The high-performance models and emotional designs issued by Lexus in the last few years prefaced a new chapter for the brand, one that begins now with the arrival of the 2018 LC flagship performance coupe. A concept car come to life, the Lexus LC combines stunning design, scintillating performance, long-distance comfort and premium craftsmanship to join an elite group of international grand touring coupes.
The Lexus LC 500 makes the strongest statement yet about the brand’s future direction. Previewed by the LF-LC concept in 2012, the Lexus LC debuted as a production model at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It arrives in Lexus dealerships as the V8-powered Lexus LC 500 with an MSRP of $92,000 and the LC 500h with a new Multi Stage Hybrid powertrain at an MSRP of $96,510. Toyota Motor Corporation president, Akio Toyoda, who is also Chief Branding Officer and master driver for Lexus, inspired development of the LC. Focused on offering more exciting and emotional vehicles for global markets, he called for a flagship production coupe echoing the spirit of the hand-built Lexus LFA supercar and delivering the visual impact of the Lexus LF-LC concept.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Exterior
The LC 500 is a mix of curves and sharp angles. The coupe’s windows slope down toward the front, and that, along with a number of other body lines make the LC 500 look as if it’s leaning forward with an aggressive stance. There are a number of thin, functional ducts and openings across the body and it wears many of Lexus’ traditional styling cues, particularly the headlights and grille.
The LC 500 features a new 3-D mesh design in its spindle grille, as well as LED headlights with very thin projectors that allowed designers to pull the hood lower. Available are a flowing carbon fiber roof (glass is standard) and an active rear spoiler. Wheels come in two sizes: 20 inches or 21 inches, both made of forged aluminum.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Interior
As angular and wild as the outside is, the inside is relatively subtle, with a fairly straightforward design and a driver-oriented cockpit. Lexus says the cockpit was designed so that the driver’s hip point would be as close as possible to the car’s center of gravity.
The LC 500 features premium materials throughout the cabin, including magnesium alloy paddle shifters and available Alcantara and supple leather on the seats. Making its debut on the 2017 LC 500 is a new Lexus Multimedia Package that features an updated graphic interface. A new Pioneer audio system that was specifically engineered for the LC 500 is standard; a Mark Levinson system is optional.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Under the Hood
The LC 500 is the first vehicle to use Lexus’ new rear-wheel-drive platform and it packs plenty of punch under the hood, borrowing the same 5.0-liter V-8 found in the RC F and GS F. It is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that Lexus says is the first of its kind in a luxury vehicle.
There’s also an active acoustics feature that works with the exhaust system; above 3,500 rpm baffles open to give the LC 500 a distinctive exhaust note that Lexus describes as a “raucous melody.”
2018 Lexus LC 500 Prices and Competition
Lexus hasn’t announced pricing on the LC yet– that will come closer to the vehicle’s arrival in North America in late spring of 2017. It did identify a broad competitive set that includes vehicles that start in the $70Ks and run up to the $120Ks: the BMW 6 Series, Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and even the Porsche 911; quite a wide range.