“Concept car” is a difficult time period. Technically, any car that may’t be produced as proven matches this description. However whereas some designs are not more than a set of mirrors and wheels away from supplier showrooms, others haven’t an opportunity of seeing an meeting line. When Lexus debuted its LF-LC idea on the 2015 Tokyo motor present, everybody and their mom guessed it will bear main surgical procedure earlier than hitting manufacturing — if Lexus would give the automotive the inexperienced mild in any respect.
However right here we’re, strapping into a really actual, very street-legal Lexus two-door. It’s referred to as the LC500, and it’s a spitting picture of the LF-LC idea that dazzled the automotive group three years in the past. Lexus presents two distinct variations of the LC: one with a naturally-aspirated V8 (our tester) and the opposite with a hybridized V6. With none main visible variations, selecting between the 2 comes right down to driving fashion. The V8 mannequin is louder, lighter, and extra highly effective, however the hybrid provides 30 mixed mpg and smoother energy supply.
At a beginning determine of $92,975 (together with vacation spot) for the 2018 Lexus LC500, there are a selection of established rivals to think about. Consumers looking for a cushty, potent 2+2 sports activities automotive will do properly to buy the Mercedes-Benz SL450 ($89,195) and the Porsche 911 Carrera ($92,150). Although BMW has discontinued its 650i two-door coupe and convertible fashions, you possibly can nonetheless discover new examples on supplier tons. It’s time to see if Lexus’s halo starship can sustain with the German elites.
Tremendous security, difficult comfort
The LC500 comes loaded with cutting-edge tech, nevertheless it flubs the execution in a few key methods. On board is a digital driver gauge with an built-in speedometer and tachometer, an obtainable shade head-up show, a 10.Three-inch infotainment, an elective 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, twin USB ports, XM radio, and Bluetooth connectivity.
When Lexus launched its reconfigurable gauge on the LFA supercar in 2010, the automaker claimed a standard tachometer needle couldn’t sustain with the fast-revving V10 engine. The LC500’s slower-revving V8 doesn’t have the identical necessities however the shifting show continues to be nifty. Much less spectacular is Lexus’ Enform infotainment system, which is operated by way of a smattering of bodily controls and a touchpad. Response time isn’t as a lot a problem because the menu construction and lack of shortcuts to widespread options. Familiarity with Enform helps, however it by no means turns into intuitive or usable with out targeted consideration. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto would definitely assist make issues simpler, however neither system is obtainable within the LC.
The LC500’s slower-revving V8 doesn’t have the identical necessities, however its shifting show continues to be nifty.
There’s higher information on the lively security entrance. Commonplace applied sciences embrace adaptive cruise management, automated excessive beams, ahead collision warning, automated emergency braking, entrance and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, lane-keeping help, and a backup digital camera. For a further $1,000, Lexus bundles blind spot monitoring, parking help, and rear cross-traffic monitoring. In freeway driving conditions, adaptive cruise management follows the tempo of visitors with out abrupt braking and lane-keeping help maintains a centered place inside markings with out ping-ponging the car.
Vicious sound, composed journey
In its normal configuration, the Lexus LC500 is a standard strategy to efficiency: an enormous V8 up entrance, rear-wheel drive, and an automated transmission connecting the 2. Lexus provides complexity with choices like an adaptive ratio steering rack and rear-wheel steering, however our pared-down tester (outfitted with solely a limited-slip differential) is a purist’s decide for GT enjoyable.
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Earlier than naturally-aspirated powertrains yield to pressured induction and e-assist applied sciences for good, let’s take a minute to understand the industry-wide roster of loud, proud motors on supply. There’s Dodge’s decide of Hemi V8s, Ford’s 5.2-liter flat-crank eight-cylinder, Audi/Lamborghini’s 5.2-liter V10, Porsche’s four.Zero-liter flat-six, Ferrari’s twelve-cylinder duo, Lamborghini’s V12, and Lexus’ 5.Zero-liter V8. Discovered within the RC F and LC500, Lexus’ V8 is a clean, soulful beast that appreciates a rigorous train routine.
Six drive modes and 10 speeds handle the LC500’s 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, however a heavy proper foot cuts by means of all that purple tape at any second. Almost four,400 kilos of mass tempers efficiency considerably, however the LC500 nonetheless hustles to 60 mph in four.5 seconds and tops out at 167 mph. Six-piston entrance and four-piston rear brakes work with Michelin Pilot Tremendous Sport tires to maintain the bodacious 2+2 in verify. Underneath exhausting cornering, the LC500 tends to push its entrance finish; solely with stability and traction management switched off is it potential to bait the rear finish out in a quick slide. A low middle of gravity and adaptive dampers retrain physique roll, although the LC’s substantial heft isn’t masked completely.
Lexus’ V8 is a clean, soulful beast that loves a rigorous train routine.
