Is the at­ten­tion-grab­bing LC a pure sportscar, or an in­dul­gent grand tourer?

Car (South Africa) - - TEST -

R1 729 600

J5,28 sec 351 kw/540 N.m 270 km/h UST look at it. Even painted in dour White Nova paint, the Lexus LC500 is a strik­ing piece of de­sign that sets necks cran­ing and eyes widen­ing. Hell, traf c laws are bro­ken as fel­low mo­torists whip out their smart­phones and hit record. In the luxury-car sphere, half the work is done if the ve­hi­cle nails the static-ap­peal brief. And Lexus’ chief de­signer, Tadao Mori, has cer­tainly achieved some­thing re­mark­able. Im­bued with cues from 2012’s LF-LC con­cept un­veiled at that year’s North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show, stretched across an el­e­gant, long and low body, the LC500 is pure theatre. From the most or­nate in­ter­pre­ta­tion yet of the 28-year-old com­pany’s spin­dle grille – stud­ded with but­tons that give it a mesh-like sur­face – to head­lamps that si­mul­ta­ne­ously dip into the bumper and nudge to­wards that grille, and tail­lamps that mimic the front lights’ de­sign but have their own unique touch in an in­tri­cate three-di­men­sional ef­fect, the big Lexus looks un­like any- thing else ply­ing our roads. We’ll forgive it some awk­ward an­gles from the rear-three-quar­ter (and you’ll have to make up your own mind about those ashy, chromed 21-inch al­loy wheels) in re­turn for the brand’s sheer bravura in launch­ing a pro­duc­tion model that ap­pears to have es­caped from a mo­tor show stand.

Hop in­side, tak­ing care not to bump the long door against an ad­ja­cent ob­ject, and the drama con­tin­ues. Per­ceived qual­ity is be­yond re­proach – a crew of mas­ter crafts­men at the Mo­tomachi plant in Ja­pan is re­spon­si­ble for con­struct­ing the cock­pit, in­clud­ing hand-stitch­ing the gear­lever – and ev­ery sur­face ts like a per­fectly aligned Tetris block into the next.

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