Is the Lexus LC what Toyota sets it out to be?
By now we’ve all seen these ads. “Experience amazing!” “Man and machine!” A man break dancing and back flipping around a very attractive looking two door coupe Lexus with a few shots of its engine and the vehicle performing impressive power slides in what looks like an airplane hangar. All very impressive especially since I do frequently associate break dancing with my vehicles so I’m glad they incorporated it. “Experience amazing” they say. That’s a powerful statement, especially from a company that has produced amazing with its monumentally life changing vehicle that was the LFA. A car that Jeremy Clarkson, possibly the worlds leading motor enthusiast, called the best car he had ever driven. It’s an even more powerful of a statement from a company that has also come very short of amazing compared to its competition. The Lexus RCF was an attempt a competing sports car but performed so dismally that it was honestly a surprise especially coming from a quality Japanese company. It failed miserably against its competition. So let’s see how the LC holds up.
At first glance the new LC is very attractive. It looks amazing and this is something most everyone can agree on. Its long lines and large front grill give it elegance and aggression. Its interior is exactly what you can expect from a luxury brand, nothing exceedingly exiting but it doesn’t disappoint. The large V8 it comes with can produce a little less than 500 horsepower to the rear wheels. All of these are very good qualities and its honestly inspiring to see Lexus/Toyota say “we can make a great sports car and compete with the big boys.” So is this a great sports car?
Yes. The Lexus LC is a good sports coupe. It can perform. It will turn heads. It will make your co-workers jealous and even proud to say “my friend has one of those.” It will make any owner very happy to look at and be looked at. It has a large motor in the front and rear wheel drive. It goes from 0-60 in a reported 4.3 seconds. All of this can be yours for exactly what you would predict from Lexus: approximately $100,000. Thats right six figures. Great price for great quality right? Well let’s compare it to its rivals and see what else you can get for 100 grand.
A Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with a 0-60 time of just 3 seconds and 650 horsepower and its also $20,000 cheaper. The Corvette does come with great amenities, magnetic suspension, a howling sound and plenty of bells and whistles to keep the owner happy. The Corvette doesn’t come with as much luxury or prestige as a Lexus. Its also American, which can be a turn off for those looking to spend a considerable portion of their income on a sports car. Most people want German, if we’re honest.
So let’s look at Germany, the nation that sets the standard as far as luxury is concerned. The very nice, very prestigious, very German, Mercedes AMG GTS. Probably the most direct competition considering the badge notion of motor royalty the AMG badge holds behind it. With many many bells and many many whistles the Mercedes does not disappoint when it comes to luxury and it looks, frankly, amazing. It costs a bit above $100,000 and is immensely powerful with a twin turbo V8 producing just about 500 hp but a 0-60 time of just 3 seconds. A Much faster car indeed.
We can sit here and obsess over numbers and statistics as much as we want but what we need to look at is, is this car good? Lexus is boldly stepping into the arena and shamelessly showing off their car. If your in the market for a high performance vehicle they urge you, even dare you to drive theirs. It’s very attractive and has a chance to be great fun. It’s as if Lexus is saying “yes, our car might lose on the track, but we don’t care.” This car is going to appeal to many buyers that do not care about those dragging statistics. No those consumers are concerned with status, and prestige much more so than 0-60 times or power to weight ratios. The fact of the matter is Lexus wanted to make a good sports car and sell it to people that want a good, luxury, sports car.
So in many ways the LC is not what it set out to be and is easily out performed by most of its rivals. However, the LC is exactly what it was meant to be. A high performance vehicle that comes from a brand with a pedigree of reliability and prestige. While it will be hard for many to say they want a Lexus rather than a Benz or a Porsche, it wont be hard for many to say “I want that Lexus!” Hybrid?
I wrote this article before I was able to have a good look at an LC and have seen a couple since. Hybrids though. Ok now I’m perplexed. I knew they were going to release a 3.5 liter V6 hybrid but specifically chose not to mention it because who in their right mind would spend $100,000 on a V6 hybrid!? Ok but hold on… I guess this makes sense. Once again we have to look back at the reason the LC is a good car. Once again its not about stats so much as it’s about status. Therefore this car went from—alright that’s a good car to—wow that’s the douchebag car. Its interesting to see how that developed but it is not surprising. It’s a Lexus.