Friday, January 12, 2018

2018 Lexus LC 500: The Car We Always Knew Lexus Could Build

Highlight: The two-door coupe is the successor to the discontinued and more conservatively styled SC.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $100,805 (Base model $92,995)

Seating Capacity: 2 (2 small kids in the rear)

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a back up camera; heated dimming exterior mirrors; a tire pressure monitoring system; aprec-collision system with pedestrian protection; an all speed radar activated cruise control system; automatic high beam headlights; a lane keep assist system; a lane departure alert system with steering assist; a traction control system; a vehicle stability system; an automatic locking retractor; and an emergency locking rectractor

Standard Equipment: 20-inch aluminum wheels; a rear wheel drive configuration; a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifter; a push button ignition system; an adaptive variable suspension system; a driver select mode (sport and sport plus); an active sport exhaust system; aluminum pedals; electric power steering; flush outside door handles with a
smart key access; LFA-inspired instrumentation; an analog clock; a 10-inch infotainment screen; a navigation system; flush-type door handles; direct spay windshield wipers; power front seats with memory controls; aluminum scuff plates; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; leather front seats; pseudo-leather rear seats; an 8-inch infotainment screen; and a dual zone climate control system

Options On Test Vehicle: 21-inch wheels; a heated steering wheel; a windshield wiper de icer; a park assist system; a blind spot monitor with rear traffic cross alert; power front seats with Alcantaria inserts and a glass roof; a color heads up display system; a limited slip differential; a remote touch pad; and a 19-speaker, 450-watt audio system

Other Trim Level: a hybrid

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 12-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 5.0-liter, 8-cylinder/471-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: This two-door coupe is all-new for the Lexus lineup. This is Lexus’ latest halo vehicle.

Why: If you like the more attainable RC, but are currently benefitting from the continuous gains in the stock market, the LC is the way to go. This work of art on wheels is not only eye catching, but it has the driving dynamics and the engine to support the vehicle good looks. Beauty in this mobile art production literally goes skin deep.

While Lexus has been known for building luxurious and somewhat uneventful vehicles, in terms of performance and engagement, fret no more. The LC tells a different story, placing the brand in a new category. The LC, just like the sporty looking RC, is designed for the brand’s signature wide-mouth grille. In fact, the gorgeous coupe was birthed in Toyota’s California design studio.

With the LC, there is so much attention to detail in this rear wheel drive sports luxury car. From the detached exterior mirrors to the flush door handles to the unmistakable roaring engine sound that spews from underneath the elongated hood, this is a Lexus like none other. It just oozes elegance, class and sex appeal.

It is so obvious that the driver experience was top of mind, when the LC's jet-inspired interior was conceived. The interior designers created a rotary dial that easily adjusts the drive mode select system. Within seconds, the LC allows the driver to turn up the volume, in terms of its engine noise, as well as fine tunes the suspension system, by going from sport to sport plus.

From the driver-oriented instrument gauges to the instrument panel, which meshes between conservatism and modernism, the interior designers mixed in an analog clock, a high-tech remote touch pad, a colorized digital instrument panel and the optional suede and leather inserts throughout the LC 500. Attention to detail was strictly adhered to in this luxury coupe. 

Lexus’ first sport luxury coupe, which is designed for both the track and cruising around town, effortlessly glides above the speed limit in a flash. Thank God for the optional heads up display unit, which advises the driver of his speed, as well as the posted speed limits in the driving area. In our opinion, Lexus should consider making the heads up display system a standard feature on all LCs. We are quite sure that Lexus will receive 100 percent support from each buyer.

Underneath the hood, the LC zooms from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds. To be more exact, it is 4.4 seconds. Just like any sports car, the LC relish curves, too, especially the optional 21-inch wheels that outfitted our vehicle. And according to Lexus’ records, the top speed on their flagship coupe is 168 mph. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), depending upon one’s view, we did not have opportunity personally to confirm those numbers, while the vehicle was in our hands.

And, unlike the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT we reviewed a few years ago, which competes against the LC, Lexus’ coupe rides on a multi-link suspension. This suspension along with the supportive front seats, with it carefully placed bolsters, places this vehicle in a category by itself. Also just in case the driver decides to showcase the vehicle’s power, a built-in center grab handle is readily available for the passenger.

Moreover, the optional crystal clear 19-speaker audio system in our LC allows one to be in one with the vehicle as they experience every bit of what the street has to offer.

Furthermore, the LC is available as hybrid, too. So one can go green and still look fly, while only adding a little less than $5,000 to the sticker. With the hybrid, fuel economy in the 6-cylinder hybrid increase by approximately 13 percent, according to

But: Lexus should consider adding dials and knobs to the infotainment system. The remote touch pad designed to operate the ventilation and audio system seemed to be overly sensitive.

We’ll refrain from commenting on the rear seat. But, let’s be honest. Who wants to haul around four people?

And, why is this stunning work of art not available with a manual transmission? While non manual users welcome the steering shift paddles, it is not the same for true driving enthusiasts.

Lastly, the heads up display unit should be standard as opposed to optional. Who has time to glance down at the electronic gauge, while constantly gauging the windshield and rearview mirror?

Verdict:  The LC is the super luxury sports car we have been waiting for Lexus to create. While the release of the RC a few years ago was a step in the right direction, the LC is the icing on the cake, especially for those who can afford it. From the sensuous style, to the creature comforts, to the power from underneath the hood, Lexus shows they can build a full-fledged performance sedan, without sacrificing luxury and comfort. And, they were able to do all of this at a price tag that barely tips over a $100,000, which is well below the competition.

We can only imagine how the LC 500 would look as a drop top. Well, it does not hurt to dream!

Competition: Chevy Corvette Z06; Jaguar F-type R AWD; Maserati Gran Turismo Sport; Mercedes Benz AMG GT


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