Nice just got nicer ñ the 2022Lexus LC 500h
It comes to a point when nice just isn’t nice enough. An excellent example is this week’s
ride – the 2022 Lexus LC 500h, the brands flagship vehicle. The LC 500 is a beautiful
vehicle, combining elegance, luxury and performance all in one package. As the LC
500h, the LC trades in its thirsty V8 for a hybrid drivetrain, so owners can still be spoiled
and be fuel efficient at the same time. Now for 2022, Lexus has added a new “Bespoke
Build” option for the LC 500 – allowing buyers to customize their LC with numerous
options – and in fact, making the car even nicer than how Lexus built it. And as we know,
Lexus builds some nice cars.
As stated, the LC 500h is quite a vehicle. Starting from the LF-LC concept car back in
2012, it took six years for it to reach production as the LC 500 (and LC 500h) back 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 same platform as the LS 500 sedan, the LC 500 is a luxury sport coupe that
shares many components from the sedan. But as the LC 500 uses a 5.0-liter V8, the LC
500h uses a 3.5-liter V6, two motor-generators and a lithium-ion battery pack. Total
power is 354 horsepower which is 117 hp fewer than the V8 makes. But the combination
of the V6 and the electric motors along with a unique transmission that incorporates two
gearboxes (a CVT and a four-speed automatic) into one, allows performance to almost
match that of the V8 powered LC 500. The LC 500h can hit 60 mph in just 4.8 second –
just 0.2 seconds slower than the LC 500. And on top of that, the hybrid powertrain
delivers an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in combined city/highway driving – a vast
improvement over the V8-powered LC 500.
Inside, the LC is equally impressive. There is ultra-soft leather everywhere and all the
switches and dials are done in metal – no cheap plastics to be found anywhere. A 10.3-
inch high-resolution split-screen is used for the navigation system and backup camera. A
unique feature are the inside door handles – they seem to come out of nowhere. The entire
cabin of the LC 500 doesn’t look or feel like a car interior, but more like an art exhibit.
And now with the new Bespoke Build program, it gets even better.
The LC 500h Bespoke Build model is based on the Sport package and is custom-made to
the buyer’s specifications. There are numerous options to choose from, from colors to
wheels to the spoiler, roof and more. And each car receives exclusive badging and a
certificate of authenticity. The special options included on the test vehicle include a
carbon fiber roof and all-new Manhattanhenge color interior. Other stand-alone options
included on the tester was a carbon fiber air wing spoiler and 21-inch forged black alloy
wheels with black finish.
Upon approaching the LC, the door handles pop out for you to grab – giving you a hint of
what’s to come. Even before sitting in the extremely comfortable seats, there is no
denying this is something special. With a two-tone theme done in Manhattenhenge
orange and black, the interior is simply amazing. Nearly everything in the cabin is
impeccably crafted – from the Alcantara draping on the door panels to the hand-stitching
on the leather-wrapped gear knob, no detail is left undone.
Fire up the LC 500h, and rather than a snarl from a V8, there is more of a hum from the
V6 and its pair of motors. The setup, called a Multi-Stage Hybrid, is different from other
Lexus and Toyota hybrids that use the familiar Hybrid Synergy Drive system. With the
unique transmission, the 500h feels as though it goes through gears like a normal
transmission, but smoother and softer – even when driven hard. Even though the 500h is
very quick, it feels heavy, which it is, weighing in at more than 4,500 pounds. But despite
its weight, it handles very well and feels crisp when going into hard turns. After some
wheel-time, I was able to realize that while the 500h is a good driver, it’s favors more of a
luxury-type drive – for those wanting a more spirited driving experience, the V8 powered
LC 500 is the way to go.
Obviously, a luxury experience like the LC 500h doesn’t come cheap. And while a six-
figure price tag used to be a clear sign of exclusivity in the automotive world, as more
and more cars are nearing it, it has eroded the inherent specialness of cars residing around
the $100,000 mark. Still, that doesn’t take away the fact that the LC 500h is expensive.
The base price of the 500h is $99,050. Add in the Bespoke Build Package and a host of
other options and the tester carries an MSRP of $118,630. A lot of money, no matter how
you slice it.
Lexus builds some of the nicest cars around. But the Bespoke Build Package elevates the
brand to a new level. Now there is an option for those wanting an LC500 or LC500h –
and want it nicer than the way Lexus originally makes it. Hard to imagine.
— Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2022 Lexus LC 500h
Base Price: $99,050.00
Price as Tested: $118,630.00
Layout: front-engine / rear-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5 liter V6 and dual electric motors
Transmission: multi-stage automatic
Horsepower: 354 hp
Torque: 369 ft/lb
EPA Fuel Economy: 26 city / 34 highway mpg
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