There aren’t many new cars that get me all hot and excited. They’re all pretty much the same, few cars stand out from the crowd with distinct personalities. I’d say there’s probably only a dozen or so brand new cars I’m vaguely interested in, the Lexus LC500 being one of them. I remember when the production car was first announced way back in 2017. It looked identical to the LF-C Concept on which it was based on. This was essentially a concept car for the road.
It’s unlike anything else on sale right now. Three years on and its motor show looks haven’t aged a bit. It’s still turns heads and with its naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 stands out amongst a sea of turbocharged grand tourer. While there’s a more reasonable hybrid variant available, it’s the charismatic V8 you want.
After spending a few days with the 2020 Lexus LC500 in the stunning new Terrrane Khaki colour with Tan interior here are five things I liked and five things I didn’t quite like.
Five Things I Liked About the 2020 Lexus LC500
The most beautiful modern Japanese car
I can’t stress this enough – the LC500 is a beautiful car. It’s jaw-dropping looks need to be seen in the metal as photos just don’t do it justice. Even in more sombre colours it still manages to turn heads without being flashy or in your face all the while oozing presence. I’d go as far as to say the LC is the prettiest car to come out of Japan in recent years. It’s the perfect representation of Lexus’ modern design language. It looks unique and quintessentially Japanese.
As beautiful as the exterior is, the interior is equally stunning. It’s uniquely Lexus inside with a multi-layered style dashboard. The wraparound design make it feel cozy while having plenty of real estate to be comfortable enough for drives long and short. As with all Lexus cars the quality is top notch. All the materials used inside feel premium and there’s not nasty plastics. It all just feels first class and you’ll know it’ll last long after the apocalypse.
Naturally aspirated V8
That engine, oh that engine. Sure it’s not a screaming V10 like that found in the LFA but this V8 is a gem in its own right. Put it into Sport or Sport+ mode and opens up making a sonorous V8 howl. The pops and bangs on the downshifts are nice too. They’re not overdone or feel forced like in other modern GTs. Mated with the super smooth 10-speed automatic transmission makes for a fine automobile. Being able to buy a naturally aspirated V8 in a large, comfortable coupe is becoming a rare privilege these days and an opportunity we should all grab while we can.
Comfortable in every way
It goes without saying the LC is a fine cruiser. It’s a big thing that instead of gliding over bumps simply flattens them to make for a smoother ride. Lexus also have some of the most comfortable front seats in the business. Also helps they look amazing. As you’d expect the LC insulates outside noise making the cabin the perfect way to enjoy the brilliant Mark Levinson sound system.
Costs less than rivals but doesn’t feel less of a car
All said and done the LC500 is around $40,000 less expensive than equivalent rivals from Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin, and Bentley and it doesn’t feel like you’re getting $40,000 less car. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s on par if not superior to some of its rivals in terms of quality and materials.
Five Things I Didn’t Like About the 2020 Lexus LC500
Infotainment is quite old tech
As crisp and modern as it looks, the infotainment is lagging behind that of rivals. The updated screen has decent resolution, everything is sharp and clear but the user interface is fiddly compared to more simplified systems on the market. The touchpad is still hard to get used to and the infotainment feels a generation behind. Lexus need to update this stat, then it’ll pretty much be perfect.
No 360-degree Camera
For a car this expensive and large I was surprised to find it didn’t have a full 360-degree camera. Sure there’s a rear camera and parking sensors front and rear but it’d be nice to have a full camera setup, especially when rivals like BMW have fantastic systems.
Luggage space isn’t generous for a GT
Another thing I was surprised by was the lack of boot space. Amazingly the petrol V8 has more luggage capacity than the hybrid model as the batteries eat in to the precious boot space. You could fit a couple of soft weekend bags in there though the shape of the boot opening might make getting a set of golf clubs in and out a bit awkward. Certainly you’d struggle to put a suitcase in there.
Rear seats aren’t really usable
Likewise, the rear seats are there for show. You’re not realistically going to fit any humans in the back. Best to use this for extra luggage space.
You’ll need to fill it up often
Its 70-odd litre fuel tank will last about 500 kilometres which means you’ll be getting to know your local petrol station a bit better if you plan on using this often. Good thing it’ll get you to the next petrol station in style and comfort. But it’s worth it, the LC is such a likeable car with looks to die for and an engine that’ll be remembered as one of Japan’s finest. The LC, especially in this green/tan spec, remains one of my favourite cars I’ve driven.