The LC 500 is a top-of-the-line car from Lexus, carrying its best engineering. This should be obvious from that eye-catching styling that draws attention on the street, whether driven or parked.
It should also be obvious when examining the price tag. The starting fee is $92,200. Add 21-inch wheels, heads-up display, limited-slip rear, Mark Levinson stereo, rear steering, carbon fiber roof and more, and the total came to a tidy $105,940.
For this coin we have a modern 5.0-liter V8 under the hood, cranking 471 horsepower. It’s hooked to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and gears can be chosen manually by using paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Fuel economy is rated at 16/25 mpg using premium blend. The claimed 0-60 mph time is 4.7 seconds. A knob allows various driving modes to be picked. There is Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sport and Sport+.
The cabin is a sea of leather and luxurious materials. It certainly looks sharp, but once driving, some flaws are noticed. The plastic cover over the gauges reflects sun glare, the sun visors can’t be extended to block sun from entering side windows, the glove box is so small to be useless, same with the tiny rear seats, and the infotainment system is operated by an awkward finger touch pad rather than a control stick. The trunk is small, so no spare tire is issued.
We put 600 miles on the clock in one week. This car was a blast to drive, especially in the Sport+ mode. This setting cranks up the exhaust noise, so everyone will hear you coming even if they can’t see you. On a 250-mile road trip, we averaged 22 mpg. But with that small trunk, don’t plan on carrying much luggage, and those tiny rear seats will prevent more than two passengers from coming along.
Approximately 2,000 LC 500s are sold in the USA every year, so this is an exclusive machine. There is also a hybrid version offered for those interested.
Chad Haire, of Phoenix, test-drives vehicles for this feature.