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I’ll start my review with a huge thumbs-up to Lexus Hedge End. They’re consistently a pleasure to deal with but this time one of their sales guys and true petrol head, Michael, really pulled out the stops for me... I’ve been given a LC500 as a courtesy car. So, “how does it compare to the GSF on a rain-soaked February afternoon?” I hear you all ask... 

 

Under normal driving, it’s remarkably familiar! The engine is the same 5.0 V8, albeit with twin intakes over the single one of the GSF/RCF. The gearbox is now a 10-speed, with a slightly clumsy new design of shifter, but economy appeared the same.  The rear-wheel steering is unusual! Sage advice from a slightly nervous Michael - “take the first few roundabouts gently, and don’t steer as much as you think you need to!” He was right - it feels like the rear wheels are sliding sideways! An odd experience, but ok once you learn to work with it. I believe the rear wheels turn slightly in opposite directions to the fronts at low speeds, effectively shortening the wheelbase - this has the result of making the car feel more like a go-kart, together with the Torque Vectoring Differential. The opposite happens at high speed to increase stability. 

 

Picking the speed up, the twin intakes give the V8 a proper howling scream above 6500rpm with lovely pops and the occasional crackle on a downshift. The car is more of a GT that can be hustled than a sports car - I though it felt it’s weight a bit more than the GSF. The OEM tyres are 21” runflats and provide good, if not exceptional grip - perhaps the non-RFs on the GSF as well as, frankly, me owning rather than borrowing it, allowed me to push the saloon harder. The ride quality is good - only the occasional thump over really bad roads, but I did notice a bit of squirming over undulating poorly maintained tarmac. The brake pedal felt slightly spongy, but the stopping ability was good. 

 

Inside, the seats are just as supportive, the cabin roomy (in the front) and the equipment list is extensive. Many of the features the GSF has buttons for are now incorporated into the computer, which now uses a touch pad to navigate instead of a mouse-lever-platform-type thing. Compared to the (dare I say “corporate”) interior of the GSF, the designers have really cut loose here! They seem to have used every type of material/surface/texture they could get their hands on, with bold, swooping lines devouring the insides of the doors. This is, of course a matter of taste, but I found it a little busy. A few bits of the switchgear are in different places - I particularly like the drive mode selector and the traction control knob to either side of the instrument binnacle - a nice nod to the utterly unobtainable LFA. There’s not much room in the back - it’s a 2+2 at an absolute push - I’d say if the person in the front seat is 6ft+, you’ve just generated a bag storage area behind. 

 

Finally - is this a car I’d look to trade up to? I’m not sure. It’s very good indeed, but apart from the looks, it feels so similar to my GSF (not a bad thing!!), I’d need to think about it more. I’d like to try the hybrid sister LC500h before a firm verdict! 

 

So, there you have it. Enjoy the pictures!

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@mrfunex Interesting write up matey I've driven both versions myself and personally dare I say it preferred the Hybrid, as I agree with you apart from looks using the same V8 is it enough progress over and above Rcf/ Gsf.

Big Rat

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Good little write up, looks good in white too! R32 GTR had them knobs long before the LFA but they controlled lights and stuff if I remember.

Did you get any attention in the car? Did you miss the GSF whilst you were away?

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I took a friend for a spin, and we noticed a bit of attention, but not excessively so. Conversely, this friend had an F-type V6S a while back and the attention that got was comical - people on the pavement would almost drop what they were carrying and stare! The F-type certainly provided a lot more drama, whilst offering more-or-less the same package as the LC.

I’ve only been without the GSF for a day and... I do miss it! I mentioned in my review of the GSF a few months back that I’d sat in a new one upon release at the dealers and was instantly smitten. After 3 months of ownership, I feel exactly the same! 

Don’t take many negatives away from my review - the LC500 is a very pretty, capable and extremely fast car - perhaps because it isn’t an ‘F’ car though, it loses that little fizz? It’s extremely close and if an LCF ever exists, that’d certainly be worth a drive. However, it’d probably have to cost £130-150k and for that money I’d find it extremely difficult to walk past a McLaren showroom...

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We took the same car out (courtesy of Lexus Hedge End) and have to say we thoroughly enjoyed it during the time behind the wheel.

Was amazed at how placid and 'driveable' it was, even when accelerating hard, unlike a lot of other high-performance cars that kick you in the back during every gear change.

Glad you enjoyed it Stuart  :-)

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Very interesting.

When I test drive high performance cars, I generally consider how easy they are to drive more slowly and in traffic as this is the typical situation everyday. The LC500 is very good in this respect having a real automatic box and not a manual box with an electronically operated clutch. An Aston V12V which I tried had this latter type and it was useless in traffic. 

Having tested the LC500h I can say that, although it is very clever, the V8 is light years better. I think the hybrid would only make sense if you live in a big town. As I live in a rural area then the V8 wins for me.

From the pics, it looks like you went along the shore at Lee-on-the Solent on a rainy/windy day! YUK.

I will post more detailed views on my LC500 when I have run it in as I have only done 250 miles thus far. 

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I recall reviews of the Honda NSX said it was a supercar you could go shopping in.

 

On Britain's crowded/cramped roads, I'd think the Lex is a bit awkward?(Size wise)..... designed for US, really?

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I can't deny that the LC500 is pretty wide with long doors which makes it a challenge to park (and get out). Out on the road it is absolutely no problem as the width is only much the same as the RX (although the mirrors stick out a bit more.

However, the LC is almost the same size as a lot of cars in this class. My DB9 was only about 50mm shorter than the LC, was the same width and had just as long doors.

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11 hours ago, Jgtcracer said:

Good little write up, looks good in white too! R32 GTR had them knobs long before the LFA but they controlled lights and stuff if I remember.

Did you get any attention in the car? Did you miss the GSF whilst you were away?

As did the 300ZX Z32 models. :cool:

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On ‎15‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 10:38 AM, malcolmw said:

Having tested the LC500h I can say that, although it is very clever, the V8 is light years better. 

This video of both versions of the LC500 at the launch last year supports your view!

 

 

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V8 for me every time! I think the depreciation will be massive in the first few years (not an issue for PCP buyers) I think values for these will hold up better than other sporty lexi. They are very special looking.

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19 minutes ago, Rusty Crobar said:

V8 for me every time! I think the depreciation will be massive in the first few years (not an issue for PCP buyers) I think values for these will hold up better than other sporty lexi. They are very special looking.

I think the LC is as special looking as the RC was when it first came out, so I'd imagine the LC's residuals will be very similar. 

The V8 is the 'right' engine for such a sporty coupe.

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V8 definitely; they have even made it sound better than the RC-F

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50 minutes ago, MNMJ said:

V8 definitely; they have even made it sound better than the RC-F

Sounds more sporty. Seems you have to buy in at level 3 to get a torque sensing diff though.  Mixed messages across the range.

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I said I would wait a bit before commenting on the LC500 in detail (and I will) but I can say something here about the LSD.

I had an LSD on my DB9 and, although it was a bit of a laugh sliding round tight roundabouts, you quickly realise that it is only useful if you are using the car at the limit of its capability (track days?) and way beyond what you can reasonably do on the road.

I test drove a LC500 demonstrator with the LSD and 4WS and now I have got my own car without either of these I can say that I haven't noticed much difference in real world situations.

Maybe I'm just getting old...

 

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Can't disagree with needing one or not. That's personal choice and driving. My point was only about what counts as sporty :)

Sent from my STV100-4 using Tapatalk

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