The long-awaited 2018 Lexus LC500h luxury coupe has hit a showroom near you.
My tester was a preproduction prototype, apparently number 29 off the assembly line. And after a week behind the wheel, there are more than a few Snohomish County residents who probably have a sore neck, if you get my drift.
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.
I drove the LC500h multi-stage hybrid mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid pairs a gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators .The Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine uses D-4S direct fuel injection, and lightweight valve-train components allow a 6,600-rpm redline, with Dual VVT-i ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range and 354 horsepower.
If you’d rather, a V8 is available with a blow-your-socks-off 471 horsepower and 0-60 speed in less than 4.5 seconds, and is electronically capped at 168 miles per hour. That’s what I call unfettered driving pleasure.
The LC500h seats four adults, although the two sitting in the rear had better be limber. It comes with a usable trunk, although not for golf clubs. And the hybrid, depending on your driving habits, can deliver north of 30 miles per gallon.
Best of all, really, is the LC500h design. It certainly looks the part. Mine came with an ultra-white coat of enamel, the brand’s hallmark spindle grille and prominent quarter panels that flare away from the center of the car and door panels that are pulled inward.
The design itself helps achieve performance targets, especially with regard to low center of gravity, aerodynamics and high-speed stability. An available active rear spoiler automatically deploys when vehicle speed rises above 50 mph, reducing lift to further enhance high-speed stability.
Interior features include comfortable seats with side bolsters and lumbar support, a heads up display that not only includes current speed, but navigation directionals, so eyes never need to leave the road.
Other goodies include a rear-view camera, 12-speaker Pioneer sound system, CD player and all the latest, greatest, multimedia features. All-speed radar cruise control is intuitive and paddle shifters are at the ready for those days when manual simulation is in order.
Last, but certainly not least, an array of active safety features help the driver avoid an accident, or help lessen the consequences of a collision. The system uses a camera and millimeter-wave radar to monitor the road ahead for potential hazards and collision risks. This combination provides the LC with a pre-collision system and pedestrian detection. Other functions include lane-departure alert with steering assist, vehicle-sway warning, and intelligent high beams.
In short, the Lexus LC500h is my kind of sports car (except for the price). Performance is delivered in spades, yet comfort and safety features are front and center. I guess you can have it all, if you invest six figures!
Base Price: $96,510
Price As Driven: $100,445
Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.