Well that looks rather nice.
Doesn’t it? Especially the rear – love those taillights and even though everyone seems to be fed up of the iconic spindle grille that Lexus stubbornly sticks with I have to say that it looks great on this expressively designed performance coupé. Check out all the creases of the body and that sleek profile, it’s just fab and overall it really looks like the LF-LC concept which was shown at the 2012 North American International motor show in Detroit. Lexus has made sure to preserve the concept’s adventurous appearance here so much so that I spent a large chunk of time just soaking up the exterior before even contemplating getting in and driving it...
Hmm, sounds like there was another reason for taking so long in getting behind the wheel. Was there?
Duh, because this isn’t the naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 – if it was I’d still be driving it instead of sitting at my desk writing this review. No, this one as the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed from the headline, is the hybrid - and it has a CVT. You know how I feel about this transmission don’t you? It’s a killjoy and makes cars sound like they’re stuck in first gear and when you floor the throttle in this LC500h, sadly you get a similar sensation. I will say that it is better than other CVT’s out there but this car doesn’t sound nearly as good as the V8; it lacks any sort of rumble from the exhaust and that is a let down. You’d expect cars that look as attractive as this to have a deep burble but this one doesn’t even make a sound when you push the start button. In fact I thought there was something wrong with it when I first started it and couldn’t hear a thing (and it seemed to take ages for the lights on the dash to flick into life too). Compare that to the sound of the LC500 when you crank it and there’s only one winner. That one barks into life and you know you’re in for an exciting ride…
So this hybrid variant isn’t exciting?
Oh no it is – it drives really well and handles with aplomb; you can’t unsettle it even if you’re really trying, there’s so much grip and the chassis remains poised at all times. It’s nice and darty too and the steering feels direct and has good feedback but the brakes are a tad spongy. But again, driving this one just makes me miss the V8 more which packs 471 horses. The hybrid has considerably less oomph making just 354 in comparison. It has a new Multi Stage Hybrid System (a 3.5-litre V6 and two electric motors/generators) and although it isn’t as exhilarating to drive, remember this is a GT - you’ll be cruising more than burying your foot into the carpet so I suppose output doesn’t matter too much. But, if I am showing off at the boulevard I’d want my GT to be heard a mile away. When it does come into view, blimey, prepare to be stared at a lot. It really is a head turner and people will buy this for its looks alone. However, I found the cabin to be a little claustrophobic.
Is that because you’re fat?
Whatever, just more to love.