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2018 Lexus LC

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2018 Lexus LC Expert Review

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If European cars dominated a particular segment, it would be in the prestigious realm of high-end grand tourers. But with the introduction of the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and LC 500h hybrid, that’s all about to change. As the first model to ride atop Lexus’ GA-L platform architecture, the 4-seat Lexus LC bolsters its cutting-edge foundation with a world-class interior, high-tech trappings, and a potent V8 or optional V6-hybrid. Wrapped in a package that handles as sharp as it looks, it’s safe to say the LC 500 and LC 500h are poised to take on established stalwarts like the Porsche 911, Mercedes-AMG E63 Coupe, and BMW 650i and i8 plug-in hybrid.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re in the market for an ultra-premium 2+2 coupe that looks like nothing else on the road today, there might be an LC in your future.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Though no slouch in the dynamics department, the 2018 Lexus LC lacks the visceral thrill of the Porsche 911 Carrera S and Jaguar F-Type S.

How It Ranks
2018 Lexus LC Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

The 2018 LC 500 and LC 500h are completely new nameplates, and reaffirm Lexus’ commitment to contesting at the highest levels of the luxury marketplace.

Driving the LC
2018 Lexus LC Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

It becomes immediately evident that the Lexus LC is something special from the moment the wheels begin to turn. From steering response, to brake feel, to chassis and suspension control,...

... the harmonious manner in which the LC’s systems operate conveys an ever-present sense of solidness like no other Lexus before it. In fact, the LC is the first Lexus -- and perhaps the only Japanese vehicle -- to accurately match the high-speed composure of its Autobahn-tuned rivals. Pitch it aggressively into a corner, and the LC’s body won’t roll past a few degrees no matter how unrefined your turn-in. But that also doesn’t mean the LC has abandoned its roots, as evidenced by a communicative-yet-comfortable ride and surprisingly good sightlines for a low-slung coupe. Plus, the cabin is exceptionally quiet, even by Lexus standards.

13-SPEAKER MARK LEVINSON AUDIO
Specifically designed for the LC’s uniquely shaped interior, Mark Levinson and Lexus teamed up to build a sound system that strategically positions every speaker for optimum sound. The result is one of the finest-sounding audio systems ever to grace the dash and doors of an automobile.

10-SPEED CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION
Transmissions rarely appear on our list of favorite features, let alone CVTs, but the LC 500h’s is deserving of such praise. Thanks to what is essentially a 4-speed differential, this CVT behaves just like the LC 500’s conventional 10-speed automatic. Swap gears, and you can even detect a hint of shift shock.

2018 Lexus LC Details
2018 Lexus LC Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The interior was designed to be as driver-focused as you'd hope from a sports coupe, while retaining the elegance and refinement expected from a brand flagship. The seats are designed for all-day comfort and support, while available sport buckets offer additional side bolstering to keep you in place during spirited driving, though horizontally challenged drivers may find them somewhat restrictive. The only shortcoming, besides the cramped rear seats, is the infotainment system, due to a laptop-style touch pad that’s nearly impossible to get right while in motion and a convoluted interface that’ll have you sifting through multiple menus to access basic functions.

Exterior
2018 Lexus LC photo

The LC 500 is a real-world interpretation of the acclaimed LF-LC concept car. Lexus underscored its pledge to bringing that stunning shape into production, and the LC represents one of those rare instances when it's not hyperbole to call it a concept car you can buy. Against all odds, touches like a first-ever 3D taillight effect, 3-element headlights emphasized by Lexus’ signature LED check mark, and dramatic spindle grille all survived the transition from prototype to production. Best of all, the LC 500 and LC 500h are virtually indistinguishable -- apart from their badging, of course.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Not surprisingly, the 2018 Lexus LC comes exceptionally well-furnished in base form. Key standards consist of LED headlights, 20-inch wheels, magnesium steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a fixed glass panel roof, and a 12-speaker Pioneer audio system Pioneer tied to a high-mounted, wide-screen display. Safety tech arrives in the form of full-range adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane-keeping assist that will steer the car back into its lane for you, and automatic high-beam control.

Optional Equipment

For those who want it all, the 2018 LC can be outfitted with a carbon-fiber roof panel, heated and ventilated front seats wrapped in semi-aniline leather or Alcantara, blind-spot monitoring, and a full-range of performance add-ons including a limited-slip rear differential, larger 21-inch wheels, active rear-wheel steering for added agility, and a speed-activated rear spoiler.

Under the Hood
2018 Lexus LC Engine photo

The LC 500 and LC 500h get their motivation from a revised version of Lexus’ naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 and 3.5-liter V6 hybrid, respectively. The conventional mill sends 471 horsepower to the rear wheels through a new 10-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid powertrain routes 354 net system horsepower to the same area via a gearless continuously variable transmission. Lexus claims the LC 500 can sprint from 0-60 in about 4.5 seconds, with the LC 500h coming in only two-tenths slower despite delivering considerably better fuel economy.

5.0-liter V8
471 horsepower @ 7,100 rpm
398 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/26 mpg

3.5-liter V6 gasoline/electric hybrid
354 net system horsepower
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2018 Lexus LC 500 is right around $93,000, including destination fees, with hybrid power setting you back an additional $4,500 or so. Tick every option box, and you can inflate the sticker price of an LC 500h to just over $106,000. That's slightly higher than cars like the BMW 650i and Jaguar F-Type S, but significantly less than loaded versions of the Porsche 911 Carrera S, Mercedes-Benz E63 Coupe and BMW i8. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers in your area are actually paying for the 2018 Lexus LC. Down the road, you should sleep well knowing that the Lexus LC is predicted to retain some of the highest residual values in the luxury space, regardless of price point.

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