The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is a stunning concept car that has arrived in reality.
It is the company’s flagship performance coupe and it starts at well below $100,00. That’s not exactly pocket change, but it shows the company intends to be on the cutting edge with world-class styling and performance without limiting itself to the super rich. Buyers can have a 2018 LC 500 for as little as $92,000.
The Lexus LC 500 commits itself to its looks, unashamedly screaming “look at me!” And I’ll admit it, it’s mighty hard to take your eyes off of this coupe. No family hauler, this is a spectacular yet relatively affordable sports car.
Powered by a 471-horsepower V8, the LC 500 delivers beast-like performance, but the real attraction in this car is its beautiful skin. While it’s instantly recognizable by the trademark spindle grille and big “L” on the front end, this is no ordinary Lexus.
Designers managed to make the roof of the LC 500 look like it “floats” on the body of the car. In front, the sharply angled headlights blast through the darkness with triple LEDs. The rear fenders flare out for a seductive look that also makes the car look wider and more firmly planted on the road.
The beast part of the LC 500 is under the hood. The 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine develops 471 horsepower and 398 lb.-ft. of torque, and enables the LC 500 to sprint from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds.
The engine is hooked to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the first, Lexus says, ever placed in a luxury car. The transmission shifts remarkably fast, and under heavy acceleration can rival even dual-clutch transmissions.
The car has a stiff body structure and handles magnificently for a vehicle that weighs more than two tons. Drive modes range from Eco, to Comfort to Sport and Sport+. Wheels are 21-inchers.
The cabin of the LC 500 is world-class, starting with the door handles. The handles, flush with the door, pop out when the driver approaches with the key fob. Inside, the deep bucket front seats are heated and ventilated, and very comfortable on long drives. The craftsmanship inside is exquisite and the materials first rate. The small back seat, however, is more useful for packages than passengers.
Technology abounds inside the LC 500, but it is complicated and can be difficult to master. The 10.3-inch split screen is terrific with crisp and clear graphics, but the interface is primarily via a laptop-like touchpad that is very sensitive and difficult to use, especially when the car is moving. But I’m a desktop user, and I prefer a mouse to a touchpad.
A dynamite 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, adjusted via the touchpad, is a $1,220 option. Our test car was also equipped with the $2,960 Sport Package that added a carbon fiber roof and upgraded front seats with Alcantara inserts. An active rear spoiler that automatically deploys at speeds higher than 50 mph is another option.
When it comes to safety, this car has not yet been tested by the government nor the insurance industry. Low sales volume cars tend to be tested last, or sometimes not at all. But Lexus takes safety seriously and outfits the LC 500 with advanced airbags and side curtains, along with most of its sophisticated safety systems like pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar, intelligent high beams, lane keep assist, lane departure alert and smart stop technology.
The new, sexy 2018 Lexus LC 500 is one of those dream cars whose existence is usually limited to drawing boards and car show turntables. The LC previewed as the LF-LC concept in 2012, but Lexus decided to give it a go, debuting the production model at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
We’re glad you decided to build this car.
2018 Lexus LC 500
$92,000 ($102,890 as tested with options & freight)
EPA mileage estimates:
16 mpg city/26 mpg highway/19 mpg combined
Estimated highway range: