In the auto world, the newest Lexus lineup is stylish – but every vehicle is stylish in a way that’s a bit polarizing. However, it’s easy to agree on one thing: the 2019 Lexus LC is an absolute stunner by any measure.
Once you get past the exterior styling, there’s a bit of a surprise coming your way when you investigate the LC a little further. Read on to find out what’s hiding under the hood of this coupe.
If you want one very good reason why you should buy a 2019 Lexus LC, just take a look at it. Lexus never actually intended to launch a flagship sports coupe into its range for public consumption. But when the LF-FC concept got rave reviews everywhere it was shown, it just seemed like the right thing to do to put the LC into production.
The front fascia of the LC is very Lexus with squinting headlights and a mammoth grille. That style suits the low, long and sleek sports coupe better than any other model in its range. With a couple of subtle, strategically placed air vents, the design of the LC more than hints at some impressive performance.
This is a car that could one day find itself in a museum of contemporary design. It really is so stunning that it could be considered a work of art. If the rest of the car was as good as the exterior styling, it’d be hard to make a case for considering any other car in its class.
This is where the LC’s big surprise kicks in. Although there’s a hybrid option, which is only to be expected with a Japanese performance car these days, the standard engine isn’t a four or a six-cylinder aided by a turbocharger. Instead, the standard powerplant is a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that’s actually been borrowed from the RC F and GS F. This unit delivers a surprisingly old-school feel and sound to the LC. And the 467 horsepower and 389 lb.-ft. of torque it develops begs to be driven hard.
All that power is sent to the rear wheels through a ten-speed automatic, which some might think is a couple of gears too many for a car like this. However, this unit is quick and responsive. It gets the LC from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and to a top speed of 168 mph. That’s quick, but probably not quite as fast as some might expect with all that power on-tap. The problem is, the LC weighs-in at 4,280 pounds, which is 134 pounds more than a BMW X4 SUV.
LC 500h Hybrid
Although the sound of the V-8 will appeal to many, the LC 500h hybrid could be a better option. The 500h combines a 3.5-liter V-6 gas engine with a couple of electric motors and a 44-kW lithium-ion battery to produce 354 hp, but it’s only 0.3 seconds slower from 0 to 60 mph. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. The transmission is particularly interesting; it’s a four-speed automatic combined with a CVT, which effectively acts like a ten-speed automatic.
Whichever powertrain you choose, the LC is an impressive handler thanks to its all-new chassis and extremely competent suspension setup. There’s loads of grip, and the brakes are more than strong enough to cope with the power and weight of the lively Lexus.
Although there’s all the comfort and luxury you’d expect from a Lexus in the front of the LC, like most sports cars, the rear seats are really only for show. They’re probably useful for a couple of shopping bags, but human adults need not apply. The trunk can only offer 5.4 cu.-ft. of cargo volume in the gas-powered LC, and the hybrid is even worse, but who really cares in a car like this?
This car isn’t about the back seats or the lack of trunk space. The interior is every bit as sumptuous, luxurious, beautiful, stylish, and stunningly designed as you’d hope. The quality is beyond reproach too.
Features and Equipment
It’s debatable whether the 2019 Lexus LC is well-equipped or not. On one hand, there’s a lot of standard equipment with the LC. On the other hand, there should be because it costs an absolute fortune. At a starting MSRP of $93,325 for the LC 500 and $97,835 for the LC 500h, this is one of the most expensive vehicles Lexus has ever produced.
Plenty of active safety features, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, LED headlights, a Pioneer audio system, and Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility all come standard. Aside from a staggeringly good Mark Levinson stereo, most of the available options are performance related, such as a limited-slip differential, and a Sport package that includes 21-inch alloys, a Torsen differential, a carbon-fiber roof and an active rear spoiler.
- Impressive hybrid option
- Excellent chassis tuning
- Ten-speed automatic transmission
- Old-school gas engine and sound
- Practically not much more than a two-seater
- Slightly confused identity
- Very weighty
The Last Word
If you’re looking for an outright performance car and you have $100k or more to spend, there are better ways to spend that money. The Lexus LC isn’t the most thrilling, high-performance car you can get for that money. But it’s not a disappointment either.
One thing’s for sure. It’s hard to name a car at this or any price that looks better than the 2019 Lexus LC. A Ferrari 458 will cost two and a half times what the Lexus costs, but it doesn’t look any better. And you can be sure the Lexus will make a better, more reliable daily driver.