Lexus LC 500 Coupe review – ride and handling

Lexus has created a wonderfully distinct, charismatic and desirable alternative to German rivals

Evo rating
Price
from £76,595
  • Styling, V8 engine, build quality and its concept car-like wow-factor
  • Horrid infotainment, ride a little firm, hybrid powertrain less brilliant

Approach the LC as a pure GT and it has one fatal flaw. The ride is too hard-edged, even on the entry-level model’s smaller 20-inch wheels. It’s not unsophisticated, as the adaptive dampers do keep sharp intrusions to an acceptable level, but it’s the stiffness of the springs themselves that are the issue. As a result, the LC 500h is a little contrived, as its powertrain doesn’t indulge or encourage, yet is too stiff to make for a comfortable GT.

The V8-powered LC 500 is a totally different proposition, as its engine completely changes the character of the car, unlocking a different side to the LC. The firm ride is suddenly less of an issue, as the V8 is the ultimate sidekick, encouraging you to exploit the chassis, unveiling its wonderfully playful and agile stance.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The car doesn’t quite shrink around you, but its limits are instantly palpable, the steering, although not feelsome (so few, if any, really are these days) accurate and reliable in its turn of response. It’s a surprisingly quick rack too, and whether it’s paired to the LC’s four-wheel-steering system or not, turns in quickly and decisively, with an accuracy and composure underpinned by the innate capability engineered into the chassis. It really does feel like a giant GT86, in the best way possible. 

You’re never left wanting for more power either, in fact it’s this relative lack of grunt that seems to more gently introduce you to the LC’s underlying character, which is just so entertaining.

Start to push harder and the exploitable balance remains, even if traction doesn’t. The playful edge means that wheelspin can be an issue, especially without its limited-slip differential, but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience by any stretch. The LC 500, in V8 form anyway, is a truly unique car in the segment; one that all of us in the evo office have been totally won over by.

Most Popular

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble
Cupra

Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble

Is Cupra about to get hold of Audi’s brilliant five-cylinder petrol engine?
19 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020
2020 Fiat 500 priced from £19,995 in the UK
Fiat 500

2020 Fiat 500 priced from £19,995 in the UK

UK pricing and specifications for the all-new, all-electric Fiat 500 have been announced
26 Oct 2020