A blend of jaw-dropping looks, peerless performance and sumptuous luxury means that the Lexus LC 500 is a Lexus to lust after.
What is it?
The Lexus LC is Lexus’ new flagship luxury coupe. Inspired by the stunning Lexus LF-A supercar, the Lexus LC melds concept car looks, with high performance drivetrains and formidable comfort and technology.
What’s it cost?
The Lexus LC is offered in two flavours: the petrol V6/hybrid the Lexus LC 500h and the V8 Lexus LC 500 and both are priced from $190,000 plus on road costs.
Standard equipment includes a digital instrument cluster and an enormous infotainment screen with pin sharp resolution, satellite navigation, heated and cooled seats, dual zone climate control, an excellent Mark Levinson stereo, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, Lexus’ multi-mode drive system and even an adjustable rear spoiler.
Our test car was fitted with the Enhancement Pack, which adds another $15,000 to the list price. The enhancement pack includes partial leather and suede seats, carbon fibre scuff plates and roof, quicker power steering with four-wheel steering capability.
What’s it go like?
Very well. The LC 500 shares its 5.0 litre V8 with the RCF and GSF, so it produces 351kW @ 7100rpm and 540Nm @ 4800rpm but the LC is equipped with a 10 speed automatic, as opposed to the eight-speed unit fitted to its siblings. As such, the LC500 feels quicker off the line, and that new high-tech transmission seems to make the most of the engine despite its lofty power and torque delivery. As such, the Lexus LC 500 doesn’t feel sluggish at low revs like the RCF and feels rapid off the line.
The 0-100km/h dash is dismissed in 4.7 seconds, more than quick enough for most, and rapid for something that is billed as a grand tourer.
Then there’s the noise. Slip into the beautifully supportive sports seat, put your foot on the brake and press the starter burton. You’re greeted by the whir of the starter motor, then an enraged pop and bellow. Lexus has put a lot of effort to ensure that this car sounds just right, and it’s evident. Pop it into drive and the LC 500 burbles away. And that’s the thing – it’s clever.
Once you hit cruising speed the LC 500’s V8 bark is pretty much reduced to an anonymous hum. It’s soothing and quiet when you need it to be, but when you hit a twisty backroad and want the LC 500 to gird its loins, it does so, emitting that deep below, which eventually progresses to an enraged whine the higher you progress through the rev range, a noise that is synonymous with the Lexus 5.0 litre V8.
If you happen to select Sport + mode, the transmission automatically blips throttle as it changes down through the gears as you progress to a stop. Lovely.
Official fuel consumption is quoted as 11.6 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle, but we averaged around 14.9.
The ride is surprisingly supple for a car that’s touted a grand tourer, but it never becomes brittle or loses composition. Steering feel is excellent, allowing for quick and fluid turn in, making the LC 500 a joy in the twisty stuff. Granted, the LC500 is a big, heavy car, tipping the scales at 1935kg, and at times it struggles to conceal such weight.
What’s it like inside?
The Lexus LC 500’s interior blends cutting edge technology with a mix of up to the minute and almost art deco avangarde design. The dashboard is thoroughly modern and has two digital display screens: one for the instrument cluster, the other for infotainment system. Lexus has eschewed a vast majority of buttons on the dash in favour for digital controls built into the infotainment system. The only remaining buttons on the centre stack are those for the climate control and the hazard lights.
The LC 500’s infotainment system is controlled by a laptop-style touchpad, a few shortcut buttons and an enormous power/volume control knob. We found that while the layout of functions fairly logical, and everything was fairly easy to locate – bar the seat heating and cooling controls which were fiddly and difficult to find – and that accessing functions on the move quickly was somewhat challenging.
Funnily enough, we kept finding ourselves trying to use that enormous volume control knob as BMW iDrive-style controller. It just made the excellent Mark Levinson stereo louder.
The front occupants sit low, and one felt truly ensconced by the dashboard and the centre stack – you feel snug, without feeling cramped as there is plenty of head and leg room for the front occupants. There’s some stunning design detailing too. The sculpted door handles and the flowing lines on the doors are simply gorgeous and highlight that Lexus has drawn inspiration for luxury yachts.
There are only two seats in the rear, and those seats are best reserved for very short trips, as head and leg room are strictly limited and this is a little disappointing given the car’s size.
The boot is a strange size too, with a high lip and floor.
The interior fit and finish is wonderful and everyone is beautiful to the touch. Overall, a very pleasant place to sit.
What we like:
- Jaw-dropping styling
- Performance and noise
- Stunning interior
- There’s nothing else quite like it
What we don’t:
- Infotainment system needs touchscreen compatibility
- No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and why doesn’t it have a power boot release? You’d expect all these things to be standard on a luxury car with a price tag in excess of $200k.
- Struggles to hide its weight at times
- Doesn’t mind a drink.
Sale or no sale?
Sale. Absolutely yes. The Lexus LC 500 dares to be different, and in doing so, Lexus has created a car with head turning looks, a spine tingling soundtrack and peerless comfort. The Lexus LC 500 is the Lexus to have.