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2019 Lexus LC Overview
The Lexus LC is probably the most exciting thing with a Lexus badge since the old LFA hypercar from a few years back. Or the boldest-looking, at least. The two-door coupe was introduced for the 2018 model year with both V-6 Hybrid and V-8 powertrains to great acclaim, so for 2019 Lexus naturally doesn’t bring much in the way of change because it doesn’t need to. That said, Lexus has altered the programming for the 10-speed automatic transmission to enable smoother shifts, updated the Adaptive Variable Suspension system for a more comfortable ride, and altered the assist levels in the power steering. Apple CarPlay compatibility and Amazon Alexa integration have been added, although Android Auto is curiously still missing. On the outside, a new color – Obsidian – has been added to the color palette.
The version of the LC that drivers will find most exciting is the V-8 version, called the CL 500. It’s the 5.0-liter naturally aspirated engine lifted from the RC F and GS F, and it makes 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque driving the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic. At 4,280 pounds, the LC 500 is pretty heavy, but it will still scoot to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds and on to a 168 mph top speed. Fuel economy is an unimpressive 16 mpg city, 26 highway, and 19 combined.
Between the wheels, there is multi-link suspension and adaptive shocks. Steering is by electric power assist, and the system has been updated along with the transmission that offers smoother shifts. A Torsen limited-slip differential is optional, and tires are sticky 21-inch Michelin Pilot Sports. Other optional equipment that aids performance includes a carbon fiber roof and an active rear spoiler that will raise at 50 mph and lower at 25 mph.
Those familiar with the Porsche 911 and its cramped rear seats will feel right at home in the back of the LC 500. It’s quite cramped, and really only useful for a few bags, small children, or adults with no legs. At 5.4 cubic feet, the trunk isn’t a very big space, either. But those drivers who place big importance on where to put their golf clubs have other more spacious Lexuses to choose from.
The LC 500 is an exciting driver, but it’s also a Lexus, and luxury features always come with a Lexus badge. Standard features include a glass roof, Pioneer stereo, Bluetooth, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay compatibility, and Amazon Alexa integration. The Lexus Remote Touch system for infotainment operates on a large 10.3-inch screen. Lexus Enform Wi-Fi is another appealing feature.
The LC 500 is too expensive to go through the usual gauntlet CHECK of crash tests, but active safety features include adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. Blind spot monitors and parking assist are optional extras.
The LC is a bold and exciting new car from a traditionally somewhat conservative company like Lexus, but it does run into some stiff competition in the luxury GT market. Price-wise, it fits in between the Jaguar F-Type and the Porsche 911. There’s also the upcoming BMW 8-Series to consider, but so far the LC holds its own in the styling and performance departments.
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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