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2018 Lexus LC 500 Review By Larry Nutson

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2018 Lexus LC 500
Beauty has its price

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

It’s not everyday that I get to drive around in a six-figure sports coupe. The all-new 2018 Lexus LC 500 that would be my wheels-for-a-week sat in the rarified and exotic space of $105,060.

For that I got 2-doors, 4-seats, a 471-HP 5.0-L V8, a 10-speed direct shift automatic, rear wheel drive plus a lot more brawn and beauty.

The LC 500 in its “Infrared” exterior color turned heads. Parents with their too-young-to-drive sons seated next to them lowered their car windows to tell me their son liked my car.

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The interior is a dream; a beautiful dream. The cockpit is welcoming with its Toasted Almond color Alcantara sport seats, a leather steering wheel, carbon fiber door sills, and an Alcantara headliner. The 13-speaker Mark Levinson Audio system surrounds you with beautiful music.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

At cold-engine start-up the throaty exhaust announces your presence. Out on the open highway 60 mph comes along in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is in the rarified space of 168mph.

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 optional 21-inch wheels are mounted with staggered tire sizes, 245/40 up front and 275/35 in the rear. Curbs and potholes could cause some unwanted expense here.

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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.

With an MSRP of $92,000, options on this LC 500 included: All Weather Package ($250); Convenience Package ($1,000) that provided blind spot monitor, park assist and rear cross-traffic alert; 21-inch forged wheels ($2,650); Limited Slip Differential ($390); Mark Levinson 915-watt surround sound ($1,220); Premium Paint ($595); and, Performance Package ($5,960) with the carbon fiber roof, active rear steering and active rear spoiler plus the Alcantara interior trim.

The active rear steer and variable ratio steering might be cool to have but for street and highway cruising it’s probably overkill. I might not have opted for the Performance Package with its active rear steer but for the Sport Package with carbon fiber roof that’s priced lower at $2,960.

EPA test-cycle ratings, if they really matter in a car like this, are 19 mpg combined with 16 city and 26 highway. I suppose there is some interest here and it’s worth to mention that the 21.7 gallon fuel tank should help make for over 500 miles of road-tripping.

Note that the trunk is a smallish 5.4 cu.ft. so pack light, although there is the rear seat for some small item storage.

You can also choose 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. More information and specifications can be found easily at


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 wouldn’t want to have only the LC 500 for all my everyday driving needs and running of household errands. In snow, leave it parked. Actually, in cold temps below 32-degrees F the performance tires start to harden and don’t work well even on dry roads. There’s not much room in the trunk, so a chore like picking up the dry cleaning is a bit of a compromise. You’ll need another every-day driver.

However, for a long road trip, or a weekend getaway, or to the “club” the LC 500 is well suited. The cockpit surrounds you in beauty and comfort so you can arrive in style.

© 2017 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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