Lexus LC (9260A) 500 Coupe

Introduced in 2018, the LC 500 although not officially a replacement for the SC 430, took a while to appear. Teasing with flashes of the RC coupes, the RC takes on a lot of high-end competitors; namely, Mercedes-Benz SL, BMW 6-Series. Minor updates have been made for 2019, the result is a beautiful iteration of a handsome sports car. Why, there is even room for four-although rear-seating is tight and reserved for those who are small, or under the age of ten. If one does nothing else but gaze at this piece of auto excellence, it sure adds class to any driveway.

Maneuvering Lexus’ 5.0-liter V8 engine is no small task.  Effortless might describe it, but it can be daunting. This writer put the petal to the metal when turning a corner (so passengers could feel what this is all about), not realizing an officer was headed the other direction, keeping an eye on me. Perhaps he was surprised to see a woman behind the wheel! With horsepower of 471, this car is decent and refined, shall we say?  As with all Lexus products, the LC has impeccable manners. Ride quality is as expected from Lexus, the adjustable suspension provides a good between a comfortable coupe ride and sportiness.  The interior is high-quality, the seating in top-of-the-line leather and simulated suede.

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Lexus’ infotainment system is clumsy and awkward. The touchpad interface is frustrating, and we just gave up when trying to find a decent channel. Lexus took aim at improving it by adding Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, for those accustomed to operating them. The central display is 10-3-inches, including two USB ports, nav system and 12-speaker audio system with satellite radio. Dynamic voice control and in-car WI-FI are also standard. For safety, a forward collision warning with automatic braking and lane departure warning and intervention are standard equipment. A 12-speaker Premium audio system is standard. Would you expect less?

Available in only one trim level, the LC 500 is available in Hybrid, and offers a longlist of standard equipment. Our test LC came with a few options (listed below), bringing the final price to just under $97,000. For those who must have it all, Lexus offers several packages and stand-alone options.  Rear drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission make this a dream to drive. Steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles are also standard. Beginning this year, Lexus reprogrammed the shift logic of the transmission to offer a smoother driving feel.

Also standard are the 20-inch wheels, adjustable suspension, LED exterior lights, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, auto high-beam control, ambient interior lighting, power-adjustable tile-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats with driver-seat memory. This coupe is all luxury.

For those drivers navigating chillier temps, you may want to opt for the All-Weather package which includes heated steering wheel and windshield de-icer. And if you must, you can add the Convenience package with front/rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. A Touring package is also available and includes simulated suede headliner, upgraded leather upholstery and Mark Levinson audio.

We would have liked to have a tad more time in the LC, but at the same time, found it a little intimidating taking it anywhere. We got a kickout of starting it up. As with all sports cars, whichever is your favorite, you crave that throaty engine and exhaust tune. You can count on precise steering, handling and braking in the LC. Tuned more for comfort, Lexus didn’t scrimp on performance. Much like my Corvette, the LC is a fine cruising car. In fact, it may perform best out on the highway. Around town driving is also pleasurable as the LC’s suspension is excellent and absorbs all matter of road problems.

What may be a challenge for those in their upper years is navigating the in/out of the low seating. Also, the doors, as with most couples are very heavy and a bit awkward. The high doorsill is high so carefully turning one’s body and stepping out is indicated. The steering wheel swings away, which is another thoughtful help. But those are the prices you pay for a sporty coupe.

Visibility in the LC 500 is good, surprisingly, even with a swooping back window. And interior room is comfortable with two adults sitting up front.

SPECS

MSRP: $92,200; total vehicle price $95,915; delivery $1,025

Engine: 5.0-liter, V8 DOHC 32 valve, Dual  VVT-1 Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence, 471 HP., 398 lb.ft.torque

Transmission: 10-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic

Wheelbase: 113 in.

Length: 187.4 in.

Width: 75.6 in.

Height: 53 in.

0-60: 4.4 seconds

Top speed: 168 mph

Models: Hybrid 500h ($96,810); 500 Inspiration Series ($105,615)

EPA MPG: 16/25

Tank: 21.7 gal.

Seating: 4

Options: Convenience Package: Intuitive Park Assist ($1,000) and Head-up Display ($900); Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System ($1,220); Premium Paint ($595).

Years: 2018,2019, 2020

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