The LC500’s aesthetic is rooted in the scything silhouette of the sensational LFA, the gap between the two bridged by the LF-LC concept of 2012.

As such, this car doesn’t exhibit the dramatically cab-rear stance you might expect of something with front-mounted, 7300rpm, 471bhp 5.0-litre V8 that drives the rear axle.

Richard Lane

Road tester
The LC500 is an old-school entertainer. Tuck the nose in, chase the throttle and let its superb chassis balance come to the fore. It handles like a big Toyota GT86

Instead, it seems to occupy the space between GT and sports car, the cabin sitting centrally and allowing the coachwork to taper into a flat rear deck in which a retractable spoiler resides. It’s a pretty thing indeed.

That coachwork, underpinned by Lexus’s emergent GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) platform, uses a mix of steel, aluminium and carbonfibre.

Suspension is provided by steel coil springs and adaptive dampers. Lexus claims the geometry of the multi-link set-up at the front underwent six months of remodelling in order to allow the LC’s bonnet line to sit so low. Slender headlight units, meanwhile, make for an unusually short front overhang. 

Bereft of forced induction, this is not a V8 famed for its torque (a peak 398lb ft doesn’t arrive until 4800rpm and even then enjoys only a fleeting existence), something Lexus has sought to remedy by equipping the car with the tightly packed ratios of its Direct Shift torque-converter automatic transmission – all 10 of them – complete with separate clutch lock-up.

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Power is then sent to the rear axle with either an open or, if you opt for the Sport+ pack (£9300), a limited-slip differential. LC Sport+ cars also get four-wheel steering, 21in wheels and a carbonfibre roof panel that lowers the centre of gravity but does little to mitigate the car’s near-two-tonne kerb weight.

As well as the model tested, there is a hybrid version, the 3.5-litre V6-equipped LC500h. The electric element of its powertrain and a transmission that features a CVT-style epicyclic power split and four-speed automatic gearbox make it the heavier of the two models and yet it has to make do with only 354bhp at 6600rpm.

Were it our money, we’d stick to the V8 LC500.

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