2019 LEXUS LC 500 Overview
Not long ago, LEXUS the never broke down, but you wished they would. They were dull, and made you lose the will to live, Then, hey made the LFA, and lo! it was good.
It is made of exotic materials like carbon fibre and plastic. The body and panels are fashioned from aluminium, making them light and strong.
LC 500 and the LS limousine are the pinnacle of the LEXUS. It was launched in 2017 and since, I have grown to love it.
Unlike other LEXUS models, LC 500 just one trim level, but two drivetrains. The Racing Coupe is a hybrid and the Luxury Coupe is the V8. Both are automatic.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Exterior
LC 500 is in your face, in a stylish and elegant kind of way.
The bright yellow wedge bugles over muscular wheel arches. The roof hovers as if possessed by a mystical incantation. It swoops gently backward to the dramatic rear end. If the $15,000 enhancement pack is added, the roof is made of carbon fibre. There is also carbon fibre extends to door sills for extra bling.
Moving from the front, the body swerves dramatically inward, super-car style. Deep vents behind the doors wait silently to be called on to douse the brakes in cool fresh air.
Beautifully detailed lighting at the front looks like cluster-set diamond rings. The grille looks it receives signals from space. It is one of the most polarising features of every new LEXUS.
Every panel is carved deeply, with swirls and flourishes. They aid air flow, as well as looking looking good. The boot has a wing that deploys above 80kph. Naturally, it is part of the option pack. In a fit of genius, the boot release is a tiny round button secreted in the very corner of the right-side tail light. Despite the wing, the bootlid is surprisingly light.
Although LC 500 is a GT car, you could be forgiven for thinking it is a work of art. It presents an eye-catching form that, love it or loathe it, will stick with you forever. It is such a nice change from the ubiquitous blancmange that is the Australian high street.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Interior
The interior is exquisitely detailed.
Rumour has it that the Nappa leather is hand stitched by maidens high on Mt Fuji, and that each knob and button was crafted from the remains of an ancient lava flow. All I know is the cabin is a knockout.
At first the effect is quite over whelming. The cabin is a meeting of fighter jet, and gentlemen’s club.
Once inside, using the smart entry door locks, you’re hugged gently by the power operated sports seats. It goes back and forth, and the seatback up and down. There is a fully adjustable lumbar support too. It falls short of the 10-way adjustments of her big LS sister.
*overseas model shown
Seats heated and cooled, and work with the climate control using the Climate Concierge. It heats the steering wheel (if heating is fitted) to keep each zone just as the traveller desires. The clever system manipulates individual elements by switching them on or off to match the preferred temperature.
Bright yellow suede inserts in the doors mimic the sunny exterior. Chrome, aluminium trim, and sumptuous carpets, combine to make driving the big LEXUS feel like an event.
It makes you feel happy. It is Hollywood glamour. Everything you see and touch feels luxurious. The clever Japanese technology is hidden out of sight. Dash and doors are covered with soft upholstery. Suede and Nappa Leather are used lavishly.
The dash is stunning.
Instruments are borrowed from the LFA. There is a digital readout with a fancy sliding ring. Although not fully configurable, the driver can select from several different modes which display different information. It is assisted by the HUD. The windscreen itself is used as an instrument cluster fighter jets style.
The centre stack LCD is set way back in the dash to avoid glare, but is not a touch screen. You must fettle the menu using the awkward track pad between the front seats. Worse still, the menu greys out the second you start to move off. Best to set it before getting on the move. Most cars sold in the USA do the same thing. It designed to decrease driver distraction, as if no one ever expects a passenger to be present.
Climate controls consist of a row of aluminium buttons. Infotainment controls include a track pad assisted by toggles for track/station selection/volume/on/off.
Rear seats are merely decoration. On the face of it, there are seats for two but only if the passengers have no legs. They require the cleaving off of body parts for anyone taller than a new born, so are best used for shopping bags. That’s not a bad thing. Back seat drivers can be painful.
Boot space at 197L is bijou, but adequate for a GT car.
