2018 Lexus LC 500
By Phil Shuyler
The Lexus LC is newest addition to the luxury brand’s portfolio. It has been available for less than a year, so when people see it, there’s a mixture of emotions.
1.) What is that?
2.) Wow, that looks nice! and
3.) I want one!
All three are things you want to hear when you drive a high performance luxury vehicle. And that’s exactly what the LC is. Its 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 engine produces 471 HP and 398 lb-ft of torque – plenty to either mightily impress or scare your front passenger. Rear seat passengers will either need to be pets or luggage as there is zero leg room. This is quite common for sporty coupes though, so no negative marks here. Front seat room is perfect for anyone 6’ 3” or under, and the seats are firm yet supportive.
On the road, the ride is exceptionally comfortable, even in the potentially harshest Sport+ mode. Everyone who rode in the car commented on how smooth it felt. There are 5 drive modes you can choose from, including Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sport and Sport+. The good news is that no matter what mode you’re in, if you push hard on the accelerator, that glorious V8 will come to life. The sound the engine makes is purely outstanding. I don’t think I’ve grinned so much while driving in years. The sound is very much Lexus, and is very similar to the RC F and GS F, which makes sense since they all three use the same 5.0L V8 engine. The LC does have 4 more horsepower, thanks to improved intake and exhaust.
The LC is rear-wheel-drive and the engine is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which seems excessive when you’re driving spiritedly as you don’t hardly get out of 4th gear. There are little blips on up and downshifts, which some people aren’t fond of, however I think they give the car that much more audible character. The paddle shifters are attached to the steering wheel and are always right where you want them.
It may not be a critical buying factor, but we were impressed with the fuel economy we achieved during our one week test. Spirited driving averaged a little over 16 MPG, while pure highway driving maintained over 30. Both numbers are above the 16 city and 26 highway published by Lexus.
The 10.3” infotainment screen is integrated seamlessly into the dash, and the touchpad controls are comfortable and easy to use. It would be nice to have a touchscreen, however with the current design, the screen is too far to reach, so we’ll all just have to live with the touchpad for now.
Other optional goodies include an active rear spoiler, active rear steering, carbon fiber or glass roof, Alcantara headliner and color head-up display.
Pricing for the LC 500 starts at $92,000 and can climb up to $107,000 for a fully loaded chariot with the Performance Package, Convenience Package, 21-inch forged alloy wheels, a Mark Levinson surround sound system, and more.