2018 Lexus LC500 and 500h
Wesley Wren - Wesley is an Associate Editor at Autoweek.
Say hello to one of the more interesting luxury coupes we’ve seen in a while. Witness the revived soul of Lexus.
The 2018 Lexus LC500 and LC500h form Lexus’s first full-size, full-lux coupe lineup since the SC430 jelly bean disappeared in 2010. The LC500s have no retractable metal roof, no third or fourth doors and no bastardization of the classic front-engine, rear drive grand-touring concept, unless you count the hybrid option as such. The most unconventional thing about them is a new “multi-stage shift device” that moves hybrid dynamics in the right direction. Or maybe it’s the in-your-face styling from the LF-LC concept.
If you loved the LF-LC show car, introduced to acclaim at 2012 Detroit auto show, then you’re going to love the LC500, because the road car is as true to its design concept as any we recall. The LC500’s proportions are a bit different, yes, but you’ll need a tape measure to be sure. All the themes—the long, low hood, low horizontal axis and big, full-wrap wheel arches—remain, at considerable expense to Lexus. Chief Engineer Koji Sato says the LC500 required an unprecedented level of give and take between its design and engineering teams. It also required development of downsized lighting components, an unusual double-jointed front suspension and a pedestrian detection system with a compression-loaded, pop-up hood that maintains pedestrian-impact standards.
The details remain, too, starting with a giant wire-mesh grille that tightens from bottom to top. The three-LED headlights are here, and the chrome blades framing the roof, and floating rear pillars and Lexus logos incorporated in the light clusters. An active rear spoiler is optional. The only appearance distinction between the LC500 and 500h is a hybrid badge behind the rear fender scoops