2021 Lexus LC 500 Review: Design Excellence

Feel the need to stand out within the sports car crowd? Enter the 2021 Lexus

Feel the need to stand out within the sports car crowd? Enter the 2021 Lexus LC500; offering the sleek looks of a concept car, a powerful naturally aspirated V8, plush cabin and a hybrid option. Let’s take a closer look at this uniquely Japanese sports car.

Sleek Exterior

Lots of sports cars can be described as “sleek” and it can seem to be an overused word at times, but it’s applied very well to the design of the Lexus LC500. The car is blessed with long lines, especially covering the enlarged hood which conveys a sense of power and presence. The rear end takes edgy and angular to new levels, creating a 3D-esque effect on the taillights that really makes the design pop.

The LC500 rides on 20-inch wheels as standard, but larger 21-inch wheels are also available. The 2021 model offered a stunning new wheel design, and new colors are offered in the lineup, too, including Cadmium Orange and Nori Green Pearl.

Choose Your Powertrain

There are 2 powertrain options in the LC500 range, the first a standard 5.0L V8 engine outputting 471-hp and 398 lb-ft of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain is standard on the LC500 models. If you go for the LC500h, however, then you get a hybrid powertrain featuring a 3.5L V6 offering 354-hp, paired with an electric motor. The V8 is the better of the two engines from a performance standpoint. 

It has to be said, however, while the V8 offers a very impressive exhaust note, it’s not in the same order of power as the likes of the Porsche 911 or the Chevy Corvette. Mind you, the $94,000 starting price tag for the LC500 makes it more affordable than many other models in the category. 

Still a Decent Performer

In terms of performance, it can’t match the likes of the Porsche 911 for it precision and agility nor to Corvette in terms of pure speed. However, for 2021 Lexus has done a good job improving the drive quality by way of a reworked suspension, and the addition of Active Cornering Assist as a feature. The latter uses judicious application of the brake to the inside wheels as you take a corner, delivering better performance on bends and tight corners.

Spacious Interior

Not many sports cars boast a roomy and luxurious interior, but the LC500 does not disappoint on that score. The quality of the craftsmanship is undeniable, with extremely supportive and comfortable seats, high-quality materials throughout and a very premium feel. It’s nice to see some elegant simplicity in the steering wheel, too, in a world gone mad with adding more and more buttons to wheels.

There are two main downsides to the interior. The first is the somewhat dated infotainment system. The Enform system gives you navigation, Bluetooth and many other apps, which seem good at a glance, but it’s when you want to control them that the problems start. The system unfortunately relies upon a clunky and unintuitive touchpad to operate. This means that it’s really quite impossible for any driver to use while driving. The level of concentration needed is just too much. These small things aside, it remains among the most elegant and refined interiors, especially at that price point. It also includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. 

Perfect For The Right Buyer

While the LC500 won’t beat a Corvette off the line nor a 911 in the corners, it remains one of the most comfortable and spacious vehicles in the segment. It really is the perfect touring sports car, quiet at speed and simply elegant to view. Just think of taking a lovely drive in the countryside to later view the sunset off in the distance while your LC500 sparkles during golden hour. That’s what the LC500 was made for, to be admired, to be loved for what it is, a spectrally sculpted art piece on 4-wheels.