The 2020 Lexus LC is a stunning example of contemporary design, styled on the 2012 LF-LC concept the sleek bodywork and subtle details suggest it was just plucked right off an auto show plinth. The LC 500 is one of the most desirable vehicles from Lexus in a long time. It radiates beauty, accelerates on command and can be driven for hours like a true GT that seems to be so solid it will never let you down.
For 2020, Lexus makes the smallest of changes to the LC500. While both are mechanically identical to the previous model year, they receive small updates and some new content. Among the small interior revisions are a new “Check Fuel Cap” light in the gauge cluster as well as a reverse tone change from intermittent to single. Flare Yellow (Our test vehicle $595) is a newly available premium paint color and blind-spot monitoring becomes standard. There’s also a new limited-edition model called the LC Inspiration Series that only comes in distinct Nori Green paint, but only 100 copies will be sold. Lastly a convertible model will join the lineup for the 2021 model year.
The beating heart of the LC 500 is a high-performance 5.0-liter V-8, which produces 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque while giving the driver 7,300 rpm to enjoy. Paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission, it produces a glorious raw as it steps through the gears making is as pleasing to the ears as the rest of the LC is to the eyes. It is particularly rewarding to use the manual shift paddles in Sport or Sport+ modes just to help keep the roar of the engine around redline and ringing in your ears. Even though the LC isn’t the lightest GT on the market at around 4,400 lbs she can shake a tail feather, 0 to 60 mph as little as 4.4 seconds, and you are breaking the speed limit before you know it on to an electronically limited top speed of 168 mph. The adaptive suspension means minimal body roll and a great balance when it comes to handling, another bonus is the ride quality is excellent considering the huge 21-inch wheels ($2,650 upgrade) that our test car wore. Behind those front wheels are large fade-free 15.7-inch front discs with six-piston aluminum calipers.
LC models are based on the GA-L platform, a foundation they share with the LS sedan. As a result of the composite materials of this car this coupe supposedly has the stiffest unibody structure ever created by Lexus, one that’s more resistant to twisting forces than even the brand’s legendary LFA supercar. The LC 500 has a high 12.3:1 compression ratio that improves efficiency, as does the inclusion from Lexus of both port and direct injection. Having two distinct fuel-delivery systems allows the engine to operate quietly and efficiently across a range of conditions. Another ingenious Lexus trick, the engine can run on either the traditional Otto cycle for maximum performance or it can seamlessly switch to the Atkinson cycle during lighter loads for reduced consumption. This means the LC 500 is rated at 16 miles per gallon in city driving and 25 mpg on the highway.
Incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship is exactly what you’d expect from Lexus. Inside the LC let us start with the incredible bespoke leather interior, it is simply too gorgeous to pass up. Now to the business end, the gauges are clear and a nice throwback to the LFA, my test car also had the optional—and very useful—head-up display ($900). A gripe which I have talked about in almost all my Lexus reviews is the touchpad interface that remains challenging to use, and when on the move can often distract you while driving. In the back are two small seats, we are not sure how comfortable it would be back there but it was a nice spot to leave soft luggage when out for a long drive. However an area of this car that’s disappointing is the space out back. At just 5.4 cubic feet, its cargo hold is minuscule.
Standard equipment includes Apple CarPlay, Enform (the Lexus app suite), Navigation, heated and ventilated 10-way power front seats, and almost every passive and active safety system you could imagine let alone want. My test vehicle had the Mark Levison premium audio ($1,220), limited-slip differential ($390), the Sport package with carbon roof ($2,960), and added extras meaning the final sticker price came to $106,847 including delivery, an optionless car starts at $92,950.
As beautiful as it appears in photos, in the metal the Lexus LC 500 glides by with true jaw dropping charisma. Most owners will appreciate the LC most for its glorious styling, raucous sounds, and sumptuous interior. The seats are excellent, the dash is an elegant expression of materials and flowing lines, and as we mentioned every conceivable safety system is in place. The LC 500 is a large, fast, luxurious coupe, it is the boldest thing to come from the automaker since the LFA supercar in 2010 which means the LC is a force to be reckoned with.