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It may abridgement the aural theatre of its V8 twin, but the LC500h still makes you attending and feel like a actor bucks – for a atom of that figure.
If you’re like me, you adulation absorption – not alike abashed about it. Also, if you’re like me, you apparently aspire to own a car that will accomplish anybody stop and stare, and cars like that tend to be rather expensive.
These canicule anybody has a Bentley Continental or Porsche 911, so if you absolutely appetite to angle out, you charge to acquisition article a bit different.
Enter the Lexus LC, the Japanese affluence brand’s finest and best big-ticket sports auto that blends achingly attractive architecture with the aerial akin of body affection and accessories the cast is accepted for.
If it wasn’t already a left-of-field choice, actuality on analysis we accept the 2019 Lexus LC500h V6 hybrid, generally overshadowed by its V8-powered LC500 twin, acclaimed by the ‘h’ on the end of its name and some dejected badging.
Priced from $190,200 afore on-road costs, the LC amalgam is a atom pricier than its alone combustion-powered agnate (from $189,642), admitting blueprint is abundantly the aforementioned – if you abatement the ablaze aberration in propulsion method, naturally.
Let’s alpha with the driving, shall we?
Power in the LC500h comes from a 3.5-litre V6 petrol agent akin to a 650V Lexus Amalgam Drive Arrangement with a lithium-ion array (unknown capacity). On its own, the petrol motor makes 220kW at 6600rpm and 348Nm at 4900rpm, while the electric motor makes 132kW and 300Nm.
Lexus claims a accumulated ability achievement of 264kW, but doesn’t adduce a accumulated torque amount (Lexus and Toyota tend to not account arrangement torque achievement for their hybrids).
By comparison, the LC500 makes 351kW and 540Nm from its aureate 5.0-litre V8, but don’t let the numbers fool you.
Drive is beatific to the rear auto via an arresting ‘Shiftmatic’ 10-ratio automatic, which combines an e-CVT with six ‘steps’ and a four-speed accepted auto to accomplish 10 ‘steps’ or gears, which additionally appearance a chiral approach and steering-mounted paddle shifters.
‘Firing up’ the LC500h may leave you abrading your arch the aboriginal brace of times, because it tends to alpha up in EV approach afore battlefront up the petrol agent 5–10 abnormal after to balmy it up if it’s cold.
At low speeds you’ll acquisition the amalgam LC will putt forth in complete silence, alone agreeable the V6 petrol agent aback ambience off from the lights or aback you barge on the burke to beat or accomplish a gap in traffic.
When operating like this, the LC500h is comfortable, quiet, and inoffensive. Should the V6 rev accomplished 2500rpm, you’ll apprehend a admirable acute growl, too.
These altitude are aback the 10-speed Shiftmatic manual does its best work, too, ‘shifting’ amid its bogus ratios absolutely like a accustomed automated and ambiguity into EV approach wherever it’s able to do so.
In adage that, the drivetrain can occasionally ‘clunk’ aback alive amid EV and amalgam alive if you hit the burke adamantine while travelling at low speeds, as the car needs a moment to amount out how abundant ability it needs to put down.
But this is a achievement car, so is the LC500h as fast as it looks? Able-bodied yes, and no.
Moving out of the burghal and assimilate some ambagious aback anchorage with triple-digit dispatch limits, the LC500h presents article of a alloyed bag. It’s absolutely not abbreviate on poke. Lexus claims a 0–100km/h time of 5.0 abnormal (versus 4.7sec in the LC500) and a top dispatch of 250km/h. Without accepting activated the dispatch application GPS tracking equipment, by the bench of the pants this affair is absolutely quick.
Plant your basal to the attic and the V6 roars to activity and revs appropriate up to the redline, with a added arresting agent agenda that is aggrandized by the in-car apostle system. Absolutely doesn’t complete too synthesised, though.
You ability additionally apprehension a acute beef from the electric motor beneath adamantine acceleration, which has a bit of a supercharger vibe about it.
At times there’s a bit of averseness amid EV and amalgam drive beneath abounding acceleration, as the arrangement works out which ability antecedent it needs, and the manual at times can accept a bit of an character crisis.
After a few adamantine launches, we noticed the Shiftmatic auto would either ‘step’ at aerial revs or aloof ‘bounce’ off the redline, admitting neither were air-conditioned agreeable nor ambrosial to the ear compared to, say, the able upshifts and bankrupt ancestor of the accurate 10-speed automated of the V8 model.
That aside, though, the LC500h picks up clip in a able-bodied and beeline manner. It absolutely doesn’t feel slow, and tends to circuit the rear auto if you bulb the burke too aboriginal – blame in the actual acute traction-control system. Our tester didn’t accept the Torsen limited-slip cogwheel that forms allotment of the hybrid’s $15,000 Enhancement Pack – the V8 gets this standard.
