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2019 Lexus LC Hybrid Overview
The Lexus LC is a racy-looking coupe that is one of the more distinctive cars on the road. Lexus also offers a hybrid version called the LC 500h. It packs a different gasoline engine than the standard car, along with electric motors, but otherwise it’s largely the same automobile and it isn’t too in your face about its hybrid status. Since Lexus introduced the LC range for the 2018 model year, changes for 2019 are minimal. There is a new Obsidian paint color available and well as tweaks made to the suspension and steering. Apple CarPlay compatibility and Amazon Alexa integration are also now available, although Android Auto is still missing.
While the LC 500h looks a lot like the standard LC 500 on top, it’s a much different story underneath the hood. Instead of a V8, the engine is an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6 paired with a lithium-ion battery hybrid system matched to a 4-speed automatic transmission. But while the LC 500h is a lot more frugal at the gas pump than the standard car, it’s no slouch in the performance department. The total system output is 354 horsepower and the LC 500h will do 0-60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds, only 0.3 seconds behind the V8. The hybrid’s top speed is 155 mph. At 4,435 pounds, the hybrid weighs about 150 pounds more than the V8 car, which itself is no lightweight, but it shares the same sharp steering and suspension systems, including the Lexus Dynamic Handling option that features a limited slip and active rear steering. Of course, fuel economy is the big question with any car that has an “h” in its name, and the LC will do 26 mpg city, 35 highway, and 30 combined. While the cost is higher for a hybrid LC 500, it won’t take too much time of daily driving to make up the difference at the gas pump, because the hybrid gets over 10 more mpg in any setting.
The back seat in the gas-powered LC is pretty tight, almost like a Porsche 911, and it’s even tighter back there in the hybrid model because of the battery pack underneath, which tightens up the rear seats even more. But the rest of the interior has the kind of high quality fit, finish, and equipment that most people have come to expect from Lexus. Standard features include a glass roof, Pioneer stereo, Bluetooth, LED headlights, the aforementioned Apple CarPlay compatibility and Amazon Alexa integration, and a 10.3-inch touchscreen for the Lexus Remote Touch infotainment system, while a heated steering wheel is optional.
The LC is too expensive to crash test, but standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, active lane control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and a reversing camera. Blind-spot monitors and parking assist are optional extras.
The LC 500h is more than just a fuel-efficient luxury two-door in a fancy suit. It might not pack quite the punch that the standard V8 LC 500 does, but it’s still a low-slung rear-drive coupe with more than enough power to have fun with when you’re not watching the fuel gauge.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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