Is that this the place luxurious meets efficiency? We bought out within the Lexus LC500 in final 12 months’s summer time sunshine to see whether or not it was any good.
There are few automobiles that may make an announcement fairly in addition to the LC500. On the one hand you might have a automobile that exudes class and class, on the opposite you might have a hand-built 5.0-litre V8 in 460bhp trim and an exhaust be aware that tingles the senses.
Have a look at it. Stare immediately on the entrance and also you’re met with the snarling grille hiding a mahoosive engine behind it. Transfer barely to the facet and your eye line follows the strains of the automobile in the direction of these vast rear arches. Below these are huge 21-inch wheels completed in chrome, the primary for a automobile on this section. That is the flagship coupe for Lexus, so the marque has pulled out the entire stops to make it as luxurious as attainable.
Whereas the engine is shared with the RC F we drove earlier within the 12 months, within the LC it feels extra alive and that’s principally right down to the exhaust. Whereas within the RC it’s restricted and muted, within the LC it’s left unrestrained and you may lastly hear the V8 grunt because it climbs to nearly 8000rpm. Within the LC it’s additionally mated to a correct dual-clutch transmission, fairly than a ZF Auto with a torque converter that’s discovered within the RC. Which means gear adjustments are sharp and responsive, one thing we felt was missing within the RC. It additionally contains a 10-speed transmission, which is a world first for a premium passenger automobile.
Whenever you first hop into the LC you’re greeted with one of the welcoming cabins I’ve skilled. Nothing has been left unturned, every floor completed in alcantara, carbon fibre or leather-based. The seats hug round you to provide the assist of a bucket, however with final consolation. This looks like a automobile you might cruise throughout Europe in with out ever having to go away the cockpit. Whereas I wasn’t in a position to swing a makeshift Euro tour on the expense of Midge, I did nonetheless tick off nearly 1000 miles within the week I had with the automobile. It’s a cabin you by no means wish to go away, driving doesn’t a lot tire you out, it relaxes you to a stage that makes it snug over hours of constant driving.
There’s a wealth of tech on board right here, together with each security system recognized to man. For almost all of the time you’re left alone, with beeps and warnings saved to a minimal, which is uncommon as of late. Considered one of which we have now to criticise, once more, is the infotainment system mouse pad. The precise system itself is faultless and up-to-date, however that management pad is usually a ache to make use of on the transfer. You do get used to it however a rotary controller can be far simpler to barter. And given this automobile retails at near £100k, the very last thing you wish to do is take your eyes off the street to work out transfer the cursor.
The cabin feels centered across the driver, every thing is angled in the direction of you and inside straightforward attain; the low seating place can really feel intimidating at first as you look out over the steering wheel and peer down the elongated bonnet. Manoeuvring to start with isn’t straightforward as you consistently fear the place the entrance finish actually is. That being mentioned, it’s one thing you study to stay with and the adjustability on the seat means you’ll be able to sit low for when the event requires it, or larger for metropolis driving, in any case, it’s nearly 4.8 metres lengthy!
I’ve bought to say the sound system, once more. It’s chic. Very like the RC F it makes use of a Mark Levinson system, however this time it’s dialled down just a few notches to only 13 audio system (17 within the RC). It’s no worse for it in my eyes both.
Talking of tech, the LC options dynamic rear-wheel steering with a Torsen restricted slip differential (that explains the grip). It’s an odd function and one you actually discover at low velocity. The turning circle is vastly improved and there’s even a slight trace of crabbing such as you’d hear on a drift automobile. At velocity, the rear wheels flip in the other way to assist enhance agility and composure when cornering, one thing the AMG GTR does too. That is under no circumstances an out and out sports activities automobile; this can be a luxurious GT coupe that can ship on the backroads too. I’m fairly certain that sums the LC up superbly.
Lexus LC500 drive
First issues first, the chilly begin is to die for. With the exhaust left unrestrained it growls into life and idles at simply over 2k, ensuring your whole neighbours know what time it’s. Depart it in auto and pull off gently in consolation and it turns into a quiet, unassuming, luxurious coupe. Gear adjustments are made on the earliest alternative and you end up in tenth gear at 50mph with out a drawback; one thing I by no means thought I’d say!
Altering the driving mode to sport sharpens the throttle and adjusts the damper scores to a bit of bit firmer, serving to the automobile to vary route with extra precision. The steering is electrical, so don’t count on any really feel; however with that in thoughts, Lexus has included variable gear ratio steering, in different phrases, the upper the gear and in the end the upper the velocity, the heavier the steering will get. It feels synthetic, sure, nevertheless it’s all the higher for it. I discovered the consolation steering setting, for low speeds, odd and much too straightforward.
Regardless of a close to two-tonne weight, it certain does shift. It feels quicker than the RC F however which will simply be right down to the exhaust be aware and seating place. You’re decrease, the automobile is far louder so you’ll be able to hear it climb. The feeling builds up an environment that may have you ever consider you’re accelerating faster than Marty and Doc in a DeLorian. Don’t get me mistaken, that is ferociously quick, however on the similar time it feels useable. Overtakes on single carriageways had been a doddle, and once you reached a nook, you didn’t have to fret about negotiating it, the grip and physique management is elegant, up there with a few of the extra centered Japanese sports activities automobiles. In reality, I examined each the Supra and the LC500 on the identical stretch of street (that options each straights and gradual, tight corners), and the LC felt as agile regardless of being some 400-500kg heavier. The rear-wheel steering definitely helps to ramp up the agility.
In the end, although, this automobile is happiest when cruising. A day spent travelling to completely different areas within the UK with Mrs Matty proved this. Neither certainly one of us bought out feeling drained or aching, as an alternative we opted to skip out just a few pitstops and head straight to the vacation spot. The added bonus is that, once you do arrive at your vacation spot, every one that has seen (or heard) you arrive cease and stare. Not solely is that this a automobile you don’t see usually, nevertheless it’s additionally a automobile that’s crammed to the brim with magnificence that even the non-car fanatic can recognize. Is that this the most effective wanting automobile lately? I believe it might be.
This, my associates, is precisely the place luxurious meets efficiency. It’s nearly as if magnificence and the beast have fashioned and created a masterpiece. An explosion of element and craftsmanship has created the LC, a poetically stunning machine and its crescendo is that hand-built 5-litre V8. It presents a noise that we have now solely our fingertips clutching on to as we transfer into an period of silence, easy electrical energy. In years to return we’ll look again at automobiles just like the LC500, a automobile that sits on a diminishing record of efficiency automobiles with character. Its beating coronary heart like a gorilla’s thumping chest. I for one will miss it and I’m grateful that automobiles just like the LC500 exist, nearly like an outcast as we push the ‘naughty’ children into a unique room whereas the others study to develop up and be boring.
The draw back? Our check automobile is simply shy of £87k. However once you take into consideration the work gone into creating it, its price ticket is justified. Dare I say it? The spirit of the LFA lives on, albeit in a barely completely different kind.