Title is pretty self-explanatory, I just got done with a test drive of an LC500, so if anyone has any questions, ask away.
Some initial impressions:
The car is gorgeous. The exterior would be phenomenal, if Lexus didn’t stick their ass ugly grill in the front. Otherwise, the car looks stunning – sorry of a retro-future Jetsons thing going on.
The interior is where the car really shines. Everything is extremely well-thought-out, and the build quality and materials are top notch. Lots of cues taken from the LFA, which is awesome. The infotainment is not nearly as obnoxious as people think it is. The back seat is small, but you can fit an adult back there.
Finally, the part you guys really care about – the drive. All I can say is that they mailed the GT. The car is incredibly smooth and responsive. Even in Sport+ mode, the controls are progressive and don’t have any of the twitchiness that my F-Type has in sport mode. Power delivery is very even – there’s no “throw you into your seat” moment, it just goes, and gets deceptively fast with no real indication. The steering feel is a big disappointment if you’re looking for a sports car – light and not terribly tactile, but give you a good sense of direction, and surprisingly responsive. Like I said, not fantastic for a sports car, but it feels perfect for a GT. This is a car for my wife, and she’s a little scared of driving the Jag because it’s a lot more raw. The LC500 is about a second slower to 60 (4.4 official time from Lexus), so still not slow, but much more gentle.
Buying experience and financials: First of all, the lease rates and residuals suck. Which is odd for a Lexus. We were quoted $1,800 a month with $4k down for 36 months and 10k miles. By comparison, the F-Type is about $10k more expensive, and out lease was about the same down and $1,200 a month. 48 month residual value is set by Lexus at $46,000 or so, which is depreciation of about 55%. Purchase with similar down would be about $2,200 a month. More importantly, it’s obvious Lexus just has no idea what to do with this car. It’s a lot more expensive than pretty much anything else they sell, and is the only one of their cars that I would say falls into the “luxury” category, instead of “entry level luxury”. The sales people there (we dealt with the sales manager) just don’t know how to cater to that kind of buyer. We had actually gone in to look at the car before, and made it clear we were coming in for a test drive, and scheduled it in advance. Despite this, it took them half an hour to even pull the car down, and they insisted on a credit check before letting us drive it. This is a bit of #1%problems whining, but if I pull up in a six figure car to look at a slightly cheaper six figure car, I expect to be met or front by the salesperson with the car ready to go, and they can shove their credit check up their ass. Little shit like that is important to people spending that kind of money, and while I think Lexus will do just fine selling these (they’re saying production run of 3,000 for this model year), they’re not going to pull any market share from s63/E63/Panamera customers.
tl;dr: A fantastic GT 2+2 that’s hampered by Lexus Financial and an ugly as sin grill. Not a sports car in the least.
Edit: Changed one “responsive” to “tactile”.