Far from the fast and furious performance cars that screech and roar (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Lexus’ LC 500h is quiet and refined, slipping past you with a gentle whisper.
“I like the music of that car,” my son said to me after I picked him up from school in the 2021 model. “It sounds like a spaceship.”
With a top speed of 168 miles per hour, the 3.5-liter V6 combines with a permanent-magnet electric motor generating 354 horsepower and the LC 500h whisks you from place to place with understated flair. But the big takeaway for this coupe is the range, and I was stunned when I drove it 188 miles from Austin, Texas, to Fort Worth and back, and got home with fuel in the tank to spare. Lexus says the range is 643 miles, and I have no doubt it can achieve that. Sure, you can get a Tesla Model S Long Range, but when you run out of juice after 375 miles or so, you’re finished; the LC 500h will take you more than 200 miles past that, giving it a distinct advantage for longer trips.
The LC 500h is competitively priced against the BMW 8-series and the Porsche 911. It comes standard with a bevy of driver-assist features and three different packages that allow you to upgrade the Mark Levinson audio system, add a glass or carbon fiber roof, performance brakes, and such. The 2021 version is a continuation of the first generation of this vehicle, which debuted in Geneva in 2016. The LC–which stands for luxury coupe, of course–offers a pristine ride. Cockpit engineer Manabu Ochihata says it’s set up so that the center of gravity is as near as it can be to the driver, which connects you to the car when you’re driving it.
Lexus also updated the downshifting model for 2021; now it will downshift into second gear instead of third for a more velvety acceleration from sharp turns. On top of that, the suspension has been updated to provide a better ride and the 20-inch wheels were refreshed (although I’d highly recommend the 21-inch upgrade). Overall, the 2021 LC500h is a dream to drive and if you don't like stopping at the gas station (and who does?) the range on this car is notably better than most people know.
Now, if they’d just ditch the touchpad in the cockpit, it would be even better.