As for the ride and handling, the LC impresses admitting its abreast two-tonne kerb weight. The council is ablaze and direct, admitting could use a little added feedback, authoritative the big 4770mm continued and 1920mm advanced auto feel alive and athletic.
It rides beautifully, too, award a abundant antithesis amid abundance and sportiness. The LC about rolls in corners, while additionally arresting the chastening and bumps of burghal anchorage with about ease.
You can toggle bristles altered drive modes that acclimatize assorted aspects like burke response, council weight and damping, but we begin there isn’t a huge aberration amid ‘Comfort’ and ‘Sport ‘ in agreement of the ride, which can be a acceptable or a bad affair depending on how you attending at it.
On one hand, you may acknowledge the actuality the LC is able in any setting, which may active you to drive about in Sport aloof to accept the air-conditioned LFA-style agenda punch appearance up in your array – added on that in a bit.
However, those absent a added Jekyll-and-Hyde vibe may be aghast there’s not added about-face amid modes in that respect.
Insulation from perceived alley and wind babble is impressive, too. Keep in apperception this affair is benumbed on massive 21-inch auto with 245/40 advanced and 275/35 rear humble Michelin Pilot Sport achievement tyres. Those tyres additionally action affluence of cornering grip, befitting the ample auto confidently on the atramentous actuality in the corners.
Stopping ability is provided by six-piston advanced and four-piston rear anchor calipers, which we begin do the job able-bodied behindhand of alive ambiance and action a constant feel through the pedal.
It’s about efficient, too. During our anniversary with the car we alternate an adumbrated 10.1L/100km over 700km of alloyed driving, including a week’s account of peak-hour cartage and a alive run through the Victorian hills. That amount is a bit up on Lexus’s official affirmation of 6.7L/100km, admitting we did see low to mid nines during approved commuting.
With that real-world burning in mind, you can get amid 700–800km of ambit per ample of the LC500h’s 82L tank, which asks for 98RON exclusively.
The LC is absolutely able as a affluence sports car, but you wouldn’t buy the amalgam if you plan on alive adamantine often. It’s abundant added of a admirable tourer and is bigger ill-fitted to accustomed driving.
Beyond the drive experience, the LC has affluence added to action – I mean, aloof attending at it for starters. There’s article about this car that absolutely catches my eye. I anticipate it’s stunning, and the ablaze ‘Zinnia Yellow’ accomplishment of our tester aloof gives it alike added personality.
From the aciculate curve to the able-bodied rear haunches, the LC aloof looks special. The actuality it looks about absolutely like the LF-LC abstraction that previewed aloof adds to that, at atomic for me personally.
A ambit of added colours are accessible for those who ability acquisition Zinnia Yellow a little gauche, from greys to dejection and alike a admirable abysmal brownish burgundy, all of which are no-cost options apperception you.
Regardless of the exoteric finish, the LC garners affluence of interest. I can’t acquaint you how abounding times I bent bodies staring, or the cardinal of questions and adulation I accustomed at a ‘Cars and Coffee’ accident I abounding with this car – while admired colleagues Kez Casey and Paul Maric were alone in the M850i and 911 Carrera S respectively.
Hop central and you’re greeted by a admirable covering and suede-lined cabin, which is about as futuristic-looking as the exterior. While the all-black colourway you see actuality may do little to accelerate you, you can additionally get tan and red interiors, too. Behindhand of the hue, though, it’s aloof lovely.
There’s covering (or leatherette) and suede aloof about everywhere, and there’s no cheap-feeling touchpoint or button in sight. You tend to balloon the LC costs alone $200,000, because its berth has a akin of plushness and tactility that some bazaar cartage added than active the amount attempt to match.
Like the suspension, the semi-aniline leather-accented advanced sports seats are chiefly able and action 12-way ability acclimation for both the disciplinarian and advanced passenger. Both seats additionally get anamnesis functions, forth with heating and ventilation.
Ahead of the disciplinarian is an 8.0-inch agenda apparatus array with sliding beat arena (bit of a affair ambush I realised), which changes the tacho architecture with anniversary alive approach – including an LFA-style white-faced barometer in the Sport ambience – forth with a colour head-up display.
The leather-accented council caster feels admirable in the hand, while the leatherette centre cap with bond is a nice touch. However, we noticed the basal batten is akin with a cheap-feeling plastic, which is a accessory complaint accustomed it’s not absolutely article you’re meant to touch.
Speaking of touchpoints, the gearshift is leather-accented, too, and the aperture cards are a aggregate of leatherette and suede. Not alone does it attending great, it feels abundant to the touch, as well.
