Sexy Lexy has style

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Tor­pey

DIS­TIN­GUISHED, sexy, el­e­gant and cool – de­scrip­tions nor­mally re­served for mar­ques like As­ton Mar­tin, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. But Lexus, surely not. If econ­omy, re­li­a­bil­ity and be­ing en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble were the cri­te­ria then okay, but not for stun­ning, head­turn­ing looks.

Well ac­tu­ally yes, be­cause in the LC 500 the lux­ury di­vi­sion of Toy­ota has a bold, light­ning fast coupe that’s as strik­ing as it is func­tional.

A hint of what lay in store came just over six years ago when the LF-LC (Lexus Fu­ture - Lux­ury Coupe) con­cept turned up at the 2012 Geneva Mo­tor Show.

It was a stun­ner, so much so that the LC varies lit­tle from the orig­i­nal in its de­sign. And that styling, with its sweep­ing roofline, spin­dle grille and rear edges shaped to echo the lines of a tra­di­tional Ja­panese sword, cer­tainly turns heads.

While the LC 500 of­fers two en­gines – ei­ther a 3.8-litre V6 petrol-elec­tric hy­brid or the tested 5.0-litre V8 – the choice isn’t a dif­fi­cult one to make.

Hanker for a low-slung rear-wheel drive GT with a cou­ple of small seats in the back and the nor­mally-as­pi­rated V8 is the one for you. Per­for­mance fig­ures of 0-62 in 4.4 sec­onds and 168mph max­i­mum speed, topped off with a moun­tain­ous 540Nm of torque en­sure the 471bhp Lexus has the wal­lop to match its looks.

And per­form it cer­tainly does, shift­ing sweetly through the 10-speed Sports Di­rect Shift au­to­matic gear­box and rid­ing on 21-inch forged alu­minium al­loy wheels.

The sus­pen­sion may be firm but the nicely bal­anced and pre­cise steer­ing, glue-like grip and well bol­stered seats make the LC 500 a treat to drive, which­ever of the driv­ing modes – Eco, Com­fort, Nor­mal and Sport+ – that you choose.

Opt for the Sport+ pack­age op­tion and you also get a car­bon fi­bre re­in­forced plas­tic com­pos­ite roof plus an ac­tive rear spoiler.

It au­to­mat­i­cally de­ploys above 50mph and sup­presses lift at the rear to give a higher de­gree of sta­bil­ity when driv­ing at speed.

But that’s not all be­cause there’s also some­thing called the Lexus Dy­namic Han­dling sys­tem, de­signed to im­prove han­dling in all driv­ing sce­nar­ios.

The en­gi­neer­ing team has also worked hard to cre­ate what they de­scribe as a ‘con­cert hall’ en­gine note ef­fect in­side the cabin, both as the car gains speed and slows down, a sound de­vel­oped specif­i­cally for the LC.

In­side, mean­while, the Lexus drips with class.

The soft leather seats fea­ture a heat­ing and cool­ing fa­cil­ity, the 10-inch in­fo­tain­ment set-up is easy to use and the sound sys­tem is top­notch qual­ity. The sat-nav, though, can be in­fu­ri­at­ing.

There are a cou­ple of rear seats but even kids would find them un­com­fort­able, due to the lack of legroom, and claus­tro­pho­bic.

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