Constructing a automotive that manages to look dashing each inside and outside whereas delivering an thrilling and responsive driving expertise, all in distinctive consolation, and never costing 1,000,000 or so, does appear nigh on not possible. Nonetheless, the 2019 Lexus LC500 Restricted Version proves in any other case.
Over a interval of seven days, we had the chance to find what the LC500 is all about and might say that it’s simply one of the best efficiency automotive the Japanese automaker presently builds.
Idea automotive seems
The LC500 was first unveiled a couple of years in the past as a road-going model of the gorgeous LF-LC Idea. Usually, idea autos as eye-catching because the LF-LC solely ever make their strategy to dealerships with drastically watered down seems. On this case, although, Lexus was capable of largely retain the identical styling because the idea. Because of this, the completed product actually is a sight to behold.
Positive, styling is a subjective factor however we had been unable to discover a single one that didn’t love the outside and inside design of Lexus’ premiere grand tourer. This factor turns heads like a supercar, attracts off-the-cuff feedback from individuals passing by, and places a smile on the faces of everybody that sees it. The automotive we examined was the brand new LC500 Zinnia Yellow Restricted Version, first unveiled for the UK market again in October final yr and shortly additionally launched to Australia. To say this factor turns heads could be an understatement. It drops jaws.
Distinguishing the LC500 Restricted Version from the remaining is a singular Zinnia Yellow paint scheme which has been paired with a set of giant chrome and black 21-inch wheels with 245/40 and 275/35 Michelin Pilot Tremendous Sport tires on the entrance and rear respectively.
A cushty tech-fest
Aside from the look-at-me paint scheme, it additionally comes customary with the usually-optional Enhancement Pack. This implies occupants get pleasure from four-wheel steering, variable gear ratio steering, a Torsen limited-slip differential, carbon fiber roof, heated and ventilated seats with 12-way electrical adjustment, an lively rear spoiler, and carbon fiber scuff plates. Lexus has additionally gone to city on the cabin of the Restricted Version, becoming it completely with white leather-based seats, yellow Alcantara on the doorways panels, and black leather-based just about in all places else.
Earlier than we get into what the LC500 is wish to drive, it’s value discussing that inside in a bit of extra element. It’s a fully lovely place to spend time in and is actually the most effective on this class occupied by the likes of the Jaguar F-Sort, Mercedes-Benz SL500, previous BMW 6-Collection fashions, and the even entry-level Mercedes-AMG GT. The entire surfaces are fantastically completed and the cabin is well-thought out. The yellow Alcantara on the door panels triggered audible gasps from anybody that noticed it and the steering wheel can also be a pleasure to make use of.
As with different Lexus fashions, the LC makes use of the corporate’s maligned touch-pad controller to function the infotainment system. For what it’s value, this touchpad has been up to date for the LC and is far nicer to make use of than in different purposes, such because the RC. It’s removed from good, but it surely will get the job performed.
Taking a deep dive into the infotainment system , it’s clear that it isn’t that nicely thought-out. There may be an extreme variety of menus and sub-menus and, infuriatingly, you can’t use many of the controls until you’re really stationary. The navigation system is sweet however not nice as I used to be by no means capable of work out the right way to cancel a vacation spot.
Infotainment system apart, it’s exhausting to consider something Lexus might have performed higher within the cabin. The LFA-inspired digital instrument cluster is a real show-stopper, notably when it glows white when Sport+ is enabled. The Head-Up show works a deal with, the entrance seats are exceptionally comfy, and the automotive has surprisingly good visibility. On the rear, one can find two small seats however they’re completely tiny and actually solely match for kids or not-that-tall adults. Or members of the family you maintain a grudge in opposition to…
Supercar sounds with grand tourer consolation
Whereas the outside design of the LC500 shouts ‘I’m a supercar,’ the comfy inside reminds you this can be a Grand Tourer – and that turns into instantly obvious if you drive the factor.
Step on the brake pedal, press the engine Begin/Cease button and the LC500 fires into life with an intoxicating rev of the engine. It’s the similar naturally aspirated 5.Zero-liter V8 present in a handful of different Lexus fashions, together with the GS F and RC F, and delivers 471 hp and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) of torque. These actually aren’t earth-shattering numbers however they’re greater than ample.
The V8 is mated to a 10-speed automated transmission. This gearbox offers silky-smooth gearshifts if you’re cruising round and is sort of on par with some dual-clutch programs, in addition to a major enchancment over the eight-speed auto of the GS F and RC F.
Behind the wheel, it’s apparent that this can be a particular piece of equipment. There are a variety of various driving modes accessible, together with Consolation, Eco, Sport, and Sport+, however the final is absolutely the one one you want. Switched into Sport+, the transmission put in guide mode, and the traction management system turned off, the LC500 is phenomenal enjoyable to drive.
Pin the throttle and BANG, the transmission produces a visceral sound akin to a cracking whip as you shift between the gears. Method the nook and once more, the transmission and exhaust come to life, revving up the engine and, every now and then, delivering an intoxicating pop. The four-wheel steering offers glorious turn-in and mid-corner grip is spectacular, however in case you’re over-zealous, the LC500 will be pushed right into a little bit of understeer. That may be simply corrected with a dab of the brakes or a contact of the throttle, nonetheless.
Throughout a collection of drives within the LC500 by means of winding countryside and thrilling roads slicing their manner by means of forests, I used to be left dizzy with pleasure as if I’d taken a pair photographs of tequila. The Lexus appears to soften round you as you drive, responding immediately to each enter and reminding you that it may well do that all day lengthy. The brakes by no means felt pressured regardless of the 1,950 kg (4300 lbs) weight and all the time delivered nice really feel.
Shout it out loud
Then comes the exhaust. Lexus clearly spent numerous money and time making certain that the LC500 would sound good and have ended up creating one of many best-sounding vehicles in the marketplace. It’s really exhausting to imagine that the GS F and RC F characteristic the identical engine, as they sound nothing alike. What’s even more durable to imagine is that this can be a Lexus and never an Aston Martin or a Mercedes-AMG which you’ll sometimes affiliate with the best sounding V8s in the marketplace. There are not any extreme crackles and burbles from the exhaust as you get in vehicles like V8-powered Jaguar F-Sort fashions. The LC500 sounds animalistic however on the similar time refined.
If we did have one criticism of the auditory expertise, it could be the dearth of sound from the engine itself. The automaker seems to have spent a lot time making the exhaust sound good that sounds from the rear-end steadily drown out the deep bellow from up-front.
Lexus says the LC500 will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in four.7 seconds. Whereas that’s respectable, it’s not spectacular – although not a lot of a shock for a automotive which weighs a lot. What’s extra vital is how the automotive accelerates in gear and whereas flowing between corners, and in our expertise, it feels prefer it has simply the correct quantity of energy.
Gas consumption sits at a claimed 11.6-liters per 100 km (20 U.S. mpg) and whilst you might obtain that determine on the freeway, it’s not lifelike in on a regular basis driving. We hardly ever noticed it gulping down lower than 17 liters per 100 km (13.83 U.S. mpg) throughout our 1,200-odd km (754 miles) with the automotive. At the least the large 82-liter gas tank (21.6 gallon) petrol tank does imply you don’t should just about reside at gas stations like many different efficiency vehicles.
The Lexus LC500 Restricted Version prices a cool $205,000 in Australia and whereas this Zinnia Yellow mannequin isn’t supplied within the U.S., an LC500 can nonetheless be picked up stateside from $93,325. Take into account it cash nicely spent for what might very probably be one of the best trying sports activities automotive proper now – and one that provides the entire bundle as nicely.