Lengthy, sweeping curves go well with the LC500’s character nicely, however the automotive shines simply as brightly when traversing nice distances. Two 300-mile street journeys proved the effectiveness of Lexus’ damper tuning and cabin insulation; tough roads and blustering winds do little to disturb passenger consolation. Our solely quibble with the LC’s cruising conduct is throughout stop-and-go conditions in consolation or eco mode. Beneath these circumstances, the relaxed throttle pedal hates to be rushed, lurching the car ahead because the transmission jumps into gear.
Although a big, 20-gallon gasoline tank cuts down on fill-ups, an EPA-rated 19-combined mpg nonetheless necessitates a big gasoline price range.
Styled for impression
Like these destined for fame, supercar house owners should make peace with the truth that privateness and an not noticeable every day life are not attainable; a brilliant pink Ferrari doesn’t mix in with the Prius crowd. Neither, although, does the LC500.
The hole between a $100Okay and a $300Okay automotive could seem inconsequential to these of us who can’t think about shopping for both, however in actuality, these figures symbolize two totally different shoppers with totally different expectations. For a $100Okay car to attract the identical consideration and curiosity as a automobiles costing greater than double is unimaginable. Even in a delicate shade like our dusk mica (darkish blue) tester, the LC500 is dazzling. Futuristic styling, a strong stance, and a chic silhouette ship as lasting an impression because the LFA of 2010.
2018 Lexus LC500 In contrast To
Lexus’ spindle grille is as controversial a design component as they arrive, and it merely overpowers some other aesthetic cues in some purposes. On the LC500, nevertheless, the hourglass form fits the car completely, accompanying daring parts just like the optionally available 21-inch wheels, piercing LED daytime operating lights, and notched C-pillar. Undermining the outside wow-factor considerably is an astonishing quantity of brake mud. No matter driving conduct, Lexus’ chosen brake compound coats the LC’s flashy wheels in dirty residue after just a few miles of driving. Within the grand scheme, it’s not an enormous problem, however house owners may turn out to be irritated with how typically they should go to the automotive wash or touch-up their rims.
Futuristic styling, a strong stance, and a chic silhouette ship an enduring influence.
Inside, the LC is a cohesive show of luxurious and aptitude. A bowed dashboard envelops the cockpit, connecting two leather-wrapped tiers with a raked glass panel. Sport bucket seats wrapped in supple leather-based function perforated microfiber suede inserts. A ramped seize deal with with brushed metallic and distinction stitching isolates the driving force compartment. Distinctive, although functionally odd, the LC500’s traction management and drive mode controls jut like antennae from the driving force gauge cluster.
Like most 2+2 efficiency automobiles, the rear seats are greatest used for easy-access storage or to cart young children. The shallow trunk matches a pair of low-profile suitcases inside its 4 cubic-foot compartment, however the rear seats don’t fold to accommodate longer gadgets.
Peace of thoughts
Lexus gives the identical primary guarantee as its key German rivals: 4 years or 50,000 miles of protection. Additionally included are the primary two scheduled providers at 5,000 and 10,000 miles, respectively. Lexus is persistently ranked among the many most dependable manufacturers (not simply amongst luxurious automakers), with most or all of its nameplates topping the long-term dependability charts. Although the LC is a brand new mannequin, it shouldn’t give house owners any extra complications than some other Lexus-branded car.
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the Lexus LC500, so no security scores can be found.
Some staunch rivals
With the BMW 6 Collection Coupe now out of manufacturing (and the eight Collection nonetheless a yr away), the Lexus LC500 is uniquely positioned as a hard and fast roof, V8-powered GT automotive for underneath $100Okay. Sadly for Lexus, the LC’s worth level steps on the toes of two oblique however fierce rivals: the Porsche 911 Carrera and Mercedes-Benz SL450 Roadster. Each of those automobiles match the invoice for a cushty, dynamic day by day driver, and each have the benefit of nameplate recognition.
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With roughly 1,000 fewer kilos to maneuver, the 370-hp Porsche 911 Carrera is extra agile and faster to 60 mph than the Lexus, although its reputation and conservative styling attracts significantly much less fanfare. The SL450, in the meantime, is the one of the three with a power-folding hardtop and is the most cost effective earlier than choices.
How DT would configure this automotive
The LC500 appears spectacular no matter spec, however given the chance to customise our personal, right here’s how we’d do it. Painted in smoky granite mica with rioja pink leather-based inside, our best LC500 would come with the safety-centered comfort package deal ($1,000), touring package deal ($1,900) with semi-aniline leather-based, Mark Levinson sound system, and Alcantara headliner, Torsen limited-slip differential ($390), 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels ($1,210), colour head-up show ($900), and carpet trunk mat ($105). With the $1,025 vacation spot payment, our configured LC500 would retail for $98,420.
A GT automotive for rock stars
Each minute behind the wheel of the Lexus LC500 is a second of superstar. Dashing attractiveness, chic street manners, and a sonorous V8 make for a grand tourer harking back to vaunted nameplates like Aston Martin’s DB11. At this worth level, no different 2+2 presents the identical theatre or stylistic daring type, which is sufficient for us to miss its rougher edges.