Lexus LC 500h: Hits And Misses
The LC 500h is a stunning sports coupe from any angle. But has Lexus made too much of a compromise by bringing only the hybrid electric V6 powertrain to India and giving the big V8 a miss?
The Lexus LC 500h is a Rs 2 crore statement car if there ever was one. It looks a million bucks and has a badge that’s both well known and yet rare in the subcontinent. Moreover it’s more than guaranteed to turn heads wherever you show up in one.
On the surface it seems like a no brainer then - a deliciously gorgeous exterior packed with the tech, reliability and exclusivity that the Lexus brand is known for. But there are better sports cars out there: both the Jaguar F-Type and the Porsche 911 sit in the same ballpark in terms of pricing and are also pretty adept at turning heads. And when it comes to practicality there’s still the similarly capable and more practical LS 500h to consider too. So here are some pointers on the Lexus LC 500h that we hope will help make your decision easier.
Delightful cabin design
One thing we’ve loved about Lexus cars is the quality of the interiors. In this latest generation Lexus have taken things up a notch. The carbon fibre, alcantara leather inserts and leather paneling is just brilliant. Even the graphics on the LFA-inspired driver’s information display deserve special mention for how clear, crisp and functional they are. There are many options for the interiors and you can have a few trim options that include a rather delicious sounding Toasted Caramel and Rioja Red, which are also guaranteed to brighten things up in the cabin.
Efficient and sporty Hybrid Tech
The LC 500h is powered by the same hybrid powertrain we’ve seen before in the LS 500h, a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 paired with two electric motors driving the front wheels with a combined output of 360PS. It’s a very pleasant drivetrain when driving in the city, with smooth power and seamless gearshifts from its 10-step hybrid CVT automatic with a torque converter. And if your battery is sufficiently charged it will run for a few kilometres in completely silent electric mode too. And when you do step on the gas the performance is quite impressive and the shift from hybrid to electric mode is quite seamless. We haven’t tested the LC 500H but with our experience with the LS 500h, we did notice that the powertrain can be both powerful and efficient.
Loaded with features
As can be expected from a flagship, the LC 500h is loaded with features like powered seats, powered steering adjustment, all LED headlamps, 8-inch infotainment screen with a touchpad, dual zone climate control and a very nice sounding 12-speaker audio system. When it comes to safety there are as many as 8 airbags, pre-collision pedestrian detection and lane keep assist. In India the sports pack comes as standard that includes a carbon fibre roof, speed activated rear wing and a variable ratio steering rack.
With lines borrowed from the legendary LFA, the LC 500h sets off on the right foot. The sharp pointed nose, signature Lexus grill with its sharps cuts and creases make it look aggressive and purposeful. The forged and polished 21-inch alloys fill the flared wheel arches perfectly and that in turn flows smoothly into the LC 500h’s rather wide haunches. Choose one of the brighter colours like Naples Yellow, Deep Blue Mica or Radiant Red and the deep paint quality and finish is bound to dazzle you from any angle. If you don't believe me just take a look at our first drive review. In the end it’s the statement that this coupe makes that is its most desirous trait and one that’s hard to ignore.
Not really practical
While the ergonomics for front seat passengers is super comfortable the two rear seats are really tiny and best utilised for extra luggage space. And that’s something that you are going to need: with the batteries placed behind the rear seats, they have eaten into the boot space, which is a mere 172 litres.
Infotainment feels dated
While we loved the graphics and design of the driver’s dash display, the same can’t be said about the interface of the touchscreen infotainment system. It feels like an older generation system and the way the touchpad combines with the complicated navigation of the interface spoils what otherwise is a very nice cabin experience.
Not so sporty
Let’s face it, while the hybrid powertrain is a geeky, complex piece of machinery and makes for a great conversation with friends, it’s not quite as exciting as the 471PS V8 would have been. And while the ride quality of the LC 500h is quite refined and composed in the city, when you up the pace and show the car a few corners it starts to show its rather heavy 2,020kg of weight.
Read More on : LC 500h Automatic
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