Lexus ’18 LC500h. 254 horsepower, 3.5 liter V6. 26/35MPG city/hwy. As-tested price: $102,025.
Lexus’ LC500H looks like a concept car, but it’s all too real
CASEY WILLIAMS | Auto Reviewer
More than 15 years ago, Lexus took a lead role in the movie Minority Report starring Tom Cruise with a bright red concept called the 2054. In theory, it ran on electricity from hydrogen fuel cells, drove itself… and was a vision of a dystopian future in which the car may have been the best thing going.
Here in the actual future, Lexus presents us with a production car that’s nearly as cool as the concept.
While it looks like a concept car, the LC500h takes a different stylistic route. An exotic profile stems from a hood drawn tight over the flared front fenders and flowing down into Lexus’ large spindle grille. The low floating roof hovers over wide rear fenders and into the high decklid. Jewelry like the triple LED headlamps, L-shaped daytime running lights, cut side sculpting and vertical silver elements front and rear add concept car details – as do the glass roof, 20-in. wheels and mirrors integrated with the taillamps that add dimension.
The interior exhibits luxury tech. Large flatscreens for the instruments and infotainment dominate the dashboard in a wide horizontal sweep; beneath are controls for climate. Heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, ambient lighting and 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system cocoon passengers. A comprehensive head-up display hovers over the hood. Alcantara suede on the doors, cosseting leather sport seats, stitched coverings for the dash and console, and sculptural pattern beneath plastic on the passenger side are pure art. Definitely choose intoxicating Rioja red leather.
The infotainment controls, however, are not so intoxicating. Sure, having a touch pad to control climate control, audio and navigation sounds cool, but have you ever tried to use a desktop computer while driving 70 mph in traffic? Not a good plan! And, having to go multiple menus deep to adjust the heated seats is a bit much.
Under the exotic bodywork is an equally exotic powertrain. The fossil-burning part is a 3.5-liter V6 engine, but that’s paired with lithium-ion batteries to generate 354 horses — powerful enough to launch the rear-drive coupe 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Leave it in auto mode, or use the magnesium paddles behind the steering wheel to shift through 10 pre-determined gear ratios. Fuel economy is rated 26/35-MPG city/hwy.
The LC is a big car, based on the flagship LS sedan. Engineers worked hard to deliver a nearly 50/50 weight balance for handling. Active rear steering, variable gear ratio steering and customizable drive modes delight drivers with a car that transforms from comfy highway cruiser to stiff track hawk with the turn of a dial.
The LC comes with safety systems not imagined when Minority Report was released. Standard are a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, radar-enabled adaptive cruise control and lane departure alert with steering assist. Our car also came with blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.
The Lexus LC500h may not be quite the self-driving supercar we were promised in Minority Report, but it’s the supercar for today’s “future.” A base price of $96,510, or $102,025 as tested, puts the LC500h against the BMW i8, Mercedes-AMG GT, and Chevrolet Corvette Z06.