For many months I have wanted to drive the Lexus LC500, the one with the tantalising ads in between Scandi dramas and shows I have watched throughout the year.
Jonathan Humphrey spends some quality time in the striking flagship Lexus Coupé, the one with a naturally aspirated V8.
With a space-age look of difference, abundance of style, comfort and scintillating performance ticking all the boxes. On TV it just looked so good, I had to get to drive it.
The LC500 is the first in the Lexus line-up to be built on the luxury platform for a front wheel, rear-wheel drive car. In these days of two a penny, bitcoin Lambos the LC500 is a genuine head-turner, I haven't had as much attention in a car since the mighty Mustang V8 first arrived on European shores. The LC500 with its curvy sci-fi looks, deep front grille, tidy light signatures and performance styling. The sum of it is more than just an athletic modern GT car.
Settling into the cabin of the LC500 is an easy affair, the interior is as you would expect from Lexus, roomy and very well appointed. The beautifully trimmed soft leather interior and the front sports seats are very comfortable, good-looking and supportive, with 10-way power-adjustable memory settings for the driver. It should be said the rear-seats would only suit a flexible Houdini style of person and their small children for any distance. Perhaps best left for extra luggage. There is also a handy grab handle on the centre console for the passenger on a spirited fast drive.
The two-tier dashboard layout, adds to the form of the car, with a feeling of plushness like a posh hotel. The high quality animated instruments are nicely styled, easy to read and become acquainted. The infotainment system centrally placed in the dash feature a sizeable 10.3-inch display screen with navigation, and the Lexus suite of apps. However the Lexus touchpad or infotainment controller is a tricky affair; settings are best made when the car is stationary as it is overly sensitive to setting commands. The Mark Levinson 13-speaker audio system is excellent, although Apple CarPlay would be a wish of mine, but is not available on Lexus. Sadly there are shortcomings in the entire system.
The boot is reasonably shallow although the LC500 actually in comparison to others does have a decent amount of space for a car of this type.
The 5.0 litre, 4969cc, matched to the 10-speed sports direct shift auto is an engaging combination. On the road the engine just sounds so fresh, the noise of a large V8 is one of engineering's pleasures to be savoured, but for how much longer? The LC500 is sharp and easy to place on the road, the steering is excellent and on long smooth roads, it makes for a highly comfortable GT capable of covering long distances enjoyably and effortlessly. The big powerful brakes are more than adequate for the big car and inspire confidence on a windy sporting route.
The Sport modes are a real hoot with an easy to change rotary knob just left the left of the steering wheel. The sports modes, improve levels of noise, sharpening the performance, suspension and throttle and perking up what the car excels at long distance sporty driving.
The LC500 performs as a comfortable grand tourer and with the radar-assisted nav set on long journeys, you can even see a somewhat surprising 40 mpg. Not too inferior for a bad boy V8 with this performance. However, it should be written this figure can be reduced considerably with the liberal use of the loud pedal.
The LC500 is an enjoyable cutting edge sportscar and a perfect balance of performance, comfort and technology, maybe you are considering a Porsche or Jag F-Type, but you may actually find the LC500 is possibly closer to what you want. It's certainly worth taking a look.
Hopefully, I can soon get my hands on the hybrid LC500h with its petrol-electric hybrid drive. I am told the quieter powertrain somewhat changes the experience and makes for a superb daily driving sportscar, still with the same distinctive space age looks. Either way, this athletic head-turner with the full-fat V8 with all the noise to match is one to be admired.
Car reviewed: Lexus LC500 Sport - On the road £86,590 0-62mph 4.4 secs Top speed 168mph Fuel Economy combined 24.4mpg CO2 emissions 267g/km Engine 4969cc naturally aspirated V8 unleaded 8-cylinder EU6 Max Power 471bhp@7100rpm Torque 540Nm@4800rpm Transmission 10-speed Sports Direct Shift Automatic
A glorious V8 Soundtrack
Beautifully trimmed interior
A true headturner
Fiddly infotainment system
Watch what the others say on YouTube about the Lexus LC500...
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