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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500

      Son of a SC

    "We had no intention of turning it into a production car. But your positive reaction, as well as the reaction of our customers, changed our minds. We listened, and we made it real.”

    That was Toyota President Akio Toyoda speaking at the Lexus LC 500 debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Four years before, Lexus unveiled the LF-LC concept to the world. It was striking to say in the least with a design that empathized curves and deep cuts. There was no chance that this sleek concept would make it into production. It was too daring for a brand that liked to play it safe. But the LF-LC did make it into production and retained most of the design. But what is the rest of the car like?

    When an automaker takes a car from concept to production, something is usually lost in the translation due to regulations or costs. But Lexus was somehow able to carry over the design of the LF-LC concept to the LC 500. The front end is set very low and features the brand’s spindle grille and aggressive cuts in the bumper for the LED fog lights. Channels along the hood flow gently into either side of the grille. For the side, the door handles are flush with the doors and will pop out to allow entry into the vehicle. The rear fenders are quite wide to make room for larger tires and brake vents. The back stands out with narrow taillights that extend into the fenders and chrome exhaust surrounds. Wearing a dark grey finish, the LC 500 looks very sinister.

    The interior is a treat for the eyes. It’s a minimalist design with few buttons and knobs on the dash and door panels. There are some special design touches such as handles that float on the door panels and a grab handle that extends from the center stack to the console for the front seat passenger. Material quality is very impressive with leather, Alcantara, carbon fiber, and metal used throughout. My tester came with a set of sport seats with eight-way power seats. The seats feature increased bolstering to hold driver and passenger during a bout of exuberant driving. However, some people will not be able to fully fit into the seats because of the added bolstering. I would like to see Lexus offer some sort of adjustable bolstering down the road. The back seat is best used for storage. There is barely enough head and legroom for a small kid.

    A 10.3-inch screen sitting in the center stack features the latest version of Lexus Enform. The system features an updated interface with revised graphics and new color palate that makes it very easy to read at a glance. Controlling this is Lexus’ Remote Touchpad controller. Compared to other vehicles with the Touchpad, the LC brings a couple of key improvements. There are a set of shortcut buttons to common functions such as the radio and navigation. Lexus has also implemented a pause over each icon to prevent you from selecting another one because your finger slipped. Despite the improvements, Remote Touchpad is still very distracting to use when driving. You need to give your full attention to the system and not the road to make sure you’re turning on the heated seat for example. At least the LC 500 collision mitigation system with automatic braking to give you a bit of a safety net when using this system.

    Pop up the hood to find the heart of the LC 500; a 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 producing 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. The powertrain has a Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde personality. Driven normally, the 5.0L V8 emits a low growl and delivers power in a smooth fashion. Gear changes from the 10-speed are unobtrusive. Drive it with some aggression and the LC becomes an animal. The V8 emits a roar similar to a muscle car and will throw you back into the seat as power comes on rapidly. The 10-speed automatic delivers fast shifts to keep the engine in its sweet spot of power. I found myself having a stupid grin on my face every time I would floor the accelerator just to hear the lovely sounds of the V8. 

    EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Lexus LC 500 are 16 City/26 Highway/19 Combined. My average for the week landed around 18.6 mpg.

    The LC 500 is quite surprising on a winding road. Despite the large size and weight, the LC seems to glide from bend to bend with little body roll. Some of this can be attributed to the rear-wheel steering system that is part of an optional performance package that makes the coupe feel smaller. This package also adds the variable gear-ratio steering system which adjusts the number of turns to reach steering lock helps the LC feel nimble. The only downside is the steering lacking the feedback some driving enthusiasts want.

    On a cruise, the LC 500 settles down and provides a somewhat relaxing ride. A small number of bumps make their way inside due to the 21-inch forged aluminum wheels. The smaller 20-inch wheels do improve ride quality somewhat. Road and wind noise are kept to minimum levels.

    Possibly the big surprise is how much the LC 500 will set you back. The base is $92,000 and our test vehicle came with an as-tested price of $101,715 with destination. Considering how much performance and luxuries you get for the price, the LC 500 is quite the steal.

