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Lexus LC 500 - Copyright green car magazine

Sports coupé Lexus LC 500 h with hybrid drive model year 2019

Lexus offers powerful competition in the large-volume sports coupé sector compared to the competition from Jaguar or BMW. The LC has been presented as a concept study at various international auto shows since 2012. The typically large diabolo radiator grille, the elegant lines and a wider rear stand on large, forged 21-inch rims. Optical highlights are the headlight slots and the mighty rear. The whole sports package is offered in two versions. If you want to move it conventionally, you get a large-volume 5 L V8 naturally aspirated engine with 351 kW (477 hp) and 540 Nm. A rough sound and a drive attached to the gas ensure powerful, dynamic propulsion.

Lexus LC 500 in two versions

But there is also an alternative for the more environmentally conscious drivers: the LC 500h with a V-6 naturally aspirated engine with 3,5 liter displacement and designed as a “multistage hybrid” with a system output of 263 kW (359 hp). There is a transmission highlight here: two built-in transmissions, each with three gears, are combined with one another. The aim of these gear combinations is to convey a “linear, direct and continuous feeling of acceleration” without achieving the conventional “rubber band effect” from the single-stage transmissions from the Toyota hybrid series. The hybrid is not quite as dynamic as a conventional drive.
In contrast, the hybrid drive train naturally also offers its quiet moments when gliding over long distances. Here it acts much more calmly at the usual travel speeds and on slight inclines the electric drive takes over the advance up to 140 km / h. This is where the original advantages of the hybrid drive lie.

Lexus LC 500 - Copyright green car magazine

Lexus LC 500 - Copyright green car magazine

Interior and processing

A particularly even division with a few eye-catchers dominates the harmoniously designed interior. Some haptic highlights are the leather cladding and the ergonomic sports seats, which combine comfort and sporty demands. The two rotary handles on the left and right match the brawny appearance. They act like horns behind the dashboard for the five driving modes and traction control. The central dashboard also offers a visual treat with a tachometer moving to the right for menu control. The built-in sound system is also noticeably good.
Which variant is to be preferred? Those who like conventional sportiness will probably choose the V8 variant. With the LC 500h, the focus is on gliding, smoother driving and lower consumption. With a defensive driving style, less than 8 liters of super can be achieved here.

Apart from the drive train, the models are structured almost identically. A coordinated chassis and an almost even weight distribution on the front and rear axles support the sporty ambitions and the excellent cornering of the two athletes. A progressive steering supports dynamic cornering. Both engines are offered at the same basic price. Often we will not see this extraordinary sports car.


Practical test from the green car magazine.

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N. Hawthorn
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