2019 Lexus LC 500 Review - Grand Touring At Its Best, Review By Larry Nutson
2019 Lexus LC 500
Grand touring at its best
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the Lexus LC 500 is that it really gets noticed. It’s a real head-turner.
As I made my way around going about my business you can’t help but notice the stares and looks while driving the LC. My wife commented the same, “lots of people look at this car.”
Stylish, perhaps exotic, and a bright color does it all. The “Infrared” red premium paint certainly was well chosen.
The LC 500 is very well proportioned with its low stance, short overhangs, sleek hood and muscular shoulders at the rear. The Lexus signature spindle front grill features a highly detailed mesh. The 20-inch wheels are mounted with staggered tire sizes, 245/45 up front and 275/40 in the rear. Be careful of curbs and potholes.
Beauty can come with a cost. The LC 500 is priced at $92,200.
The LC 500 was all-new in 2018 and has received a few upgrades for 2019. The rear-wheel drive coupe still has its 471-HP 5.0-L V8. The 10-speed direct shift automatic has gotten some reprogrammed shift logic. Engine mounts have been modified, the steering system has been enhanced, and the adaptive variable suspension delivers better ride comfort.
The LC 500 can run from a 0-to-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is 168 mph. EPA test-cycle ratings are 19 mpg combined, with 16 city mpg and 25 highway mpg. Upon startup, the variable active exhaust lets the entire neighborhood know what you are up to.
The high-performance braking system has 6-piston front calipers with 15.7-inch rotors and 4-piston rear calipers with 14.1-inch rotors.
The hood, front fenders and door skins are aluminum. Door and trunk inner panels are made from CRFP sheet-molding compound. The rear fenders are steel. The interior is just as stylish. The cockpit is welcoming with its comfortable and supportive leather trimmed sport seats, a leather steering wheel, carbon fiber door sills, and dark headliner. The 13-speaker Mark Levinson Audio system surrounds you with your favorite driving tunes. New for 2019 is Apple CarPlay compatibility and Amazon Alexa integration.
Many auto pundits voice concern with the control interface touchpad for the multimedia screen. I’ll agree it’s a bit distracting to use and often times somewhat frustrating. I do wonder if I owned this car how often I would be changing settings. Trunk space is limited. The rear seats are best used for carrying small items.
A full array of advanced driver assistance safety (ADAS) features are available and the optional Convenience Package provides blind spot monitor, park assist and rear cross-traffic alert;
Lexus also offers the LC in a hybrid, the LC 500h, powered by 3.5-liter, V6 full hybrid powertrain, delivering a total system output of 354 horsepower, priced with a starting MSRP of $96,510.
At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show Lexus unveiled the LC Convertible Concept. Just recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK Lexus took it a step further with the first LC convertible prototype being driven in action along with confirmation that the dramatically styled open-top LC is to go into production in the near future.
Might you want a compatible mode of transport to the LC 500, Lexus recently introduced its first luxury yacht, the Lexus LY 650. Lexus’ goal is to go beyond the automobile to deliver innovative and amazing experiences. The 65-foot yacht is based on the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept first shown in January 2017. Lexus collaborated with Italian yacht design studio Nuvolari Lenard and the yacht is built in collaboration with the craftspeople of Marquis Yachts in Pulaski, Wisconsin. The price: $3.7 million.
There’s plenty of offering from Lexus that can be found easily at www.lexus.com.
Overall the LC 500 is very comfortable and easy to drive both in a crowded city and out on the open highway. It is, for the most part, a luxury grand touring coupe. It’s not in the realm of a true sports car, such as a Porsche 911 or a Jaguar F-type. It fits in with the Mercedes-Benz S-coupe and the BMW 6 Series.
I also drove the LC 500 at the Midwest Automotive Media Association Spring Rally held at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The locale around Elkhart Lake has some great driving roads. The icing on the cake was piloting the very capable LC 500 around Road America’s 4-mile race circuit.
One thing is for sure. I would be happy to take this grand tourer on a cross-country road trip.
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© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy