2020 Lexus LC 500 – the best from the Best
Lexus is known for its luxurious cars and SUVs that it builds. So a car like the LC 500 should really come as no surprise. But the LC is so extreme from a brand that has been mostly conservative in the vehicles it produces; it’s considered by many as a halo car for the luxury automaker.
Starting from the LF-LC concept car back in 2012, it took six years for it to reach production as the LC 500 in 2018. Look back at the original concept car and you’ll see the LC retains nearly every styling cue and aspect from them LF-LC – something that rarely happens.
Built on the platform as the LS 500 sedan, the LC 500 is a luxury sport coupe that shares many components from the brands flagship vehicle. But one thing it doesn’t share from the LS is its powertrain. Instead, the LC turns to its high-performance siblings, the RC F and the GS F and utilizes the same 5.0 liter V8 that produces 472 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed through a 10-speed automatic transmission connected to the rear wheels.
Just glance at the LC 500 and you know you’re looking at something special. It’s a very contemporary design with sleek bodywork that includes flush door handles and a floating roofline. Up front is probably the largest iteration of the familiar Lexus spindle grille, while in the rear, the taillights seem to disappear into the trim when they are not on. From just about every angle it’s a gorgeous car – and one that easily gets noticed, just like a supermodel on the red carpet.
Inside, the glamour continues. Door panels are draped in Alcantara and have unique door handles that seem to come out of nowhere. There is ultra soft leather everywhere and all the switches and dials are done in metal – no cheap plastics to be found anywhere. This doesn’t look or feel like a car interior, but more like an art exhibit.
Approach and unlock the LC and the door handles pop out for you to grab. Even before sitting in the extremely comfortable seats, there is no denying this is something special. Fire up the V8 and hear the calm, but slight snarl of the 8 cylinders exploding in front of you. Accelerating through the 10 gears, it’s easy to appreciate the engine. It revs effortlessly and the louder it gets, the more wonderful it sounds. There are no turbos or superchargers to disrupt the flow, just pure naturally aspirated power. It’s almost old-school technology, but in a modern way. Five driving modes let you dial in exactly how you want your journey to be – from Eco to Comfort to S Sport +, the LC 500 will meet all your driving moods.
As impressive as the LC 500 is, it isn’t without its faults. First, controlling the infotainment system with the touchpad by dragging your finger around – is literally a drag. In other Lexus vehicles, using the touchpad could be minimized, as many controls also had a physical button on the dash. With the LC500, nearly everything must be controlled using the touchpad. Second, in my time with the car, I only found one cupholder – and it wasn’t very good.
Obviously, a luxury experience like the LC 500 doesn’t come cheap. But compared to the competition, some would say the LC 500 is a bargain. Staring price is $92,950. The Performance Package ($5,960) includes Alcantera sport seats, carbon fiber roof, active rear steering and a speed activated rear spoiler. Other major options available include the Mark Levinson Sound system ($1,220) as well as 21″ Alloy Wheels ($2,650). The test car was equipped with all these plus a few other options, bringing its MSRP to $106,954.
The LC 500 is a marriage of amazing performance, a luxurious cabin and stunning styling. Whether you’re driving it, riding in it, or just looking at it – it’s one of those rare cars that brings a smile to just about any face. It’s that good.
— Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2020 Lexus LC 500
Base Price: $92,500.00
Price as Tested: $106,954.00
Layout: front-engine / rear-wheel drive
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Horsepower: 472 hp
Torque: 398 ft/lb
EPA Fuel Economy: 16 city / 25 highway mpg
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