It is quite beautiful with its soft organic lines and muscular persona. The untrained eye might also think it’s a concept car, except that it’s already prowling the streets. The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is a combination of elegant design and engineering philosophies that have been executed into a naturally aspirated 471-hp coupe that is nothing short of breathtaking.
For the full 2018 Lexus LC500 review, specs, pricing and data, read on.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Exterior:
This is an emotional car. It makes you stop, tilt your head from side-to-side, and wander around it when you first see it. You’ll stand there and take in things like the carbon fiber roof, the long bonnet and the small retractable spoiler on the rear deck lid. That signature Lexus grille will probably grab your attention next, as will the large 21-inch wheels and sculpted aero work that flows throughout the body.
Very few cars as of late- and by that I mean the last fifteen years or so- have enchanted me from a design standpoint. This one, though, had me standing there for a quite some time just pondering the workmanship that went into it. The LC 500 is a luxury sports coupe in its truest form and it takes me back to cars like the Porsche 928 and the BMW E24 M6. This is not a car for those with families or those looking to be practical. Instead, the LC 500 speaks to the buyer who is looking to make a statement.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Interior:
It used to be that the functionality of a well-designed interior was centered on the driver. Then, somewhere during the 1980s, this changed. The driver, while still in control, now had to share things like the climate and audio controls with their passengers, and the idea of a driver-centric cabin had disappeared. The 2018 Lexus LC 500 not only brings that cockpit-like feel back to the driver, but it does so in a way that works well without completely excluding the passenger.
Our test car was awash in black leather with white stitching, alcantara, carbon fiber and soft aluminum accents. And while packed with technology and functionality it was, for all intents and purposes, minimalist. A fully customizable dash panel and center mounted readout screen lets one configure the LC 500’s information output to their liking. The center screen is controlled via a console-mounted touchpad and is something Lexus has utilized before, but never in its previous life was it as smooth and precise as in the LC 500.
The back seats are more of an afterthought and only useful for children or small adults. Once underway occupants are treated to a quiet cabin with great outward visibility for a coupe. And while the beltline of the LC 500 is rather substantial, never once did I feel confined or claustrophobic. This is a cabin that ups the ante and one that should make other OEMs take notice.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Performance:
Where most manufacturers are utilizing supercharging or twin-turbo technology, Lexus decided to stay the course and plunk in a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter aluminum V8. It pumps out 471-hp and 398-lb.ft of torque through a 10-speed automatic transmission. And while it’s not the most powerful engine in a car starting in the low-$90s, it’s one of the smoothest mills out there and will motivate the LC 500 to 60-mph in 4.5-seconds.
If you look at the entire package, from the 21-inch wheels wearing 245/40-series tires up front and 275/45-series in the rear, to the five different drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport +), to the fact that its top speed is ‘only’ 168-mph, you may come away second-guessing the LC 500. What you need to understand, though, is that from a performance standpoint, this thing is absolutely wonderful and a joy to drive. It’s comfortable, fast, has beautifully weighted steering, and is just loud enough to make those with a keen ear wish they were you. More importantly, it’s a cohesive package that doesn’t try to be anything more than an outstanding open road car that makes just about everyone stop and ask questions.
Fuel economy is EPA-rated at 16-mpg city, 26-highway and 19-mpg in combined driving, however on the highway at a constant 75-mph we were pulling 29/30-mpg*, a surprise for sure. The ride quality for a coupe weighing at over 4,300-lbs was also fantastic with the best compromise of comfort and performance coming in when the car was placed in Sport Mode.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Safety:
Some of the safety features on the 2018 Lexus LC 500 include, but are not limited to: six-piston aluminum calipers on 15.7-in two-piece discs, run-flat summer tires, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, airbags throughout the cabin, traction and stability control, lane keep assist, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and all-speed radar cruise control with automatic braking.
2018 Lexus LC 500 Overall:
With a “base price” of $92,995.00 and an “as tested” price of around $105,000.00**, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 was the biggest surprise I’ve driven this year. Not only is it a well-rounded grand touring car that coddles you in luxury, but its performance and overall presence puts it above others in the class from an emotional standpoint. Is it the biggest, strongest, fastest? No – but what Lexus has done is create a machine that combines grace, technology and performance in a package that satisfies on all levels. Visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer to see one in person.
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $92,99500 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.