The lion in winter: 2018 Lexus LC 500
You wouldn't think that the weekend between Christmas and New Year's Day in Portland would be a fun time to drive the top of the line Lexus personal luxury and performance sport coupe. You'd be wrong, though. This Lexus is so good, it's a year-round car.
The Lexus has a traditional performance car design. The engine's in front and it drives the rear wheels only. With a 10-speed automatic, the LC's 471 horsepower from its normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine feels like a lot more. The numbers bear that out — the LC will do zero to sixty in just 4.4 seconds, with a top speed governed to 168 MPH.
Speed is certainly part of the equation with a car like this, but it's not nearly the whole story. The impressive thing about the Lexus performance story is not how fast it is — lots of cars in this price range are just as fast or even faster. The best part is that you can drive the LC 500 in the rain or even the snow and it won't scare you. There's a knob on the side of the driver's information and gauge pod labeled "snow" and if you twist it, the LC 500 updates its traction and stability control systems for winter conditions.
Inside, the LC 500 is every inch a personal luxury car. Both the driver and passenger sit down in their own little cockpits, in seats that are both supportively sporty and warmly comfortable. Heated and ventilated seats are standard on the LC. The optional All Weather Package adds a nicely heated steering wheel and an advanced windshield de-icing system. While you're enjoying the comfort, you'll also notice the attention to detail in the interior construction and materials. The optional Mark Levinson sound system is fantastic, as you would expect.
One of the key features of a luxury car is a quiet cabin, and the LC gets top marks here. With the windows up, the cabin is whisper quiet. About the only fault I can find with the LC 500 is that Lexus has chosen a touchpad interface down on the console. It's hard to use safely while you're driving, though I expect that practice would help with that. The LC also supports voice control for the navigation, climate and infotainment, so you have options.
The last thing to mention is the exterior design. This Lexus will turn heads with its sinuous and flowing design. The hood seems impossibly long and the fenders flare out to cover the extra-wide wheels and tires. The overall effect is a bold statement of style and advanced design. If you drive the Lexus LC 500, be prepared to talk about your car wherever you go. But the first conversation you should have is definitely with your Lexus dealer to test-drive this impressive car for yourself.
2018 Lexus LC 500
Base price: $92,995
Price as tested: $103,150
Type: Sport coupe
Engine: 5.0-liter V8 (471 hp, 398 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 16/26
Overall length: 187.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,280 pounds
Final assembly: Aichi, Japan