2017 Lexus LC 500: First Impressions

17Lexus_LC-500_AS_AC_02.jpg 2017 Lexus LC 500 | photo by Angela Conners

With the 2017 LC 500, Lexus has overpromised and overdelivered on the LF-LC concept. The resemblance the two share is uncanny; line up the photos side by side and they look nearly identical. Some of the concept’s detailing has gone away, such as extra venting in the rear and the angled hood, but everything else is there. Even the wheels made it basically intact, as did the tri-LED element headlights and the dramatic profile, with its classic long hood and short deck lid proportions.

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Get up close and the details continue to impress. Up front, the large spindle grille gets a new “3-D mesh design” that expands its gaps as it gets lower, making the bottom part of the LC 500’s nose appear to jut forward aggressively. Sharp creases in the hood meet the top of the grille and then flow directly back into a dramatic character line that reaches all the way to the rear. In back are vertically oriented backup lights (LED of course). They combine with a spiked lighting element that spills forward onto the rear quarter panels to give the taillight clusters a forked shape. Large tailpipes are integrated into the rear diffuser and complete the look seamlessly.

17Lexus_LC-500_AS_AC_09.jpg 2017 Lexus LC 500 | photo by Angela Conners

Moving inside, Lexus representatives told us that although not all parts of the cabin were functional (aka, don’t try to turn too many knobs), the important bits were finalized: materials, seating position, and overall fit and finish were true to the production version, which will arrive sometime in 2017.

17Lexus_LC500_AS_AC_11.jpg 2017 Lexus LC 500 | photo by Angela Conners

The LC 500’s cabin is not nearly as dramatic as the exterior, but it is luxurious. All the surfaces are covered in leather or other high-end materials, from the headliner to the lined details on the doors. The seating position is low, as expected from a performance coupe, with the seats offering plenty of bolstering and support.

Three screens are found on the dashboard: an all-digital instrument panel, a large screen in the center console that is controllable via Lexus’ touchpad system and a wide screen in front of the passenger seat. We’re not sure at this point how the screens will interact with each other, but keep an eye out for more details from Lexus closer to the launch date.

17Lexus_LC500_AS_AC_14.jpg 2017 Lexus LC 500 | photo by Angela Conners

Dimensions are extremely tight in the back. The LC 500 is technically a 2+2 in the way that ketchup is technically a vegetable. With roughly 3 inches of legroom behind the driver’s seat in my driving position, not even children will fit in back. In reality, this is a two-seat vehicle.

Visibility is predictably bad when looking to the sides and rear. The LC 500’s rear extends beyond what can be seen from the rearview mirror or looking through the rear glass, so relying on the instruments and a backup camera will be important. Those slim side mirrors that look so good don’t provide much viewable area. Flip your gaze over the shoulder and the blind spots aren’t Camaro-bad, but we’re thankful that blind spot warning system is standard.

17Lexus_LC-500_AS_AC_04.jpg 2017 Lexus LC 500 | photo by Angela Conners

Deservedly, the 2017 LC 500 made a huge splash at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It has the looks outside; it has the luxury inside, and if the driving experience delivers, the LC 500 will be a serious contender with the sport coupes at the top of the luxury segment.

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