If Lexus wanted to remonstrate us that it was conjunction tedious nor unimaginative, a 2018 LC 500 is a automobile to do it. Born of a eloquent concept, translated with perfected caring to mass production, and tasked with changing decades of preconceptions during a cost that’s pretty affordable, it’s no warn that a LC doesn’t utterly strike each note. Still, a delta between what this V8 GT promises and what it delivers is impressive.
Concept automobile looks
Few vehicles so purify constraint “movie automobile comes to life” as a LC. Lexus’ bizarre 2012 LF-LC judgment was stunning, yet nobody approaching a prolongation chronicle to come anywhere tighten to a uncover vehicle. Turns out, we shouldn’t have doubted Lexus’ engineers.
It’s a covenant to a bizarre pattern that, when a prolongation LC was denounced in Jan 2016, it valid to be just as jaw-dropping as a judgment it was formed on. Side by side there are positively differences, yet a huge, flared grille, Coke-bottle pinched waist, and outlandish proportions are adequate to make this distinct anything else on a road.
That it starts during a small $92,000 is astonishing, yet it has forced a few compromises to equivocate a six-figure starting price. A lot of a extraneous detailing – a blade-like behind lamps, for instance – competence demeanour like steel yet is, in fact, plastic. The pattern means that a case is tiny, too: 5.4 cubic feet.
A informed engine
In an age where turbocharging is usually replacing big, naturally-aspirated engines, a LC 500’s 5.0-liter V8 is a acquire change. It’s no stranger, either, being a growling heart of a GS F sports sedan, too. Here, Lexus has tuned it for 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. of torque.
It’s interconnected with a 10-speed automatic, yet not a dual-clutch delivery we competence typically find in a complicated GT. There are a lot of cogs, yet in Sport and Sport+ mode during slightest a V8 is peaceful to spin all a approach adult to a 7,000 rpm redline, creation a appreciative cacophony as it does so. Shifts are swifter than we competence expect, yet notwithstanding a sound there’s not a peppery opening you’d consider would come with it.
0-60 mph comes in 4.4 seconds, and tip speed is 168 mph. The LC 500 isn’t accurately light, yet – quell weight is 4,280 pounds – and that can’t be wholly sheltered in a corners. There’s some understeer, and a discretionary limited-slip differential isn’t adequate to bypass a fact that this is a complicated rear-wheel expostulate automobile that during times runs into a laws of physics.
Better, then, to expostulate this like a brawny grand tourer. Point a LC 500 during a turn, take advantage of a clever and fade-resistant brakes, seashore around and afterwards – with a snap or twin of a tasty magnesium paddles – plant your right feet to lift we behind adult to speed. Just don’t get held in a ravine conflict with a Porsche 911.
Beautiful cabin, contrition about a tech
The LC 500 was a initial justification both that Lexus knew a prior cabin pattern and peculiarity wasn’t utterly what it indispensable to be, and some-more importantly that it knew how to repair it. A cocoon of leather and Alcantara, with lashings of CO fiber trim, it’s a noted step adult from many of a automaker’s other models. Only some plasticky buttons and trim on a steering circle and in a core console let a side down.
The seats are abundantly bolstered and easily supportive, while a core controls tumble to hand. A shame, then, that Lexus’ infotainment complement feels so tired. There’s copiousness of screen, with a 10.3-inch wide-aspect row in a core console, yet a Enform program lacks gloss in comparison to what you’d find in other cars in a segment. No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, usually nauseous graphics and Lexus’ Remote Touchpad with a awkward navigation.
It’s a genuine shame, as there are some glimmers of loyal observance in a LC. Climate control that cleverly adjusts chair heating and cooling as good as a cabin temperature, for instance, or a voice authority complement that allows we to contend “I’m hot” and have a settings practiced accordingly. Problem is, eventually we need to puncture into a UI, and it feels 10 years behind what rivals are doing.
The behind seats are child-sized, and improved used for additional storage. Still, even with a dim leather, a LC 500 manages to feel impressively atmospheric as prolonged as you’re in a front. Visibility is surprisingly good, and we don’t need to be a contortionist to get in and out yet embarrassment. The Mark Levinson audio complement competence be a $1,220 option, yet it really sounds a part.
Don’t buy a hybrid
Despite what purists competence claim, hybrid sports cars aren’t inherently A Blasphemous Thing. There are copiousness of times, after all, when a jar of instantaneously-delivered electric torque can be incredible: Acura’s NSX is justification of that. Unfortunately, a believe on a LC’s hybrid version, a LC 500h that we also spent time with, is reduction compelling.
Rather than a V8 we get a 3.5-liter V6, interconnected with twin electric motors and a lithium-ion battery. Joining a twin is a bizarre delivery combination: a four-speed automatic, and an electronically-controlled CVT (continuously non-static transmission) that fake to be a 10-speed like in a LC 500. Sadly they don’t do a good pursuit during that masquerade.
It’s a identical setup to what Lexus has used in a hybrid indication of a new LS, yet while it suits a indolent oppulance sedan, it’s constantly wrong-footed in a LC 500h. There’s a frustrating doubt to a transmission: upshifting when you’d wish for down; suddenly holding low gears until you’re forced to change them yourself with a paddles. The CVT usually adds to a unpredictability, loath divided in a credentials even yet a rigging position arrangement suggests zero has changed. Your ears start to doubt what your eyes are saying and your physique is feeling.
I could roughly pardon it, were it in a name of indeed improving performance. Instead, it leaves a LC 500h a automobile we don’t utterly wish to pull hard, since it usually isn’t tighten to being as rewarding as a V8 chronicle (which is, ironically, a small cheaper too). Sport and Sport+ mode don’t help, usually adding a mad corner to a altogether experience. Even adhering with Comfort mode we got 22 mpg, brief of a total 30 mpg Lexus quotes.
Leaving a LC 500h aside, does a 2018 Lexus LC 500 make sense? The film star looks competence leave we meditative this is a complicated day rocket ship, yet in existence it’s a grand tourer with critical growl, even if a opening doesn’t utterly live adult to a soundtrack. All a better, arguably, to bask in a dropped-jaw gazes from passers-by (not to discuss withdrawal space for a LC F that Lexus is approaching to make).
What gives me postponement is a cabin technology. It’s a many antiquated partial of a LC 500 experience, and all a some-more differing given a space-age design. we imagine, were this my 2+2 coupe, I’d get used to Enform’s foibles in time, yet a believe that Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche drivers were enjoying most improved systems would be a thorn in my side.
Annoying, then, yet not adequate for me to bonus a LC 500 entirely. Few cars have such allure to make we spin around as we leave them in a parking lot and simply marvel during a design. It’s a film column brought to life, and yet it competence not acquire Lexus a purify brush opposite all a awards categories, a automaker deserves critical acclamation for bringing a judgment so purify to a road.