Lexus LC500 V8 review

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Find out why the Lexus LC500 V8 is such an attractive and compelling choice of car.

By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay. Follow on Instagram @tbarnesclay.

Are you a dad who loves large and loud engines? Do you yearn for a V8 roar? Do you have cash tucked away for a big boy’s toy? Good, because the Lexus LC500 V8 could be the car for you.

With smooth flanks, razor-sharp lights and a low-slung roofline, the LC500 is more striking than many European rivals. Indeed, housing a non-turbocharged powerplant is different enough in the ocean of turbocharged cars for the Japanese motor to stand out. That its powerplant is a 5.0-litre V8 makes you sit up and take notice of it.

Lexus LC500 cabin.

What’s more, the LC500 is equipped with a ten-speed automatic gearbox. The clout and glut of gears help it to rush to 62mph in 4.7 seconds and on to a maximum 168mph. The pitch and tone of the V8 drawing in air as the amount of throttle changes is as pleasing as it is invigorating.

Operational delight

As well as the magnificent sound the Lexus makes, there are other advantages to its engine – and that’s throttle reaction. Every bit of accelerator-pedal movement has an impact on forward propulsion, and instantaneously.

Lexus LC500 rear.

Up and down gearshifts are quick and distinct, too. The steering-wheel-mounted paddles are well-weighted, and a delight to operate. If you don’t want to enjoy changing gears manually, the automatic mode does a top job. The steering is light, so it’s undemanding to point the Lexus’ snoop where you want it to go. Every facet of the car – the feel from the chassis, the engine and the steering – enables you to drive the vehicle with confidence.

In a nutshell, the LC500 is a compelling and attractive choice of car, and its kit list and refinement make it stress-free to live with. In its most rudimentary form, the Lexus costs £76,660. However, my test car had the Sport+ pack: this adds rear-wheel steering, 21-inch wheels and an adaptive rear wing and costs £86,335. Yes, that’s a lot of cash, but not many cars provide the same level of sophistication as well as elation for a similar outlay. That it also feels and looks so spectacular and unique makes it very hard to trounce.

Lexus LC500 seats.

You might want to keep this car just for you, or be selective about when you drive the kids around, because even though the LC500 has two rear seats, only very small people will fit in. My eldest daughter sat in the front with me, while my nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter were in the rear. My littlest was fine, but my son complained his legs hurt after five minutes. Mind you – his pained expression was soon replaced with a big grin when the V8 rumble kicked in and caused heads to turn.

Fast Facts (Lexus LC500 V8 with Sport+ pack):

  • Max speed: 168 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 4.7 sec
  • Combined mpg: 24.4
  • Engine layout: 4,969cc, normally aspirated V8
  • Max. power (PS): 464
  • CO2: 265g/km
  • Price: £86,335