Quite simply put, the new Lexus LC 500 is a showstopper.
Yes, there are the mighty Ferraris and the sweet, smooth curves of Aston Martin’s DB11 on the roads, but the latest Lexus looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi film. Like a high fashion supermodel, the LC’s exotic looks are the sort that you’ll either love or hate at first sight, and we’re placing bets that it’s the former.
As the lineup’s crowning glory, the LC500 certainly looks the part. Thin, bladed LED lights make the front and rear lights, bordering the gaping hourglass grille — a feature that’s now become the hallmark of Lexus’ new design language, and one that finally works in harmony with its wide, low-slung demeanour. Look past the menacing grimace and you’ll notice a subtly pinched body that suddenly widens to accommodate its rear haunches, which tapers off upwards to an elegant flick at the back.
As a “world-class prestige luxury coupe”, the Lexus LC 500 is certainly no LFA, but it feels like a close relative. Built upon a brand new platform (the rear-drive GA-L Global Architecture – Luxury), the body is a clever mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre composite that houses a 471hp, 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8. Mated to a 10-speed automatic that drives the rear wheels, accelerating to 100kph will only take 4.4 seconds.
Its eco-friendlier version, the LC 500h hybrid, sees 354 total system horsepower and will go the same distance in 4.7 seconds.
Inside, the LC 500 is a cocoon of leather, suede, and gleaming dials and switches. Even with its languidly long hood and massive engine, the steering wheel’s tight turning radius makes it easy to negotiate those sharp turns effortlessly. Lexus continues its sci-fi theme with the dashboard, which is a little spectacle when you change driving modes or request for different information.
Around town, this good looker won’t disappoint with its Comfort mode, which not only feels like a bed of clouds, but will still give you a feel of the road. Even so, the growling V8 will remind you that beneath your bonnet lies a wild animal waiting to pounce, despite Lexus’ efforts in keeping all other external noise out with its commendable Mark Levinson stereo system.
But the Sport or Sport Plus mode is when the LC 500 is at its best. The gearbox responds accordingly by hanging on to the lower gears for longer so you can mash the throttle, which causes the naturally-aspirated engine to scream and shout as the revs soar.
The Lexus LC 500 is a grand touring coupe that has the workings and looks of a powerful sports machine, yet can be docile and luxurious when you want it to. And then there are those stares — if you enjoy the gawking and occasional thumbs-ups from pedestrians as you stop at the traffic lights, this is the car for you.