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Test drive: LLM motoring editor Lisa Curtiss reviews the Lexus LC500 Limited Edition

By Lisa Curtiss  |  October 15, 2020

A masterclass in tasteful automotive design, you’d have to agree few cars are as elegantly beautiful as the Lexus LC500. It’s proof you simply don’t need OTT exhausts, flashy spoilers, and acres of chrome to make a car look good – especially when the model in question has all the genuine performance credentials it could need.

This perfectly proportioned halo model from the Lexus range is also great to drive, with a just-right ride, precise feel and plenty of power to play with. It excels on long motorway hacks as you’d expect, but handles perfectly on tortuous tight lanes too, and is far more agile that its size alludes.

Few models we’ve driven – and that includes many beauties from the famous Italian marques – garnered as many covetous looks as the LC, and questions too. It’s great to drive a car that’s a little out of the norm, something unique, special – and a million miles removed from the countless formulaic models churned out these days from many of the well known brands. A car to be proud of, to even dress up for – and most definitely not to take to the refuse tip or any other mundane errands that threaten to sully its sleek lines.

But back to the details. The LC 500 is a luxury 2+2 performance coupé taken from the award-winning aesthetic masterpiece, LF-LC concept. In fact, it’s one of the exceptionally rare times, a production car appears as a full on clone of the concept – so often they are a bland, watered-down poor substitute, but not here. It retains the muscularity, wide low stance and imposing and classy presence.

Lexus LC500 Limited Edition

The cockpit too is simply one of the best you’ll see – it reminded us of a particularly luxurious private jet with exquisite attention to detail, including hand-stitching, and use of carefully selected materials throughout, from the magnesium shift paddles and Alcantara door trims, to the beautifully finished, tactile leather gearshift lever. Tech rich too, it features an LFA-inspired display with 3D effect, a multimedia screen with touch pad and large coloured head-up display to keep you both informed and entertained.

Everything is perfectly arranged too. The controls and displays are intuitively positioned, right where you need them, and frequently used controls, such as Drive Mode Select are naturally close to hand on the steering wheel. The ergonomic intelligence of the cockpit gives you the confidence to enjoy spirited driving.

Performance wise, with a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine and Direct Shift 10-speed automatic transmission, the LC 500 is amazingly responsive and far more frugal than you’d expect at around the 34mpg mark.

The LC 500’s engine uses a dual intake inlet which helps the system breathe, and facilitates the engine’s fantastic sound. This ‘naturally aspirated’ engine pairs wonderfully with the sports coupé as a whole. It complements the model’s linear power delivery, giving you ease of control and smile-inducing exhilaration when you’re behind the wheel.

Lexus LC500 Limited Edition

There’s also a hybrid version now – the LC500h, and this features the world’s first four-stage Multi Stage Hybrid System; a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine combined with an advanced electric motor. This delivers efficient, low emission power and yet an uncompromised sporting, evocative driving experience.

And, released just a few weeks ago, there’s also now a beautiful LC500 Convertible – just in time to enjoy the last of any warm sunny days before winter heads in. Whether you’re driving along a sun-soaked coastal road or over a dramatic Alpine pass, the new Lexus LC Convertible promises to deliver an unmatched level of open top luxury and awesome V8 power.

Stunning, high performance, dynamic driving, wonderful cars you must experience. Truly hard to beat. We can’t wait to try the just as beautiful convertible version.