2019 Lexus LC 500 new car reviews

In a world where luxury brands have all embraced the SUV, here’s a chewy little morsel from Lexus: We count not one but two premium coupes on their current roster, with the RC joined by the flagship LC.

What makes the LC the flagship? It says so, right there on their media site: “The emotional designs and high-performance models issued by Lexus in the last few years prefaced a new chapter for the brand, one that begins now with the arrival of the 2018 LC flagship performance coupe. A concept car come to life, the Lexus LC combines stunning design, scintillating performance, long-distance comfort and premium craftsmanship to join an elite group of international grand touring coupes.”

The LC comes in two distinct flavors, the V8-powered, dino-fueled LC 500 model as well as the LC 500h hybrid model. The gas model features the engine up front and the drive wheels out back–the way that it should be, amirite?

This time we spent a few days with the LC 500. Some figures to whet your appetite: 471 horsepower, 398 lb.-ft. of torque, 10 speeds, 15.7-inch front rotors and 275mm-wide rear tires.

Some more numbers to consider: a base price of $92,200, while ours stickered at $105,940 after options and shipping.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Wow. Just wow.

The RC left me a little lukewarm. Yeah, it’s fast, eye-catching and also features V8 power, but the LC is the actual delivery of what the RC promises.

Example: The RC’s transmission seems to have trouble deciding what to do. Upshift for economy or drop several years at once for quick-yet-jerky action? The LC’s gearbox, somehow, can read minds. It’s a 10-speed that feels like a 20-speed. (See what I did there?)

Okay, true, the LC costs like twice as much, too, but where the RC sent me looking at other options, I could live with the LC and be happy. (We’re assuming that I’m in the market for a six-figure GT.) The LC delivers a comfortable ride, an upmarket interior, all the performance you’d need on the street, and head-turning looks.

If I had to pick one tiny nit, the controls mounted to the gauge hood look a little tacked on. Believe me, I feel like an idiot for mentioning that little thing.

So, the big question: This or something from Germany? Love to hear your thoughts on that.

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Tberg New Reader
3/25/19 9:50 p.m.

I went to sit in an LC500 several months ago thinking that it looked sumptuous in the pictures I saw of it.  I came away thinking the interior had some odd touches and did not look as good in person as it photographed.  Its GT credentials are good but not exceptional, certainly nothing performance wise that my 9 year old Jaguar XKR doesn't exceed in every category, but at least the Lexus "Predator" grill seems a little tamer than in other Lexus models.  I do not think Lexus set the bar quite high enough for their so-called "flagship" model to compete with the world's best.

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