First Look and Review: 2018 Lexus LC 500h and LC 500

By Jonathan Spira on 22 February 2017
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Please Don’t Call It ‘Boring’

When the striking LF-LC Concept was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2012, few if any thought it would make it into production relatively unchanged. Indeed, the LF-LC, which stands for Lexus Future Luxury Coupe – in the guise of the 2018 Lexus LC 500 – is coming to a Lexus showroom near you shortly.

Lexus introduced the LC 500 to the world at last year’s Detroit show and to the automotive press in early February of this year in Kona, Hawaii, a place known more for its coffee than tourism, despite its ideal climate (the month of January is the warmest anywhere in the United States). Thanks to its raw, rugged beauty, parts of the west side of the island so resemble the moon’s surface due to past lava flows, I wistfully expected the lunar rover to silently zip by.

Of course the lunar rover’s design wasn’t nearly as striking as the 2018 Lexus LC 500. With its swoopy design, long hood, and futuristic lighting it’s as forward looking as the DeLorean DMC-12 was in 1976 and could be a candidate for the time machine in the next “Back to the Future” sequel.

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I spent a day on the Big Island driving first an Ultra White LC 500h – the “h” designates the V6 hybrid powertrain – and then an Infrared V8. In brief, the LC is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive 2+2 coupe that is close in overall size to a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and, to put it in perspective, 10” (250 millimeters) longer than a Porsche 911. With the new LC, Lexus is squarely aiming at the BMW 6 Series, Jaguar F, and S-Class Coupe buyers.


The coupe’s muscular profile starts with the silhouette of its roofline, aided by chrome-plated moldings along the side of the glass roof whose edges follow the lines of a samurai sword.

The traditional Lexus spindle grille has a brand new gradient mesh design that opens up as it reaches down the front of the car. The arrowhead daytime running lights and ultra-slim triple LED headlights not only give the coupe an ultra-low profile but create a unique lighting signature for the LC line.

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