The newest car in the Lexus family adds a convertible version for 2021. However, as it was late October, Lexus preferred to leave us in the hands of a coupe for our short one-day test drive. This spectacular coupe retains its superb line. Lexus was content for 2021 to rework the suspension by softening the ride with a few new functions to give a little more bite to the drive.
Like a rose in spring
The LC is one of the most successful two-door models on the market. This is probably why Lexus hasn’t really changed anything except new 20-inch wheels and two new paint colors that are offered: Cadmium Orange and Nori Pearl Green (our photos). The interior, as futuristic as the exterior, is also largely unchanged. Android Auto has joined Apple CarPlay. Both are now standard in the LC infotainment system. A new Flare Red leather interior replaces last year’s Rioja Red option, and the white leather option has been discontinued. The finish remains spotless and you still have that feeling of stepping into a spaceship.
A V8 still alive
No change under the hood. It is increasingly rare to find a V8 that is not accompanied by turbos these days. The LC is one of this short list of naturally aspirated V8-powered sports cars. Lexus still uses the RC-F’s engine. A 471-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 with 398 lb-ft of torque that’s mated only to a 10-speed automatic. Nothing can replace the sound of a V8 when you press firmly on the accelerator. The LC doesn’t have the aggressiveness of an AMG model, or the surreal performance, but it does have all it takes to put a smile on your face. Lexus adjusted the suspension to make it more comfortable for the 2021 model year, without affecting the ride. A good initiative, because one of our initial remarks on the launch model concerned the firmness of the driving which is improving for 2021. Lexus has also added “Active Cornering Assist” which improves handling. lightly applying the brakes to the inside wheels in a turn. In simpler terms, the car approaches a curve with greater poise. Our test model also came with the Performance Package at $ 13,500. For that price you get a Torsen limited-slip differential, four directional wheels, variable-ratio steering, 21-inch forged wheels, a retractable rear spoiler, front sport seats, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, Alcantara and leather seats, carbon fiber roof, carbon fiber reinforced polymer wear plates and Alcantara headliner. This option, which was the only one that came with the car, brings the price to just over $ 119,000. Those who prefer luxury over performance can opt for the Touring Package which includes semi-aniline leather upholstery, faux suede headliner, 13-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, parking sensors, a defrost wipers and a heated steering wheel.
An extraordinary experience
We had some concerns seeing the 21-inch tires on our test model, but ride comfort is good. You have to see the LC as a Grand Touring car. It has everything you need to go fast, but it’s more enjoyable at moderate speeds and if we had to pick our options we probably would have gone with the Touring group and kept the base frame, without the Performance group. While it’s quick, the LC is no match for the AMG, RS, and M models. Its lack of raw power and heavy weight puts it far behind. This handicap is however largely compensated by its style like no other. You have to think differently behind the wheel of this car. Take advantage of the unique driving environment. The interior is a special place with a unique and pleasant driving position. We can see all the work that has been done to design every detail. The ergonomics are not obvious with the touchpad which remains nonsense in the automotive world and the electronic gear lever, similar to that of the Toyota Prius. The trunk is very small and the rear seats will only be used to put extra luggage which is not a bad thing if you take into account the tiny storage space in the trunk.
The LC 500 is for those who want something unique without chasing pure performance. The LC is more of a mindset than a performance car. We can’t wait to see what it will look like in a convertible model.
Exceptional interior design
A true atmospheric V8 under the hood
Long list of standard equipment
The frustrating touchpad
Limited cargo space in the trunk and little interior storage space
Not as sporty and powerful as the competition