2018 All-Stars Contender: 2018 Lexus LC 500

Putting the LC into GT

When the Lexus LF-LC concept—the car that would become the LC 500—rolled onto the floor of the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the buzz was louder than a beehive after being whacked like a piñata. Sure, Lexus had built the LFA, but that was a V-10-powered, carbon-fiber-clad, relatively unobtainable supercar—and it wasn’t exactly gorgeous.

Styled in Southern California by the company’s Calty studio, the LF-LC presaged a decidedly more attainable flagship coupe wearing what was the most expressive version yet of the brand’s now-ubiquitous spindle grille and L-shaped headlamp styling cues. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda wanted to bring some sexy to Lexus, and the Calty team didn’t disappoint the boss.

Although it took some time for the LC to make it to production, the end result was a dead ringer for the concept on the outside. Not that anyone complained about that, including our own design editor Robert Cumberford.

“Amazing looks that cause everyone to gawk,” remarked features editor Rory Jurnecka of the Infrared-sprayed LC with a carbon-fiber roof we tested. Even those of us who aren’t fans of the Lexus mug begrudgingly gave it some props. “The ugly Lexus nose works on the LC much better than on its other products,” contributor Marc Noordeloos said.

Praise was more universal for its lavishly appointed cabin. “The LC 500’s interior feels like a Gucci by Tom Ford spaceship teleported from the 1970s,” contributor Basem Wasef opined. In typical GT style, you’re not going to fit any adults in the rear seats, but the kiddos would be fine back there, as would some gear for a long weekend. The front seats are eminently comfortable for extended journeys while also being snug enough for more aggressive driving—at least the Alcantara-swathed buckets that were part of the test car’s optional $5,960 Performance package. About the only demerit anyone issued was for the Lexus haptic touchpad and controller setup, which, like the grille, is an acquired taste.

Did its design earn the 2018 Lexus LC 500 a 2018 All-Stars trophy? Find out on Saturday, March 10, when we announce the winners at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance—and right here on automobilemag.com.

2018 Lexus LC 500 Specifications

PRICE  $92,995/$105,710 (base/as tested)
ENGINE  5.0L DOHC 32-valve V-8/471 hp @ 7,100 rpm, 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
TRANSMISSION  10-speed automatic
LAYOUT  2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE  19/26 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H  187.4 x 75.6 x 53.0 in
WHEELBASE  113.0 in
WEIGHT  4,280 lb
0-60 MPH  4.4 sec
TOP SPEED  168 mph