    Lexus took quite the gamble with the LC 500 and their efforts paid off. The sharp exterior styling hides a very impressive chassis that somehow balances sporty handling and comfort. Plus, the V8 engine provides one of the most impressive sounds. Lexus Enform and Remote Touch spoil the LC somewhat as it is distracting to use.

    In a way, the LC is a modern incarnation of the SC coupe from the 90s. Both were a departure for Lexus as they offered a sleek design, smooth and powerful engines, and a balance between comfort and support. The two coupes also gave Lexus something it was lacking, a soul.

    Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the LC 500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Lexus
    Model: LC
    Trim: 500
    Engine: 5.0L DOHC 32-Valve, Dual VVT-i V8
    Driveline: Ten-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 471 @ 7,100
    Torque @ RPM:  398 @ 4,800
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/26/19
    Curb Weight: 4,280 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Motomachi, Yokohama, Japan
    Base Price: $92,000
    As Tested Price: $101,715 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Performance Package with Carbon - $5,960.00
    Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound System - $1,220.00
    Color Heads-Up Display - $900.00
    Torsen Limited-Slip Rear Differential - $390.00
    All-Weather Trim Package - $250.00




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    I have to disagree here that this car is about $20,000 over priced in comparison to other like auto's on the market and grossly under powered with even less Torque.

    Cadillac is a superior auto with better value all the way around.

    image.png

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    ATS just shows how much better value it is compared to this auto. 464 HP & 445 lb-ft torque. This will beat that over priced ugly lexus.

    image.png

     

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    This is not in the same league as an ATS. 

    If you're going to drill down the "value" aspect the ATS-V Coupe is an absolute waste when they have a Camaro SS under the same roof for 40k, 50k fully loaded and ready to race. 

    The Lexus is a grand tourer, not a race car. I think you're missing that part. It's similar to an SL Mercedes. 

    • Upvote 1

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    Not sure why you would be trying to compare this to the ATS, the Lexus ATS competitors are the IS (sedan)  and RC (coupe).  Different niches, different price points.  This is their competitor to the BMW 8 series and M-B S-class coupe. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    2 hours ago, frogger said:

    Nice, the question is whether to go tan or not..

    image.thumb.png.9aa695d87f2efaab02413ee761aadecc.png

    Too tan for my taste. 

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    2 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Too tan for my taste. 

    That was like the one I saw at the Cleveland auto show, IIRC...bright red w/ tan interior.   That black w/ dark red two tone interior is nice also.  

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    This interior probably looks incredible in person. I think I'd want it on a white or silver car.

    LC500 Interior.jpg

    • Upvote 1

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    I understand price points and class segments for sale, but I still think the CTS-V and ATS-V are better than this car from interior to exterior and performance. So no value in this auto for what they charge. But then Lexus has not built anything yet that has impressed me.

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    Comparing this car to a Cadillac is downright comical. Cadillac wishes they could make a car anywhere near this in terms of overall design, materials, fit and finish, craftsmanship, and presence. 

     

    I've seen these in several colors now, and they are absolutely stunning. Literally EVERY time I see one in a parking lot, bystanders are gawking at it. And not people driving Avengers or Kias mind you, people driving BMW's and the like. The car is a knockout. The lines are just delicious. It is by far the best looking car on the road for anything costing less than about a quarter mil. 

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    Just now, Frisky Dingo said:

    Comparing this car to a Cadillac is downright comical. Cadillac wishes they could make a car anywhere near this in terms of overall design, materials, fit and finish, craftsmanship, and presence. 

     

    I've seen these in several colors now, and they are absolutely stunning. Literally EVERY time I see one in a parking lot, bystanders are gawking at it. And not people driving Avengers or Kias mind you, people driving BMW's and the like. The car is a knockout. The lines are just delicious. It is by far the best looking car on the road for anything costing less than about a quarter mil. 

