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The Soulful Howl of Excellence

Just when the hype of their LFA supercar had died down, Lexus delivers a front-engined, rear drive grand tourer… Just like the LFA, the LC 500 breaks away from traditionally predictable design… With Lexus producing one of the most proportionately balanced and beautiful cars we have seen this year. The new platform the LC 500 sits on is part of their global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L), which forms the blueprint for their front-engine, rear drive Lexus cars. 
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
20 Dec 2017
the howl from exhaust does the job of making the hairs on your arms stand on end
What we like:
Sublime drive
Engine and exhaust note
What we dislike:
Runflats are a bit of a dampener
Drive mode selector could be placed better

Start the naturally aspirated 5.0 V8 up in front, and hear that aggressive growl, all thanks to a set of exhaust sound-control valves, which activate at this stage. Take it for a slow drive, you would be surprised that in Comfort mode, the engine purrs silently.

With the tyres being runflats, there is a slight hit that passengers take when driving, even in comfort drive setting. Perhaps a compromise, since Lexus had stated that the runflats also aid in the handling of the car.

Flick the performance dial upward a few notches into Sport+ mode, and that once-silent V8 roars to life, part in courtesy of a built-in sound generator, nothing artificial here, but more of some clever sound enhancement from the engine bay, by way of a channel near the induction module, facing the firewall.

That 10 speed transmission might seem a little over the top, where most manufacturers are just coming to terms with an 8-speeder. And about that, Lexus engineers have managed to make their transmission lighter and smaller than some of these 8-speed boxes offered by other manufacturers.

What is certainly magic here is how the naturally aspirated V8 delivers the power in linear fashion, with a gradual torque build up. And after a while, it really doesn’t matter which gear you’re on, since the ratios are very closely spaced, and the clever electronics always ensuring that you’re within optimum ratio at all times.

Floor the throttle, and you can feel the car whipping itself forward with each gear change, while the howl from exhaust does the job of making the hairs on your arms stand on end. Hammer down on the large brakes before a bend and drop two… why not three gears, and hear the exhaust release a wicked thunder clap while at it. With the V8 primed at higher rpms, there is a generous 540Nm of torque on tap, as you exit the corner. Do this a few times, and you will realise how poised the LC really is.

Our Thoughts

But can you live with this coupe as a daily car? We certainly believe so. All-round visibility is not been compromised for the sake of looks or anything aerodynamic, and it is actually easier to park than some smaller cars.

But what is more important, with what you are forking out for this car, it does deliver not only on performance, but in head-turning good looks. The latter is what gets us since it is a Lexus, as we would dare say that it does command even more presence than a Maserati GranTurismo.


Cars in this article
Lexus LC 500 L1 (A) 2017

Lexus LC 500 L1 (A) 2017

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