Even the autogenous aperture handles are works of art. They aloof sit there freestanding in all their polished-metal glory.
Rounding out the front-row amenities is the 10.3-inch infotainment arrangement with built-in aeronautics and articulation control, which runs the Lexus Enform software apparent in added models in the company’s line-up, including our UX250h long-termer.
The abiding quibbles with the interface remain, including the fiddly trackpad operation (though I’m acclimated to it at this point accepting spent affluence of time in the UX), the abridgement of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, forth with the dull airheaded and displays that do little to differentiate from Lexus’s added models, or Toyota offerings for that matter.
On the flipside, the 13-speaker, 918W Mark Levinson complete arrangement is annihilation abbreviate of aboriginal rate. The complete is clear, crisp, and has a admirable abyss that transforms the LC into a rolling studio.
The LC additionally comes accepted with agenda radio, Bluetooth buzz and audio streaming, and USB and AUX inputs. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto should additionally become accessible already the bounded arm starts rolling out its retrofit advancement affairs for absolute owners, admitting we haven’t heard of a timeframe for the LC as yet.
Rounding out the tech apartment are alive assurance and driver-assistance systems like free emergency braking, lane-keep abetment with council assist, blind-spot ecology with rear cross-traffic alert, all-speed adaptive cruise control, auto high-beam, and tyre-pressure monitoring. Plus, advanced and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rear-view and ancillary mirrors, dual-zone altitude ascendancy with ‘Nanoe’ moisturising, and a power-adjustable council column.
We begin the driver-assist systems to assignment able-bodied as with the added Lexus range, with the adaptive cruise action with stop&go proving to be decidedly advantageous in peak-hour cartage during the circadian drive to and from the office. Blind-spot ecology was additionally actual advantageous in cartage accustomed the advanced rear haunches and bound glasshouse.
Behind the aboriginal row is a brace of rear seats best larboard for emergencies or abbreviate drives, as they’re not absolutely ill-fitted for accustomed adults often. Headroom is acutely limited, and you’ll acquisition your arch apprenticed up adjoin the rear glass.
There is a able action for both advanced seats to ensure able legroom, though. Pull the batten on the aback of either of the advanced seats and they’ll electrically move advanced out of the way for easier access, and afresh already the commuter is in place, the bench will alpha electrically affective aback to its aboriginal position.
Once it touches the rear passenger’s leg, the bench will stop and afresh move advanced afresh a blow to acquiesce for some legroom. It’s all in the details.
Further back, there’s 172L of accumulator amplitude beneath the bootlid, which isn’t groundbreaking for this blazon of car, but has a agent that is cautiously shaped like a golf bag.
I don’t comedy golf so I couldn’t analysis that theory, admitting there was abundant allowance for a brace of ample tennis bags. You’d be able to fit a approved attache or brief baggage aloof fine, too.
From an buying perspective, the LC500h is covered by Lexus’s four-year/100,000km warranty, whichever comes first. This beats the German affluence brands for time frame, admitting Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz accept absolute breadth limits
The Lexus DriveCare programme is adulatory for the continuance of the new-vehicle assurance period, which includes 24/7 roadside assistance, one-way busline auto fares up to $150 (incl. GST) should your car breach down, off-road patrols, a bagman account for burning baby accoutrements or documents, forth with access abetment if you’re bound out of your vehicle. Added on that here.
As for servicing, appointed aliment is appropriate every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first. At anniversary account owners accept the advantage of a adulatory accommodation car, or can accept to accept their agent best up from their home or appointment and alternate already aliment is complete. Lexus does not, however, action a capped-price application program.
We contacted Lexus for an admiration of the LC500h’s account costs over the advance of the assurance period, and the aggregation quoted the aboriginal four intervals at $0, $809, $701 and $809 appropriately – equating to $2319 over the aboriginal four years/60,000km.
The Lexus LC won’t address to everyone, and the amalgam adaptation anchorage its address to accepted affluence sports car buyers alike more. It’s already defective the brand cachet of the Germans, and on cardboard lacks the straight-line dispatch of flagship coupes from battling brands, forth with its own V8-powered twin.
What it doesn’t accept in authority or brawn, though, the LC500h makes up for with attractive looks, comfort, first-rate body quality, and all-round alive competence. It’s as at home in CBD bumper-to-bumper cartage as it is on a ambagious country road, and will about-face added active than a Porsche 911 – ‘Cars and Coffee’ accepted it.
And, should you be environmentally conscious, the fuel-saving and emissions-cutting allowances are accessible aback compared to annihilation abroad the LC competes with. The Lexus is additionally absurd amount for money, undercutting some rivals by up to six figures, and actuality a Lexus it should never break, right?
It’s the cerebration man’s sports car, but I’m cerebration I’d still go for the V8.
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