There is enough for 3 large overnight bags, 4 if they’re all soft totes. It lacks the flexibility of the RC350 we tested recently as the rear seats don’t fold down. Much of the vehicle smarts is under the floor, and the fuel pump is behind the back seat. There is no spare, nor a repair kit. LC 500 uses run-flat tyres. Although I haven’t experienced a flat with this type of tyre, I’m not sure how I’d feel about long distance travel through remote regions.
Despite the generous proportions of the exterior, the interior feels snug.
LEXUS LC 500 makes you feel like a king, and that is something money can’t buy.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Features/Technology
LEXUS pack all their cars with technology and features, and LC 500 is no different.
Wipers gently wash the screen with water distributed along the blade as they swish across the glass.
Driver information is projected onto the windscreen. You can change the position of the display, and content. Most importantly, it shows your speed.
Drive mode controls either side of the instrument panel changes steering, throttle and transmission. The 10 speed automatic has a manual mode with paddles behind the steering wheel. The engine blips between changes, and gets more aggressive as you move through the modes.
Sport+ makes the engine and gear changes positively brutal.
My favourite feature is 4-wheel steering, with its near psychic ability to get you around a corner with the flick of a wrist.
There is no CarPlay as yet, but it is coming and should be able to be installed in current cars.
There are cup holders but little other storage in the main cabin. A small net in the passenger’s footwell and a couple of small door pockets are your lot. There is no wireless phone charger, nor is there any place to put it. USBs can be found in the small centre bin/armrest.
As mentioned, there is no spare. Runflat tyres allow most of the space in the boot to be used for cargo. The floor is raised to accommodate the processing power and hidden technology.
LED exterior lighting is automatic. It comes on in low light conditions, and includes automatic high beam. The beam changes the shape of the light to avoid blinding traffic. It leaves as much of the way ahead as possible in high beam.
Audio is superb. 13 speakers give Mark Levinson sound the richness of a concert hall. The Harmon group owns the Levinson brand, Bang and Olufsen, and JBL, and is a subsidiary of Korean giant, Samsung.
Driver aids include active lane control, active cruise control and advanced AEB. On a long trip, you simply set the speed, and the car does the rest. Although you can’t take your hands off the wheel, the system will watch the road ahead to keep you inside the lane markings.
Active Noice Control works like noise cancelling headphones to keep the cabin spookily quiet.
LEXUS Enform is a group of features which includes a 24 concierge service. You get a one way taxi if you break down in the metro area. They will remotely unlock your car should you somehow be daft enough to outsmart the smart system. They’ll even bring fuel, a battery, or replacement wheels/tyres if things go badly tits-up.
A personal assistant will help you if you LEXUS comes over all moody more than 100k from home too. We experienced this on our mini road trip. The fuel pump developed an uncooperative personality. That is almost unheard of in LEXUS. They gave us a loan car to continue our holiday, and delivered the LC from over na hour away.
In short, buying a LEXUS means if your car stops, a man will come and put it right.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Engine and Drivetrain
LEXUS has had this 5.0L aluminium V8 since 2006. In car terms, that’s practically geriatric. It has had the odd nip and tuck and now claims 351kw @ 7,100rpm, and 540Nm @ 4,800rpm. That’ not too shabby for a naturally aspirated unit. It sprints to 100kph in just 4.7 seconds, and on to a maximum of 270kph. If you prefer something greener, the hybrid will do it in 5.0 seconds with a 250kph top speed. The price for both drivetrains is the same.
Like all proper sports cars, this one drives the rear wheels via the 10-speed automatic. Lexus claims 8.2L/100k of combined (city/highway) fuel economy. 21” polished alloys look huge, because they are
Suspension is adaptive, and the steering is variable, and as mentioned, uses all 4 wheels to get around corners. 6 drive-modes include a user programmable one. The programmes change the operation depending on how comfortable or aggressive the drive feels. Fuel consumption rises dramatically as the big LEXUS get more thuggish. They rate from comfort and economy, through normal, to spot and sport+. The latter sends the nannies out for a cuppa while you have some fun. Once in sport+, the gear changes are as savage as the throttle response. Performance will then give you an instant face lift at the next set of lights
LC 500 goes fast in a straight line, and corning will make your blood rush to one side. It uses a fancy Torsen limited slip diff, and clever electronics to keep the shiny side up.
