Nine-time 24hrs champion gives the current crop some tips
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The Top Gear car review:Lexus LC
For:The design might be a bit Marmite, but you can’t fault Lexus’ bravery. The V8 model with a full suite of chassis aids is wonderful – a real brute in a suit.
Against:The hybrid powertrain still suffers from CVT-induced disconnect between your right foot and the engine revs – good at fast cruising, not so good in corners.
What is it?
A large, fast, luxurious coupe, designed to rival the BMW 6 Series and sprinkle some fairy dust on the rest of Lexus’ range. Quite simply, it’s the boldest, most outrageous thing to come from the maker of posh Toyotas since they turned our knees to jelly with the LFA supercar in 2010. There are no screaming V10s here and the experience is tailored more to rapid grand touring than hot laps, but the LC is still a force to be reckoned with.
Spawned from the 2012 LF-LC concept and based on a new lighter, stiffer ‘GAL’ rear-drive platform (that will also underpin the next-generation LS limo), you can have your LC in two distinct flavours - identical twins, if you like, but with polar opposite approaches to the same task: hurling you down a road and making you look sexy while you’re at it. One - the LC500h - is a spectacularly complicated hybrid harnessing V6 petrol and electrical power for devilish performance and virtuous fuel economy, the other – the LC500 - is a tasty bit of old school muscle with a naturally-aspirated V8 intent on bullying the rear tyres.
The LC isn’t a beautiful car, not in the same way a DB9 flows so effortlessly from nose to tail, but it’s as striking as anything under £100,000 gets. That sprawling spindle front grille is an acquired taste, especially with a number plate plastered across the middle of it, as is the jumble of design cues around the cut-off C-pillar, but thanks to an unfeasibly low bonnet and a pinched waist followed by a brutally-wide rear track the overall stance is epic. Even better, dare we say, than the more exotic LFA it picks up the mad-Lexus mantle from.