. The LC 500 is absolutely stunning. It turns heads everywhere it goes.

Akio Toyoda, the head man at Lexus’ parent Toyota, laid down the law to designers a few years ago­­­­—no more boring cars. The LC is anything but boring. In fact, it is arguably the most stylish Lexus production car ever. The front facia grabs your attention first, with its graceful interpretation of the Lexus “spindle” grille. The grille is flanked by arrow-shaped head lamps that highlight the sleekness of the design. Viewed in profile, the bulging rear fenders and huge 21-inch alloy wheels add just the right amount of muscle to this sexy coupe.

The interior of the LC is no less impressive. Just about every surface is clad with supple leather or Alcantara suede. The seats up front are covered in a combination of these two materials and are contoured to hold you securely in place during vigorous driving. However, don’t expect to use the backseat much for passengers—there’s no legroom. Trunk space is limited too, but will accommodate two overnight bags.

The infotainment system features a 10-inch screen on the dash, which is controlled by a touch pad on the console. It’s a sophisticated setup that operates much like your laptop. However, it is not all that intuitive, and can be distracting to use while driving.

Grand touring cars are supposed to come with abundant power, and the LC 500 certainly delivers in this regard. Lexus propels this beauty with a 5.0-liter V-8 that pumps out 471 horsepower. It will race you up to 60 in just 4.7 seconds. Furthermore, the rumbling exhaust note is bound to get your juices flowing. When you start up the LC, all your neighbors will know that you’re on the move. A smooth functioning, 10-speed automatic transfers power to the rear wheels. A gas/electric version, the LC 500h, with 354 horsepower, is also available.

Grand touring cars are not designed to tear up a track. The LC weighs 4,300 lbs., so it’s not nimble like a Porsche. Yet, it is a fine handling car, with precise steering. Moreover, drivers can firm up the adaptable suspension by switching to the “sport” or “sport+” modes for vigorous driving. Although the ride becomes harsher, I think most buyers will be willing to pay that price. Personally, I found the “comfort” mode the best setting in everyday use. Yet, even there, I think there’s still room for refinement.

As you would expect, the LC 500 comes very well equipped with luxury and safety features. A 12-speaker audio system, keyless entry/start, Bluetooth and the Enform Remote are standard. This last feature can start the engine; adjust the air conditioning and set driver limits from outside the car. However, if you want more high-buck items, a carbon fiber roof, a head-up display and intuitive parking assist are all available from the options list.

As for safety technology, this Lexus gives you the whole nine yards. Frontal-collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and the Lexus emergency communication system are all included in the base price.

Speaking of price, the entry point for the LC 500 is rather steep, $92,995. The hybrid LC 500h is about $4,500 more. My test car, with a Sport package, a Convenience package, a Mark Levinson sound system and more, had a bottom line of $102,890.

 

SNAPSHOT REVIEW

Gorgeous Styling

Bags of Power

Lots of Standard Features

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