The Lexus LC500 is distinctive and rare. You do not see many of the Lexus flagship coupes on the road, and many people who see it do not know what it is. The LC is a beautifully crafted coupe that really makes you feel special, with a beautiful interior and performance to match its price.
The LC comes in several different versions, with the LC500h using a V6 engine and hybrid electric assist and the V8 powered LC500. We chose the LC500 which is the most powerful and most exciting version. You also have the option of a coupe or convertible.
The LC500 coupe is a big car at 187.4 inches long and 75.6 inches wide. You definitely feel the width when parking in tight spaces, but that width also gives it an imposing presence. The styling certainly attracts attention from everyone, and they all want to know what it is.
Despite the size, the interior is tight. The front seats are comfortable and shaped like a racing seat to hold you in well. They are also firm yet comfortable even on long trips. This is a car that eats up the miles with ease and takes care of its occupants. The back seat is another story. Lexus claims there is 32.5 inches of rear legroom in the LC, but we couldn’t find it. With the front seat pushed back enough for an average person, there is only enough room back there for small children. But this car is not about being practical. This car is about style and luxury and it delivers.
The LC500 is not just a pretty face. It offers some serious performance. Fire it up and the exhaust note sounds more like a muscle car than a luxury coupe. With so many cars going to small turbo engines, it is really nice to hear a throaty V8 under the hood. The 5.0-liter V8 pumps out 471 horsepower and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. The combination is good for a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph.
The 10.3-inch multimedia screen in the center of the dash is controlled by the Lexus mouse pad interface, which really does not belong in a car. It takes too much focus and time away from the driver just to perform simple tasks like turning on the heated seats. It is too bad because the rest of the interior is incredibly special, and everything feels expensive. There are also some small touches that make the car stand out, such as the placement of the driving mode button.
For a high-horsepower car, the LC500 is actually quite efficient as well. Thanks to that 10-speed transmission with a 0.598:1 10th gear ratio coupled with a 2.937:1 differential ratio, the LC500 cruises at highway speeds at around 1,500 rpm. That low rpm and slippery 0.33 coefficient of drag allow for great fuel economy on the freeway. The EPA rates it at 25 mpg but we saw closer to 29 mpg. With a 22-gallon fuel tank, you can go on some long trips and can avoid stopping at many gas stations along the way.
When the freeway ends and the road gets twisty, the LC500 shines again. While it is not a nimble sports car, it has tremendous grip thanks to 245 front and 275 rear tires and multi-link front and rear suspension with steel front and rear subframes. The LC500 is fun at the limit and provides the driver with a lot of confidence at every opportunity. Our car had the optional Dynamic Handling Package that really seemed to make the 4,300-pound coupe feel much more nimble. The package includes some nice features, such as 21-inch forged alloy wheels, Torsen limited slip differential, active rear steering, variable ratio steering, Alcantara sport seats, carbon fiber roof and a few more things.
Probably the worst part of the LC500 is that it is not cheap. Prices start at $95,600 and our heavily optioned car with almost everything cost $106,885. That is a large sum of money, but when you compare what you get to the competition, the LC500 is actually a car that should be considered. The handling package also makes it a lot of fun to drive — and you will look almost as good as I did behind the wheel!
|Engine:||5.0-liter DOHC 32-valve V8|
|Horsepower:||471 @ 7,100 rpm|
|Torque:||398 pound-feet @ 4,800 rpm|
|Front Suspension:||Double-joint multilink|
|Rear Suspension:||Independent Multilink|
|Curb Weight:||4,340 lbs.|