    Totally disagree with you. Tight, too small on the inside and fit n finish is on par with Cadillac, MB, BMW. They must be different where you live as they have not been that striking here in Seattle. Just another Predator faced auto from Toyota. Seats are hard and lacking to me for comfort. Layout of the dash is also a bit strange. Lexus lovers love Lexus but I really wonder and will be interested to see how many they sell as I think Lexus should have invested this in improving the autos they already had first.

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    13 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I understand price points and class segments for sale, but I still think the CTS-V and ATS-V are better than this car from interior to exterior and performance. So no value in this auto for what they charge. But then Lexus has not built anything yet that has impressed me.

    Does Cadillac offer a hybrid powertrain in either of those cars? I would have thought you would have went bonkers over that aspect. 

    17 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Comparing this car to a Cadillac is downright comical. Cadillac wishes they could make a car anywhere near this in terms of overall design, materials, fit and finish, craftsmanship, and presence. 

     

    I've seen these in several colors now, and they are absolutely stunning. Literally EVERY time I see one in a parking lot, bystanders are gawking at it. And not people driving Avengers or Kias mind you, people driving BMW's and the like. The car is a knockout. The lines are just delicious. It is by far the best looking car on the road for anything costing less than about a quarter mil. 

    It truly is an elegant vehicle. The lines and curves they did to this are a thing of beauty in a world of very similarly shaped vehicles. 

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    13 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Totally disagree with you. Tight, too small on the inside and fit n finish is on par with Cadillac, MB, BMW. They must be different where you live as they have not been that striking here in Seattle. Just another Predator faced auto from Toyota. Seats are hard and lacking to me for comfort. Layout of the dash is also a bit strange. Lexus lovers love Lexus but I really wonder and will be interested to see how many they sell as I think Lexus should have invested this in improving the autos they already had first.

    You are flat out wrong. Nobody in this profession or any reasonable, unbiased person thinks a Cadillac is on par with this car from virtually standpoint.  

    • Like 1

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    The CTS-v and ATS-v always seem to have dour black or gray interiors... haven't seen any with this much color. 

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    ccap41

    Posted (edited)

     

    21 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Totally disagree with you. Tight, too small on the inside

    Raise of hands who here didn't see this line coming? 

    Their interior measurements are almost identical. But the GM always happens to just be roomier.. :scratchchin:

    Edited by ccap41
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    5 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    The CTS-v and ATS-v always seem to have dour black or gray interiors... haven't seen any with this much color. 

    lol wow. I never really realized that until right now. The ATS has 3 interior options.. Basically all black.

    These are your options in your 70k compact ATS Coupe. 

    ATS Black.PNG

    ATS Brown.PNG

    ATS Platinum.PNG

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    Guess they do not sell well here as a private carrier was taking it away for inner state transport.

    20180314_125527[1].jpg

    There is also the overkill attitude which is everything Tan is overkill just like everything black is overkill. Accents are nice, brown on the black is nice. I do agree that Cadillac needs to expand their interior choices.

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    5 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    That's an LS500.  The full size 4dr. 

    That is correct. :thumbsup:

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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    That is correct. :thumbsup:

    Yup and part of the same family no different than a CTS, CTS-V, etc.

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Yup and part of the same family no different than a CTS, CTS-V, etc.

    Invalid analogy.  The CTS-v is a trim level of the CTS, while the LS and LC are two different models.  The LS is considerably larger than the LC...the LS is V6 only, the LC is available w/ a V6 and V8.

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    balthazar

    Posted (edited)

    Ironically, the LC is outselling the LS, which only moved 116 units in Jan. The big lexyota is on it's way out.

    I expressed my issues with the exterior design of the LC when it came out- it has fatal stylistic flaws in some views that make it appear 'broken backed' (no pun/insinuation there). Performance may be very good, but I do believe it is vastly overpriced. Sold 176 units in Jan.- would not hold my breath that greatly improves.

    Edited by balthazar
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    8 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Yup and part of the same family no different than a CTS, CTS-V, etc.

    Not. At. All. 

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