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When Lexus had spent so many years designing, refining and building the LF-A supercar, the knowledge they gained had to go somewhere and this, the Lexus LC500, has been the most obvious beneficiary so far. We spent a few days with the five-litre V8, but a V6-based hybrid, the LC500h, is also available.
That naturally-aspirated V8 puts out 477PS with 540Nm of torque on tap which makes its way to the road via a 10-speed automatic gearbox. This nearly-two tonne coupé will reach 62mph from standstill in 4.4 seconds and a 168mph top speed whilst sounding amazing.
If the exhaust note doesn’t attract people’s attention, then the styling will. The LC500 sits low and taut with its long bonnet giving a classic coupé stance stretched over the 20-inch alloy wheels. The aluminium and carbon-fibre body are as close to a “concept car for the road” as we’ve seen for a long time. There are no swooping lines but instead panel meeting panel just so. To our eyes it’s the most attractive Lexus for years, if not ever. The Naples Yellow of our test car helped it attract even more attention, but if that’s not your thing then there’s a full colour palette to choose from. I’d choose the burgundy of the stock footage car.
The interior is driver-focussed and full of exquisite details. The door handles are a delight to both use and to look at and could be the work of Philippe Starck. The single virtual dial is clear and easy to read, making the head-up display feel unnecessary, and the metallised plastic bezel moving across to allow auxiliary displays never failed to make me smile through both the precision of its action and how James Bond it feels.
At a whiff off £86,000 for the range topping Sport+ trim (or £88,500 for the press car we drove), the LC500 seems something of a bargain. The most common reaction was “I thought it would be more” and indeed it costs tens of thousands less than its Teutonic competition whilst being more distinctive and better equipped. The Lexus LC500 is another car added to our Lottery garage.
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