Car review: Lexus LC500

It’s not always about figures, it’s about emotion!

“It’s not always about figures, it’s about emotion.” This is what I took away from the launch of the new LC500 this week and even though it is something I have always believed, I had never heard it from a manufacturer before. They are usually all about the numbers! What a breath of fresh air this was and the LC500 is all the better with this in mind.

This flagship coupe was a concept car that came to life after it was revealed back in 2012 and debuted at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. If there is one thing that stands out, its the beauty that is the LC500! Woah, it is one gorgeous car, even more so in the metal.  It was inspired by Japanese cultures. It’s sharp, refined, and elegant!

Lexus LC500

The interior is as impressive. In photos it looks as if you’re looking at the inside of a luxury boat. It’s modern and quality is at its highest. You sit low so that your hips are positioned close to the centre of gravity. The reason for this, according to Lexus, is so that you can really feel the car, enabling better communication between you and the car.

Lexus LC500

The LC500 is not like any Lexus you’ve seen before. The company went back to basics and produced an all-new platform known as the GA-L (Global Architecture-Luxury).  The technology that has jam-packed in to this car is nothing short of extraordinary. A presentation about this technology by a Lexus engineer left us all open-mouthed. From the 10-speed automatic transmission to the engine position and suspension, which promises no secondary motion, the centre point of gravity never moves. The steering is said to be the best there ever has been in a car and as for the exhaust sound…Oh. My. Gosh! Depending on how you drive will determine the sound of the car, but let’s just say we ensured it roared at us throughout our test drive.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t playing along with us in Cape Town as it poured with the rain, but what this does do is force you to trust the vehicle around the track. I didn’t know my own limits in such conditions and so it was a great exercise in just putting all your confidence in to a piece of machinery. And it delivered!

Lexus LC500
Head over to @carssouthafrica for a snippet video of me driving

There is only one engine available in South Africa, which is the naturally aspirated 5,0-litre V8 which produces 351 kW of power and 540 N.m of torque. You might want to enjoy these kinds of engines while you still can, we won’t see many more coming which are naturally aspirated. As much as the sound is intoxicating when you give it horns, it is noticeably silent when just cruising. The ride is comfortable and composed, the gear-shifts subtle, and the overall experience of this car is an ’emotional’ one.

Lexus says the LC500 does not have a sports car philosophy, it’s not a sports car. Like I mentioned, it’s about emotion, not figures. There are many a petrol head out there who cannot quite get to grips with it. I experienced it first-hand on Instagram as people knocked the LC500 for being too expensive for the figures it offers. Sure, it is pricey at a whopping R1 729 600! But what Lexus does offer is everything as standard…there are no options offered as it is specced to the brim.

As much as some of the LC500’s competitors offer ‘better’ numbers (think Porsche 911, Maserati GranTurismo and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe), this first attempt from Lexus is something to consider. It’s almost my perfect car, I am not always in to an engaging drive, sometimes I just want to switch off and enjoy a relaxing drive. The LC500 ticks the boxes I look for; comfort, spirit, luxury, practicality, and quality. It helps that it is really good looking too!


R1 729 600

The LC500 comes standard with a four-year/100 000 km warranty and service plan.

At a glance:

  • Standard Bi-LED-Auto High Beam Headlights
  • Aluminium-Smart Entry Outside Door Handles
  • Carbon Fibre Inside Door Handles
  • Lexus Dynamic Handling with 4-wheel Steering
  • Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management
  • Drive Mode Select (Eco,Normal,Sport,Sport S+)
  • 21” Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tyres
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Heads Up Display
  • Navigation System
  • Driver and Passenger Seat Heater and Ventilation