Sports coupes with naturally-aspirated V8 engines are an increasingly rare breed as government regulations further tighten the grip on fuel economy standards. The new Lexus LC 500, however, looks to be a modern-day throwback of fun-to-drive grand touring vehicles.
What's New for 2018
The LC 500 is an all-new model.
Choosing Your Lexus LC 500
Borrowing heavily from its performance-oriented siblings the GS F sedan and RC F coupe, the LC 500 is powered by the same 5.0-liter V8 engine. Its 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque propel the four-seat coupe to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. And thanks to a special resonance tube connecting the engine intake to the firewall, the V8 sound reverberates throughout the cabin for any enthusiast to enjoy. A standard active exhaust further enhances the LC 500’s performance soundtrack.
Based on an all-new Lexus platform known as Global Architecture-Luxury, the rear-wheel-drive LC 500 features a lower center of gravity, which increases handling and dynamics. Look for the GA-L to be outfitted in future Lexus models, such as the all-new LS sedan.
The standalone transmission is a 10-speed automatic transmission, the first implementation of such in a luxury vehicle. Paddle shifters are standard for those who prefer more engagement. Standard 20-inch wheels sit at each corner while 21-inchers are available. The brake system uses of six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear.
The four-passenger cabin gets ergonomically-placed function buttons and controls, a 10.3-inch multimedia display with a remote touch interface pad, a 12-speaker Pioneer sound system, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, and an 8.0-inch multi-information instrument cluster display. On the exterior, all LC 500 models feature Lexus’s aggressive mesh grille and LED headlights, taillights, turn signals, and cornering lamps.
The LC 500 starts at $92,995 (including the $995 destination fee) and is offered in one trim level with four available package options.
The Touring Package ($4,000) adds 20-inch forged wheels, semi-aniline seats, heated and ventilated front seats, two-way front passenger seat lumbar, blind spot monitoring, parking assist, and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
The Sport Package ($4,000) offers the same features as the Touring package but adds Alcantara sport seats, a limited-slip differential, and a 12-speaker Lexus premium sound system. For $3,000 more, the Sport package with carbon fiber roof adds its namesake roof and 21-inch forged wheels.
The Performance Package ($10,000) builds upon the Sport Package with the carbon fiber roof and adds active rear steering, variable gear ratios, an active rear spoiler, an Alcantara headliner, and carbon fiber scuff plates.
A Mark Levinson surround audio system, color head-up display, forged wheels, and All-Weather Package are available separately.
EPA numbers are not yet available but Lexus estimates fuel economy to be 16 miles per gallon city, 26 highway, and 19 combined.
Even though there is seating for four, consider the LC 500 more of a comfortable two-seat grand touring coupe as the rear seats are snug for average-sized adults. An LC 500 with the Touring package should satisfy the needs of most consumers. Enthusiasts will benefit from the Sport package, which adds the limited-slip differential and Alcantara trim.