Lexus LC (2017-present)

The Lexus LC is a luxury coupe that's greener than most - thanks to hybrid power

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Classic, stylish design
Hybrid model is efficient
Smooth ride for a sports car

Weaknesses 

Dashboard screen and software are fiddly to use
Rear seats are only good for luggage
Limited supply: just 250 sold per year

When is a sports car not a sports car? When it has a couple of extra seats to make it a grand tourer, some might suggest, which is the case with the Lexus LC, a 2+2 GT that is available with a traditional V8 engine or, unique for the segment, a petrol-electric hybrid set-up.

The LC is Lexus’s response to be widely considered as a manufacturer of ‘boring’ cars – something that even the boss of parent company Toyota admitted. Adding a sports car/grand tourer – which takes a lot of its design and technology from the limited-edition LFA supercar from 2010 – to the model range should certainly up the premium brand’s coolness factor.

The design should do that all by itself, because the LC is a very desirable-looking machine. Sleek curves and generally unfussy surfaces are contrasted with more unusual shapes in details such as the grille and the light clusters. The overall effect is one of a sporty car with futuristic elements.

The interior follows what has become a successful formula for Lexus: high-quality materials and a cossetting environment that makes the cabin a pleasure to sit in. It’s not spacious – it's really a two-seater, with the rear two seats suitable only for very small children or as extra luggage space – but that’s the nature of a sporty grand tourer.

The experience of being in the cabin is spoiled only by the infotainment system, which has a 10.25-inch display that feels half the height of similar units in rival cars. Combine that with a touchpad-like controller that feels unintuitive and awkward to use, and you have what proves to be a constantly frustrating experience.

Better is the LC’s on-road character, which is engaging. The steering is accurate and responsive, the handling is stable and well balanced, with plenty of body control in the corners, and the ride quality is compliant and comfortable, especially for a car with the LC’s performance.

And there is performance in both engines, the 471PS V8 in the LC 500 and the 354PS V6 petrol-electric hybrid: neither is blisteringly quick, but both are pretty rapid, all the same. Lexus has interestingly, priced both versions as exactly the same, so there’ no premium for going hybrid.

The LC 500 is perhaps closest to the Maserati GranTurismo, with perhaps the Jaguar F-Type and Mercedes-Benz SL500 also potential rivals. And, with four seats the Porsche 911 is not a million miles away.

The only real rival to the LC 500h is the BMW i8, which is a two-seat sports car and £20,000-30,000 more expensive, so a direct comparison is perhaps stretching things. One thing’s for certain: although not perfect the LC is definitely a move in the right direction for a brand that wants to ditch the ‘boring’ tag.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 14:45

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
172 litres (LC500h) / 197 litres (LC500)
Width: 
1920mm
Length: 
4770mm
Height: 
1345mm
Tax: 
£200 to £2,000 in first year, £140 thereafter