The sumptuous Lexus LC 500 is a hefty luxury coupe fashioned for unruffled highway cruising in the grand touring tradition.
That doesn’t mean it lacks ripsnorting power or is clumsy on winding roads. With a 5.0-liter V8 engine producing 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, the LC 500 can go from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, and it exhibits tremendous capability on curvy backroads.
The thing is, due to its 4,280-pound curb weight, the LC 500 isn’t likely to be a buyer-magnet for those seeking to indulge their inner Scott Pruett on tightly twisted roads.
Base pricing with destination charge for the 2020 LC 500 is $93,975. There’s a hybrid version, the LC 500h, at $98,485. It improves fuel economy significantly: 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, as opposed to the gasoline version’s 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Premium fuel is required for both models.
The LC 500 has a 10-speed automatic transmission and the LC 500h transmission is a multistage hybrid. Both models have rear-wheel drive.
There are no major changes to the LC 500 for 2020, but a Flare Yellow paint color has been added and a limited-edition LC Inspiration Series model with exclusive Nori Green paint is available.
My tester was the LC 500 model. It had the new Flare Yellow paint, which I would not have chosen for myself. It was certainly popular with random observers during the test week, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it’s too inelegant for such an elegant car.
LC 500’s interior is outstandingly designed and put together with great finesse. It’s a three-tiered affair, with a broad center console, a lower dash with assorted controls, and an upper dash incorporating the infotainment display, a clock, and the gauge cluster.
At $94,000 and with a luxury label, it’s expected that a car will have a slew of nice features as standard equipment, and the LC 500 does. My tester lavished the car with even more, to the tune of $12,637 in options. The biggest-ticket items: 21-inch wheels, $2,650; Sport Package with carbon fiber roof and 8-way power front seats with Alcantara inserts, $2,960; and a Carbon Fiber Package with grille insert and spoiler, $2,398.
A Mark Levinson 13-speaker premium surround sound audio system bumped up the options by another $1,220. It’s an upgrade from the standard Lexus 12-speaker system, which includes a CD player, and I was happy to see that a CD player was still there along with the Levinson system.
The infotainment system includes lots of apps, navigation, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay capability (but not Android Auto). Its command center is an evil touchpad in the center console that is very difficult to master at best, and a risky distraction for the driver at worst. At least there are manual controls for volume adjustment and tuning.
Stowage space is scarce for small items inside the cabin as well as larger items in the trunk. There’s a bin in the center console, a glove box, narrow and shallow pockets in the doors, and two cupholders. There’s also the option of using the rear seats strictly for stowage, since they honestly don’t have enough space for actual passengers. The trunk doesn’t offer much help because it’s small too: just 5.4 cubic feet.
Touchpad frustration and stowage space limitation aside, the LC 500 interior is a supremely smooth, quiet and cozy environment that keeps the outside world’s chaotic noises and jarring bumps at bay.
2020 LEXUS LC 500 COUPE
Base price, including destination charge: $93,975
Price as driven: $106,612
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.