What it is: This was my third time driving the Lexus LC500, but my first weeklong taste of the V-8 engine.

The LC offers both a 354 horsepower hybrid V6 and a 471 horsepower 5.0-liter V8. The extra 117 horsepower is, as you might expect, a big difference in how fast the car feels. I thought that the hybrid engine was more than sufficient, but if you want an actual sports car experience, then definitely go with the V8. Did I mention the V8 is actually about $4,600 cheaper?

The LC brings an exotic car flair to the exterior, but I actually love the interior. The LC is a grand touring car, so it is designed for long distance journeys, and I would happily spend hours in the cabin.

Ultra-luxurious touches are everywhere and the materials are truly top-notch. There are a few available options including an Alcantara-covered roof that will allow you

to take things even higher.

My only real complaint is Lexus uses an aging infotainment system, which pales in comparison to other luxury manufacturers. I could live with it, but only because I had a smile permanently stuck to my face while driving.

More kudos are deserved by Lexus because they offer some interesting paint options. My test model was silver, which was certainly stunning, but they offer some exotic choices like yellow or orange. Lexus currently has an orange LC500 convertible parked inside the Dynamo’s stadium and I certainly drool over it whenever I walk by.

The performance of the LC500 is not going to match a new Corvette, but that really isn’t the point of the LC. LC stands for Luxury Coupe and it delivers much more on the luxury front than a traditional sports car.

And the visual presence is something else. It received universal acclaim on how beautiful the shape is from everyone that I chatted with about the car.

MPG: 19 combined/16 city/25 highway

Price: $93,050 V8 base price.

Upsides: Style.

Downsides: Hybrid provides suboptimal performance.

Wrap-up: The LC500 has been out for four years, and while Lexus doesn’t sell a ton of them, it certainly delivers as a halo car or aspirational model for Lexus buyers. The LC will never be an Audi R8, but it’s a fraction of the price and will pull just as many eyeballs from passersby. It is a uniquely Lexus take on a luxury sports car that is executed almost flawlessly.

Wilson Calvert
Author: Wilson CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist / Director of Operations
I am a long-time Houstonian and am obsessed with cars, soccer, traveling, bourbon and airplanes. I write a regular car review column for The Tribune and travel articles a few times per year.

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