The LC500’s driving experience is one of many-layered complexity, and engaging with that complexity is a bit like fiddling with a very expensive, gem-encrusted Rubik’s Cube: initially daunting and a bit off-putting, but strangely satisfying once you’re used to the idea.
But in order to develop the kind of relationship you’ll want with what you might expect to be the car’s main attraction – the atmospheric V8 – you need to start peeling those layers away from the get-go; or else you risk getting out of the car somewhat deflated.
If you leave the car’s drive mode controller in its default Normal mode, the powertrain works well enough – so long as you’re in no particular hurry to get anywhere, or much interested in engaging with the process you’re involved with.
On part-throttle, the 10-speed transmission shifts very smoothly, although it often needs to change down several ratios in order to respond to a big change in pedal input, so it pays to be deliberate with the demands made by your right foot.
When given the opportunity for stretched legs, however, the Lexus’s sheer abundance of choice of intermediate ratios, and its tendency to hunt for the perfect one, begins to obstruct your enjoyment.