Lexus LC 500 reviews: Can it rival the GT giants?
Are a striking design and luxurious cabin enough to challenge the likes of Maserati?
Lexus has another new car hitting British roads this year, as its LC 500 looks to join the highly-competitive premium grand touring market.
The LC 500 and LC 500h replace the RC F as the company's range-topping grand touring car, with its angular styling and optional high-tech hybrid powertrain marking a significant step the Japanese carmaker has made from the outgoing model.
It's one of Lexus's most striking and stylish coupes to date, but is it enough to rival the likes of the BMW 6 Series and Maserati GranTurismo?
Here's what the critics had to say:
Under the LC 500's long bonnet sits a 471bhp 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 motor derived from the car's RC F predecessor, says AutoExpress.
Power is sent to the rear wheels through a ten-speed automatic gearbox designed to help drivers "develop a rhythm in brisk driving".
Gear changes "are swift and best actuated using the large paddles behind the steering wheel", the magazine says, although "they're still not quite as seamless as the best dual-clutch gearboxes".
The hybrid LC 500h variant is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 engine that is paired to a 132kW (177bhp) electric motor, says Car.
Hybrid models also comes with an intricate E-CVT transmission that has "three distinct ratios", the magazine says. This is coupled to a four-speed automatic gearbox, which effectively gives drivers ten speeds to choose from.
These comprise "three from the E-CVT" which are "multiplied by three from the shift device for nine and the final ratio from the latter performs as an overdrive gear".
On the inside, the LC 500 is full of materials that "feel expensive" and the cabin as a whole looks "well put together", says AutoExpress. Its "aluminium door handles that seem to float in the Alcantara-trimmed doors" are a standout-feature, as are "the outstandingly comfortable seats".
In front of the driver, "sits a TFT instrument display with a central rev counter", the magazine says. It is flanked by "a pair of rotary controls sprout from either side of the instrument binnacle".
"It feels spectacularly premium without even a hint of the stodginess or borderline midlife crisis vibe found in other upscale GT competitors," says Business Insider.
However, the website says the backseats are "not really suitable for grown-ups", but this is often the case with four-seater grand tourers.
On the road
Under its sleek and stylish exterior is a "good chassis" that gives the LC 500 "a very agile feel through tight corners and a reassuring stability at higher speeds", says AutoExpress.
While more steering feedback wouldn't go amiss, the magazine says "there’s enough to get an idea of what the front tyres are doing." It adds that "there's plenty of grip, too".
Having a naturally aspirated V8 at your disposal gives you the impression that the car has a "bottomless well of power", says Business Insider. It makes the car feel "very relaxing", as you have the confidence that car can instantly deliver more power.
The V8 helps give the LC 500 and LC 500h a shot at competing with grand touring class leaders such as the BMW 6 Series and Maserati GranTurismo, says Car.
Recumbu https://recombu.com/cars/article/lexus-lc-500-vs-lc-500h-is-the-v8-or-hybrid-best-for-me says fans wanting a traditional grand touring car with a roaring engine should opt for the V8 model, as the V6 hybrid motor in the LC 500h doesn't have the same sense of occasion.
Price and release
Orders for the LC 500 are open now, says Car, with prices starting from £80,595.