Lexus LC 500 Road Test, Review
Lexus Australia launched the long-awaited LC 500 in June 2017 in two forms - LC 500 and LC 500H.
The local arrival of the pair follows on from the stunning LFA Supercar and uses the new GA-L (Global Architecture-Luxury) platform.
The first thing you notice is the stunning design. It is polarising with some people loving it, others not so much. The designers had basically freedom to extend their creative urges.
The GA-L platform is pivotal to the LC 500’s performance, preserving the LF-LC’s defining low roof and bonnet lines while enabling a low centre of gravity and highly rigid body.
The LC is the most torsionally rigid Lexus ever built.
From the bold Lexus family grill through to the low profile, carbon-fibre composite roof, the side air inlets, the bulging rear and the rear wing the total design is integrated and an expression of where Lexus is heading.
It’s not every day, even in this job, that you get to drive a $200,000 sports car. Especially one that is designed to be a Grand Tourer. So another journo and I headed to Canberra for a drive.
The interior was a surprise. It was totally luxurious with leather and suede everywhere. At first it was a little overwhelming but grew on you.
The heated and ventilated front seats are multi electronically adjustable and when you climb into them they are very comfortable. Unfortunately they don’t have adjustment for the side bolsters.
The driving position is excellent and there is plenty of room even for the tallest of drivers.
What I like is the sports pedal position. Unlike a lot of sports coupes the driver has plenty of leg room.
The centre console does cocoon the driver.
The small thick leather steering wheel frames the dash and is perfectly sized and balanced providing almost instant responsiveness.
The dash is the sliding style first previewed a few years ago. It is a single instrument dial with an 8″ display, while it is clever and cool it seems a little dated when compared to Audi’s stunning virtual cockpit design.
The LC debuts the latest Lexus audio and multimedia system with a 10.3″ display, enhanced voice recognition, and sat-nav with live traffic info.
Add to that a brilliant Mark Levinson 13-speaker audio system that surprisingly uses an optical drive.
The rear seats are pretty much useless. Not only is there zero leg room for rear passengers, but getting in and out requires a degree in acrobatics. Even putting luggage there proves challenging.
They would have been better off having no rear seats and have a larger boot area. On that topic the boot is surprisingly spacious with a capacity of about 5-6 overnight bags. But they will have to be smaller style.
Visibility all around is questionable. Over bonnet is ok but you really can’t see where the corners are. Looking over the shoulder is also restricted and the small rear window allows only adequate visibility.
Standard features include full LED lighting, flush door handles, large colour head-up display, sports suspension and 21″ alloy wheels with run-flat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
Driving the LC 500 is pure pleasure as a result of the combination between the 5.0 litre V8 engine, 10-speed transmission and the new multi-link suspension design.
The layout allows excellent vehicle response and greater steering feel, from the moment the steering wheel is turned.
At the same time, the suspension is compliant and comfortable and has multiple settings for different driving conditions.
The run flat tyres provide excellent road holding but also transfer all road imperfections through to the driver.
Safety features in the Lexus LC 500/500H include:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Pre-Collision Safety System
- Lane Keep Assist
- Sway Warning
- Automatic High Beam
- Blind Spot Monitor
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Reversing camera
- Eight airbags
- Tyre-pressure monitor
Other advanced technology includes Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management that integrates stability and traction control, anti-skid brakes, electric power steering and other systems.
However for all the technology it has there are a few things missing that for plus $200,000 I would have thought would be included.
These are things like wing adjustments for the seats, automatic boot open and close and even a light in the boot.
That’s right there is no light in the boot.
If I had just paid in excess of $200,000 for my brand new LC 500 and went for a weekend away, when I arrive I would have to get my phone out and shine a light into the boot to see where the luggage is.
That is just ludicrous.
Also I feel the functionality is overly difficult to use. Little things like the A/C controls for different mode, moving the heads up display, other little things are not intuitive. It feels like technology for technology sake.
The Lexus LC 500 is a bit of a mixed bag.
It is visually stunning, depending on your view, has a willing 5.0 litre V8 engine pumping through a ten speed transmission, has an abundance of technology and the interior is definitely on the luxury ambience level.
It is not in supercar territory, the Lexus RC F is slightly faster and about $80,000 cheaper, the Audi S5 Coupe is just as fast, but the LC 500 has an appeal about it that transcends pure figures.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Lexus LC 500
- Engine: 5.0 litre V8 producing 351kW and 540Nm
- Transmission: Ten-speed automatic
- Warranty: 4yrs/100,000km
- Safety: Not tested
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $190,000