WASHINGTON — If you have seen the new superhero flick “Black Panther” you might have noticed a sleek futuristic coupe tearing up the streets. Well, the future is here for the Lexus LC 500 coupe.
There are two versions to choose from, a V-6 hybrid version or what we will review today — the V-8. We’ll dive into the hybrid version next time.
The Lexus LC 500 coupe won’t really be confused with the hybrid once you hit the start button as the V-8 engine barks to life with a noise announcing to everyone nearby that it is go time.
The 5 liter V-8 is a rare engine today as there are no turbos or superchargers just a quick revving V-8 delivering 471 horsepower through a slick ten-speed automatic.
Making the engine rev reveals some glorious noises but this isn’t a lightweight coupe so it’s not the quickest coupe I’ve driven but it’s no slouch either.
The transmission delivers super quick shifts when needed or provides smooth shifts when taking it easy. With all those gears I only caught it in the wrong gear once but it quickly selected the correct gear.
Fuel economy was not the best but it could have been the driver!
I managed 15.2 mpg of premium when the sticker touts 19 mpg in mixed driving. The handling is good for this Lexus coupe but I noticed the nannies kicking in to keep on the straight and narrow.
My car came with the optional performance package that adds rear wheel steering which helps in quicker turns. The ride was surprisingly supple but not as forgiving as their luxury sedans. It’s really good for everyday use, just watch steep driveways, speed bumps and curbs.
The vision out of the front is good but it’s not the best out of the back. The camera really comes to save the day on the rearview. It is needed to see what’s behind you when you are close to another car or object. There’s an annoying beeping in reverse that I never figured how to turn off.
The styling is something else. Low and sleek, the Lexus LC 500 coupe looks like its breaking the speed limit just sitting still. Don’t drive this car if you don’t want attention. I gave 20 tours of this machine in just a week of driving, so allow extra time at gas stations and store parking lots. People want to look and they want video of the car starting up which, of course, I had to oblige.
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the odd shaped large grill on most of the Lexus models but it fits the LC 500 very well. The side view looks good, with large 21 inch wheels, and the long hood with the short overhangs. There is no wasted space and there is even a carbon fiber roof. Even the rear styling looks ahead of its time with taillights that go across the rear, down the side and plunge down on the rear fascia; it’s a look that pops.
Not since the early 90s have I seen a Lexus coupe that was this stylish.
The interior is that signature Lexus quality meld with high-style that buyers demand in a car with a starting price around $93,000. That performance package that helps with handling also upgrades the interior with red Alcantera sport seats that hold you in place and provide comfort.
This is a four-seater but I’d say the back seats only fit children and they are snug.
The driver is treated to a businesslike driving environment with just about everything in reach and a lot of features on the steering wheel with large paddle shifters. The Mark Levinson audio system is a $1,220 must for audiophiles as it provides a nice crisp sound at all volumes.
The large NAV screen is nice visually but not the easiest to use at first with the pad near the shifter, but after some time, it is better than the joystick in other Lexus models.
One thing that is tops is the fit and finish. The use of materials are outstanding, making it seem like a more costly car than the pricey $105,000.
The Lexus LC 500 coupe is a stand out ride that does a great job of being sporty yet comfortable enough to drive all the time. With Lexus and the attention to detail, this might be a sports coupe that will be as dependable as it is stylish. And get ready to attract attention and be a bit of star when you roll in this cool Lexus.
Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by STI, FMI or Event Solutions for the purpose of this review.
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