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2018 Lexus LC500h Test Drive Review

Every couple of years, there comes a car from a manufacturer that highlights the latest innovations and technologies that will ultimately make their way to the rest of their lineup. These cars are usually extreme supercars with a price tag of more than a couple of hundred thousand dollars. The LFA was that car for Lexus.

When Lexus discontinued the LFA in December 2012, we were left wondering what the brand will follow up with next. After all the rumors and speculation, we finally know. Meet the Lexus LC. And while it may not be a successor of the LFA, it definitely embodies everything Lexus learned from the development of the LFA. The Lexus LC is really the production version of the Lexus LF-LC Concept and it doesn’t aim to be a supercar like the LFA. Instead, it focuses on being one of the most technologically advanced and best-looking grand tourers you can buy for under $100,000.

2018 Lexus LC500h Exterior

Just look at it! The 2018 Lexus LC looks like a supercar that could carry a price tag that is similar to a Ferrari. It is gorgeous from every angle and perfectly conveys a sense of futuristic motoring. Lexus said it did everything imaginable to preserve the looks of the LF-LC Concept in the production version. So much so, that the brand ended up creating an entirely new platform called the Global Architecture – Luxury (GA-L for short). Side note—the GA-L also underpins the new 2018 Lexus LS flagship sedan that we’ll see later this year.

Visually, the LC is immediately recognizable as a Lexus. On the front, you have the striking Lexus spindle grille and L-shaped daytime running lights. One of our favorite design highlights is the combination of a large glass panel and blacked-out rear pillars that create an illusion of a floating roof. Other visual highlights include the spindle shape that is repeated in the rear fascia, large ducts that feed air into the rear wheel arches, the sharply sweeping roofline, and tail lamps that actually use mirrors to create a 3D sequence of L-shaped graphics.

To put the size of the LC into perspective, the sports car sits on a wheelbase that measures 113-inches with an overall length of 187.4-inches. The width of the Lexus LC comes in at 75.6-inches while the height stands at 53-inches.

Now, let’s compare the Lexus LC’s exterior design to that of its competitors. While it’s really up to you, we feel that the Lexus LC runs circles around the BMW M6 and the Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG all day long.

2018 Lexus LC500h Interior

Lexus says that the interior of the LC was inspired by the LFA and that’s pretty obvious with the driver-centric cabin. Every element of the cabin of the Lexus LC is concentrated around the driver. They even put a bar right on the right side of the center console to keep the passenger from jumping in on all of the action.

When it comes to tech, everything is available essentially as a standard option. Both, the Lexus LC500 and the Lexus LC500h, come standard with a 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen that houses the navigation and the various system controls including audio and climate. The system is controlled via the remote touchpad on the center console. Right in front of the driver is the LFA-inspired instrumentation that is housed on an 8-inch screen and is entirely customizable. Other standard features include Bluetooth, a rearview camera, heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, and much more. There are a few packages and individual options like the Mark Levinson sound system, heated steering wheel, and a few other that we wish were thrown in as standard.

Space wise, the 2018 Lexus LC offers seating for four with front-row passengers enjoying 42-inches of legroom and rear-passengers squeezing in tight with 32-inches.

Overall, the cabin is profoundly styled and well-crafted with the use of remarkably high-quality materials that we’ve come to expect from Lexus.

2018 Lexus LC500h Performance

Our test model, the 2018 Lexus LC500h, is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is coupled with a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. A continuously variable transmission sends power to the wheels with four-speed automatic transmission for the hybrid system. Total output comes in at 354 horsepower, which allows the Lexus LC500h to run from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.

While the overall driving quality of the Lexus LC500h is a bit artificial when compared to the LC500, it is still a fun car to drive. The Lexus LC500h can run the quarter mile in 13.6 seconds at 103 mph – which unquestionably shows that this car isn’t incompetent. If you’re in the mood to go a bit faster you can shift the Drive Mode Select into Sport or Sport+.

Since this is a hybrid, we are obligated to talk about fuel economy. The EPA-rated figured comes in at 26/35 mpg* (city/highway) with a combined fuel economy of 30 mpg*.

2018 Lexus LC500h Safety

The Lexus LC500h comes with a range of safety features including a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, lane keep assist, pre-collision system, pedestrian detection system, and much more. Adding the Convenience Package will give you park assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

2018 Lexus LC500h Overall

The 2018 Lexus LC500h is an exceptional peek into the future of sports cars and an intriguing look into where Lexus is headed with performance vehicles. You really have to drive one to experience what we’re talking about. Prices for the 2018 Lexus LC500h start at $96,510** but if you’re not into the hybrid version the Lexus LC500 will run you a little cheaper at $92,000**. Visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealer for a quick spin today.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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