If you thought the limited production Lexus LFA supercar was cool, then you’ll be sure to fall for the new 2020 Lexus LC 500 series International Grand Touring Sport Coupes, which are based on the LF-LC concept car. There are two versions – the V8 powered LC 500, and the LC 500h, a V6 powered Hybrid. Both are based on the GA-L platform architecture.
We’ll deal here with the new Lexus LC 500h, which actually costs more than the LC 500. It’s also heavier, isn’t as quick from 0-60, and clocks a lower top speed, but it looks just as gorgeous and it at least nods to being more environmentally friendly. The LC 500h’s 354-hp gas-electric drive train, which combines a 3.5-liter V-6, a pair of electric motors, a 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a continuously variable automatic transmission that somewhat resembles the feel of a 10-speed automatic.
New for 2020, Lexus has made only minimal changes to the LC500 and LC500h. Both are mechanically identical to the last year, but they receive small updates and some new content. Included in the small interior revisions are a new “Check Fuel Cap” light in the gauge cluster and a reverse tone change from intermittent to single. Flare Yellow is a newly available paint color and blind spot monitoring becomes standard.
Visually, the Lexus LC 500h and its sibling LC 500, the share the same design and styling cues, the only difference being the specific Hybrid badging. The Hybrid even carries the split rectangular dual exhaust tips. The overall design is boldly expressive and is literally drop dead gorgeous from virtually every viewing angle. It falls into the category of seductively wrapped technology.
Leading off is the love it or hate it the traditional Lexus Spindle grille, but it’s appears in a modified and enhanced form that blends with the dramatically sculpted hood, and is flanked by the Polaric Ellipsoid System compact lens LED 3-projector headlamps and lower air intakes. The grille features a progressively graduated mesh pattern, enlarged from top to bottom, with a bright surround trim without a top bar, and the headlamp assemblies form light rows that point to the grille.
The Lexus LC500h silhouette displays short front and rear overhangs and a roofline that appears to float free from the body, which sits low over the wheels. Both the shoulder and rocker lines sweep gracefully inward, reminiscent of early style Coca-Cola bottles.
Aft, the bold new three-dimensional tail lamps accentuate the car’s low and wide stance, flowing around to the sides. There is an integrated spoiler lip just ahead of an active rear spoiler.
Inside the cabin is a cockpit-like driver zone with dual “Oh s—t” grab handles for the front passenger for stabilization during spirited maneuvers. Controls and switchgear are optimally placed for ease of use. Even the non-sport seats are highly supportive and comfortable, and the driver’s seating position is ideally located to achieve a properly centered operational point.
In terms of body rigidity, the new LC 500 models are even stiffer than the LFA supercar.
Several performance enhancement Packages are available as are a host of stand alone optional features. Connectivity and Infotainment are provided through Lexus Enform. Takumi (translated as Master) craftsmanship is evident throughout both Lexus LC 500s.
My test 2020 Lexus LC 500h wore the new Flare Yellow metallic exterior finish and featured a Black interior, with exemplary fit and finish. The base price was set at $97,460., which bumped up to a final tally of $105,345 after adding options and the Destination charge. The list of equipment and features that come as standard is considerable, but too lengthy to include here.
In terms of its performance attributes, the V8 power of the LC 500, unquestionably moves it to the top rung of the performance ladder, although, it‘s only three tenths of a second quicker from 0-60 mph than its LC 500h hybrid stable mate, and its top speed capability is only 13 mph faster making the extra cost of the hybrid difficult to justify for some. The car just wants to go fast. And utilizing the paddle shifters delivers a pleasingly raucous note, blipping the throttle during downshifts, when set in the Sport + setting of the Drive mode Select knob. Other settings include Sport, Normal, Custom, Comfort and Eco.
The interior ambience showcases not only a smoothly flowing elegance, but delivers a comfortable and most supportive ride quality even during highly spirited maneuvers. Despite its 2+2 designation, don’t plan lounging leisurely in the minimal rear seat, especially behind tall front seat occupants.
The driving dynamics are superb, providing a solid, planted feel, with spot-on steering responsiveness and road-holding grip. The optional Sport Performance Package includes Active Rear Steering along with a Variable Gear Ratio System, an Active Rear Spoiler, Alcantara headliner and Carbon Fiber scuff plates.
OUR FINAL TAKE
The 2020 model Lexus LC 500h sport coupe provides entry into an exclusive class of luxury super sports cars. Buyers will be able to “Experience Amazing” enveloped in seductive technology according to Lexus insiders. Kudos to Toyota/Lexus chief Akio Toyoda for his meaningful vision and guidance in bringing this super car to fruition.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Lexus LC500h Coupe
Base Price: $97,460.
Price as Tested: $104,540.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, DOHC,24-valve intake: VVTi-W/Exhaust VVTi
Horsepower (bhp): 295 @ 6,600 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 256.7 @ 4,900 rpm
Hybtrid Power System: Series.parallel system with gas engine and electric motors. Motor Generator 1:Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor=primary generator, engine started, controls engine speed
MG2:Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor Drives rear wheels, regenerative braking.
Hybrid Battery Pack: Lithium-ion, 84 cells – Nominal Voltage=310.8 V / System Voltage: 650 V
Transmission: Multistage Hybrid Transmission
Drive Train: Front engine / Rear-Wheel Drive
Suspension: Front -Double-Joint Multilink
Rear – Multilink
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD and BA.
Tires: Bridgestone Potenza 50001 L – 245/40 RF21 96Y front / 275/55 RF21 95Y Rear mounted on 5-“V”-spoke machine face alloy wheels with painted inners.
Wheelbase: 113.0 inches
Length Overall: 187.4 inches
Width: 75.6 inches – w/o mirrors.
Height: 53.0 inches – unloaded.
Curb Weight: 4,435 lbs.
Turning Circle: 17.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 22.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 27 mpg city / 35 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.33
0 – 60 mph: 4.7 seconds