A throaty exhaust is higher pitched, and gets more urgent as sportier modes are chosen. It isn’t deep and throaty like Australian or American V8’s, but rather more like high performance Italian or German cars. The sound is piped in to the cabin like bogan lift music.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Driving Experience
You waft along smugly in the rarefied air of your climate-controlled bubble. Music gently playing somewhere in the background. You don’t even need to look down at the instruments. Everything you need is on the windscreen.
Economy and comfort modes allow the clever engine to use fuel wisely.
Bumps are soaked up, mostly. 21” wheels allow some of the rougher tarmac to transmit into the cabin, but that simply adds to your experience.
Sport+ unleashes the full fury of the mighty V8. It roars, snarls, and cackles as gears change. There is no turbo lag, because there is no turbo. Imagine if there was?
As part of your road trip, make sure you head off the highway into the mountains. Sweeping through the bends makes you feel things deep down inside. Although you’ll never be able really open up the throttle, LC 500 can be enjoyed at any speed. Punch it as you head into a tighter corner, and you’ll slingshot out the other side. It never complains. The only time you’ll hear tyres whinge is if you’re dumb enough to turn off the traction control. Only idiot TV producers ever suggest anything so mindless.
The body feels tight and light, despite weighing 1970kg.
It sits flat in corners, even when pushed. 4-wheel steering, and that Torsen Limited Slip Diff keep things tidy. This is one of the few cars where the electronics don’t noticeably interfere until it thinks the driver is being a complete bone head.
The custom drive mode setting feels best. You can have a sharp throttle and transmission, but genteel steering, and plush ride. Ride that shakes fillings loose is something left for chaps who wear caps at jaunty angles. In fact, most normal people will put the LEXUS in either comfort mode, and leave it there.
This big coupe is best for a couple.
We did a road trip and took lots of gear with us. Hubby is not a light packer. He insists on bring many outfit changes per day. We packed everything but the mirror ball.
It is a true GT experience. Imagine rolling into the farm stay, or winery in something like this. I guarantee fronting up to the Opera house in an LC 500 will get you looks.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Safety
LC 500 has not been tested by ANCAP as yet, and probably won’t be. You need a bunch of cars and it costs a zillion. Instead, all of the safety gear you could ever want has been lavished on the LC 500.
LEXUS has mutli-speed AEB that detects wayward pedestrian and cyclists.
Smart cruise control and lane guidance, as well as the lane change assistant, keep bits of other motorists from getting on you. The reversing camera has cross traffic alert and predicative line guidance, handy at the Bunnings Sausage Sizzle.
Speed signs are displayed in the Head Up Display (HUD) as well as the navigation screen. There is voice control, but is utterly useless. She does nothing but argue with you. If you have to learn a different language to use a car’s system, then in the bin with it.
Airbags include a knee bag, as well as the usual front, side, and curtain bags, and deploy in a thrice.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Fit for Purpose
LC 500 is a GT, not a race car. It will cross the country as quickly and as comfortably as it crosses town.
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Summary
A true GT that is one of the sexiest on the road, LEXUS LC 500 writes cheques that its performance can easily cash.
Up against luminaries like Aston Martin, Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes, LEXUS is arguably as memorable, and probably more reliable.
It takes a brave buyer to the very edge of their comfort zone.
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The Good: (three and only three points)
- 4-wheel steering
- Superb engine and transmission
- Sexy inside and out
The Not so Good (three and only three points)
- No CarPlay
- Rear seat, and boot space
- Difficult infotainment interface
2019 LEXUS LC 500 Details
- Rating: 8.5/10
- Model Price from $190,000 MLP*
- Engine 5.0L V8 Petrol (non-turbo), Euro 6
- Drivetrain 10 Sp sport auto, 4-wheel steering
- Power 351kW @7,100rpm
- Torque 540 Nm @2,350 to 4,900rpm
- Safety not tested
- CO2 267g/km
- Economy 11.6L/100 (combined)
- 0-100KMH 4.7 Seconds
- Top Speed 270kmh
- Warranty 4 Yrs. / 100,000 km, full roadside assist (includes $150 taxi fare)
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.