2018 Lexus LC 500 Coupe

The Lexus LC is a brand new model for 2018 and it rockets to a top spot on the list of luxury sports cars, giving Porsche a run for the money. If you have 100-grand to spend on a sports car, it’s worth checking out.

I get to test drive a new car every week, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a car that turned more heads and generated more thumbs up than the 2018 Lexus LC. I lost track of how many people said, “Wow, what is that?” The LC, which stands for Luxury Coupe, attracts lots of positive attention because of its stunning good looks, not to mention the pleasing roar it makes when you start the engine.

The LC is available in two trims. The LC 500 starts at $92,000 and has a traditional gas-powered engine. The LC 500h is a hybrid and starts at $96,510. Sure, that’s a boat load of money but the LC actually offers good value because it comes with many features that cost extra on many rivals.

The LC is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a manual setting let you change gears if desired. The hybrid has a 3.5-liter V6 and two electric motors that make 354 hp and 369 pound-feet.

The LC makes a big, fat rumble when you start it up. I parked it outside a popular Portland restaurant on a Friday night and got several thumbs up from passersby and patrons inside the restaurant when I pushed the start button.

Acceleration is fast. Lexus says the LC beats the Porsche 911 with a zero to 60 mph time of 4.4 seconds compared to 4.5 seconds for the 911. Overall, the LC doesn’t handle quite as athletically as the 911, but it is a blast to drive!

Fuel efficiency is a bit lower than average for the class, but if you’re spending 100-grand on a sports car, you’re probably not overly concerned with getting good gas mileage. EPA ratings for my tester are 16 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with a combined rating of 19 mpg. I got 19 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

The interior is gorgeous. Materials are high-end, including standard leather seating, and show excellent craftsmanship. Every little detail looks finished. The front seats are comfortable and supportive. The back seats are cramped, as you’d expect. At least two adults can fit back there for short trips, or you can use the space for extra storage.

As you’d expect, there’s a long list of standard features including proximity key entry, push-button start, rearview camera, eight-inch LCD information cluster display, Lexus Enform Remote connectivity, 12-speaker premium audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, navigation, 10.3-inch infotainment system display screen, and the Lexus Enform app suite.

Several driver assistance technologies are standard as part of the Lexus Safety System+, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, automatic high beams and the Lexus Pre-Collision System with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.

Options include a head-up display, windshield wiper de-icer, 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround-sound audio system, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The infotainment system is cumbersome. First of all, there’s no touchscreen, only a touchpad between the two front seats that operates similarly to the touchpad on a laptop computer. It requires pretty fine motor coordination which can be difficult while driving. At least there are some buttons for common functions such as volume and climate settings. There’s no Android Auto or apple CarPlay connectivity.

The LC has only 5.4 cubic feet of room in the trunk, barely enough to fit a couple small duffel bags or two to three grocery bags.

The good:

Stunning good looks and performance to match

V8 engine that cranks out 471 horses

Very comfortable front seats with bolsters that seem to hug you

Amazing audio system


The not-so-good:

Cargo space? What cargo space?

Complex and cumbersome infotainment system takes getting used to

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay still not available in Toyota and Lexus models

Yes, there’s a second row of seating but few adult humans will want to sit there for long.

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $92,000. All Weather Package is $250 and adds heated steering wheel, windshield de-icer and PTC heater. Convenience package is $1,000 and adds Intuitive Park Assist and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. 21-inch forged wheels are $2,650. Heads Up display is $900. Limited slip differential is $390. Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System with 915 watts and 13 speakers is $1,220. Premium paint is $595. Sport package with Carbon roof, eight-way power front sport seats with Alcantara inserts and carbon fiber roof are $2,960. Key glove is $20. Carpet trunk mat is $105. Cargo net spider is $65. Delivery fee is $995, bringing the grand total to $103,150.

Bottom line:

Lexus is known for making luxurious cars that are known for comfort more than performance. The LC is a great blend of both. It won’t be your first choice if you’re looking for a hot rod to race on the rack, but it does offer athletic performance, a very comfortable ride and lots of tech. It made me wish that I’d win the lottery so I could buy one.

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