2021 Lexus LC500: polarizing, but invisible

2021 Lexus LC500: polarizing, but invisible

Launched in March 2017, the Lexus LC500 sports coupe is not widely used in the country.

In 2018, only 129 copies found buyers in Canada, then 74 Lexus LC500s were sold in the country in 2019. In short, meeting this sports coupe produced by Toyota’s luxury division on the road in Canada is an opportunity as rare as it is. unexpected.

Developed on the GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) architecture, which also serves as the basis for the luxury LS sedan, the LC coupe has a star face and a highly polarizing look defined by its enormous hourglass-shaped grille, and by its rear part which takes up exactly the same theme. The pearly nori green color of the body of our test car gave it a very real power of attraction, evoking a sporty car with a look. british racing green, but the character of the LC500 coupe is clearly more GT than sport, mainly due to its very heavy weight which inversely affects the dynamics.

In video: our test of the LC500 in 360 degrees at its launch in 2017

Heavy …

The LC500 Coupe’s platform may be very stiff, but its weight distribution is almost ideal with 51% of the weight resting on the front axle and 49% on the rear, and its steering is exceptionally linear, but the weight of the car makes sure that one cannot disregard the laws of physics.

In short, it is impossible to give chase to a Porsche 911 Carrera, or to several more sporty rivals, on a winding road at the wheel of the LC500 coupe, especially since the very hasty intervention of the electronic stability control system quickly dampen the enthusiasm of the driver. In a nutshell, the LC500 Coupe quickly makes you realize that it’s not a good idea to get too excited at the wheel …

A powerful and sound V8

However, the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine is voluntary, and its sound at full throttle is particularly evocative thanks to an ingenious duct with a membrane that routes the sound of the engine into the passenger compartment, a device introduced by Lexus on the LFA supercar.

Having had the opportunity to drive the LFA, as well as the LC500 on several occasions, I can however assure you that this aspect is the only one that these two cars have in common. As much as the LFA was an anthology car with brilliant performance, the LC500 is a sweet kitten by its side. In smooth and relaxed driving, the LC500 coupe’s engine is up to the task with abundant torque and the excellent fluidity of its ten-speed automatic transmission.

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Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

It should be noted in passing that the LC is also available in a hybrid variant, which uses a 3.5-liter V6 paired with an electric drive. Lexus also offers a convertible version of its LC, new for the 2021 model year. In this case, only the V8 is on the menu.

At the wheel, we immediately notice the quality of the materials and the assembly, but also a first discordant element and a second element which is more than irritating.

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Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

Firstly, the driver is faced with digital instrumentation in the form of a single dial whose display is variable depending on the driving mode selected. It’s very “cockpit”, but it does not really fit with the vocation of the car … In addition, we find the execrable Remote Touch device with trackpad located on the central console, as on the other models of the brand, which allows access to the various menus of the infotainment system, as well as other functions such as the car settings, those of the audio system, adding a destination for the navigation system, and even controlling the heated seats.

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Photo: Gabriel Gélinas

The problem is that it is very difficult to interact with this device while driving. If your finger movement isn’t absolutely precise, it’s too easy to accidentally choose the wrong menu, or submenu, and have to start over from the start, which is very frustrating. Lexus would do well to relegate this obsolete and inefficient system to oblivion and replace it with a touchscreen. For the rest, we note that the rear seats are completely unusable and that the volume of the trunk is seriously limited.

In conclusion, the LC500 coupe shows a very good build quality and a smooth and comfortable ride that only damaged roads will disturb. In addition, long-term reliability is almost assured. We just have to make no mistake about the vocation of this car, which is not a sports car, despite the expectations created by its body.


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