2018 Lexus LC 500 First Drive Review

2018 Lexus LC 500

The Lexus LC coupe design is bold and aggressive, replicating almost exactly the style of the Lexus LF-LC concept — a stunning coupe that won the EyesOn Design award for best concept when it debuted in 2012 at the Detroit Auto Show. Four years later when the production Lexus LC coupe debuted at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, it garnered two EyesOn Design awards for Production Car and Best Designed Interior. With the LC 500 (and LC 500h hybrid), Lexus brings concept car looks to the street with an aggressive yet elegant design that attracts attention.

2018 Lexus LC 500

Spindle Grille, Wide Fenders

Key LC coupe design elements include the signature Lexus spindle grille, a low hoodline and wide rear fenders, with a standard glass roof flanked by chrome and black C-pillars. The spindle grille has proliferated throughout the Lexus lineup — more successfully on some models than others — and it works well on the LC with a unique mesh finish. The grille is flanked by L-shaped daytime running lights and small triple LED headlights. The rear fenders flare out from the door panels with air ducts that feed into the wheel arches for aerodynamic stability. At the rear, the roofline tapers in over the fenders between sloping shoulders. The spindle shape gets repeated, and narrow taillights use mirrors to create a 3-dimensional series of L-shaped graphics.

Low Hoodline

To retain the low, sloping hoodline of the LF-LC concept on the production coupe, Lexus designers and engineers worked together developing a new front suspension system. Constructed primarily of lightweight forged aluminum to save weight, the double-ball-joint suspension not only allowed designers to create the shape they wanted, it provides precise control, sharp steering response, dynamic handling and a high level of ride comfort.

New Platform

Bringing the LF-LC concept to life as the LC coupe required the development of a new front-engine rear-drive platform, which will also be used for the 2018 Lexus LS sedan due later this year, as well as for future models. A key focus for the new platform was to lower the center of gravity to improve dynamic performance. The LC uses aluminum for the hood, front fenders and outer doors, with only the rear fenders made of steel. Inner door panels and the trunk are made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic; a new molding process is employed for the optional carbon fiber roof with a visible twill weave.

History of Coupes

In the relatively short time since the launch of Lexus in 1989, the brand has featured a series of coupes in the lineup, beginning with the SC 400/300 in the early 1990s, followed by the SC 430 folding hardtop in 2002. The IS C coupe with folding hardtop followed as a 2010 model and the limited edition LF-A V10-powered supercar went on sale in December of 2010, starting at $375,000 with only 500 total produced. Currently in the Lexus model line, the RC and RC F coupes are smaller than the LC and went on sale as 2015 models.

Model Lineup

The Lexus LC is offered in two versions: the LC 500, powered by a 5.0-liter V8; and the LC 500h, powered by a new Multi-Stage Hybrid System that combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with two electric motors. The LC 500 starts at $92,000 and the LC 500h at $96,510. The only visual differences between the two are the addition of the ‘h’ to the LC 500 designation on the rear panel between the taillights, with ‘500h’ highlighted in blue and small ‘Multi Stage Hybrid’ badges on the lower body sides ahead of the front wheels.

Right for You?

The Lexus LC offers a new choice for buyers looking for a personal luxury coupe. The bold design makes a strong statement, with the LC combining the luxury expected from a top-level Lexus model with a high-performance drivetrain and exceptional driving dynamics. There’s even a hybrid model with a new, high-performance Multi Stage Hybrid system for the eco-minded luxury buyer. If you are looking for a luxury coupe with eye-catching style, the Lexus LC coupe might be the car for you.