We can’t believe Lexus only sells a bit more than 1,500 LC 500s on average since its debut in 2017. For a car that has concept car looks-especially the coupe, supercar performance, impeccable quality, and comes in around $100,000 you’d think Lexus could sell 10 times the number it does. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t have four doors? Or maybe that $100,000 price tag is just too much for a Lexus? Its pluses outweigh whatever negatives come with it being a $100,000 Lexus, but who knows? Lexus breathed on the LC 500 anointing it with its first update since it became available starting in 2017.
The main function of these changes deals with weight reduction and handling. Lexus was able to shave 22 pounds from the LC and most of it is unsprung weight. That means it should both ride and handle better than previous models.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 gets a lot of suspension updates for weight and handling
To achieve the reduction the Lexus LC 500 now has aluminum lower suspension arms, hollow anti-roll bars, lighter coil springs, and lighter 21-inch wheels. We should say that most of those improvements we thought the coupe and convertible already featured. Adding to the reduction in weight the roof is available in carbon fiber as a $1500 option. It is also available with a glass roof which doesn’t reduce any weight.
Lexus updated other aspects of the suspension, too. It increased the length of the stroke for the front shock controllers. Also, the rear anti-roll bars now have increased rigidity. Lexus says that this will increase turn-in going into corners.
The LC 500 transmission control system has been changed for improved performance
A new brake-based torque vectoring system improves hard cornering control. And the transmission control system now will allow the engine to rev slightly before shifting into the next gear. In the LC 500h, which is the hybrid version, downshifts will go to second gear when the throttle pedal is pressed hard instead of into third gear. On a track, this improves performance coming out of hard turns.
Engine choices remain the same with no changes. That means the 5.0-liter V8 remains at 471 hp. Shifting is handled by a 10-speed automatic. The 0-60 mph time is 4.4 seconds. It would be nice if a manual transmission was also available, but in such limited quantities, it’s probably not worth it for Lexus.
The LC 500h hybrid version features a 3.5-liter V6. In concert with an electric motor, it has 354 hp. An E-CVT combined with a 4-speed transmission gives similar performance to the V8’s 10-speed automatic.
New colors, more options, same low price
New colors for 2021 include Cadmium Orange and Nori Green Pearl. A new 20-inch wheel design is optional that features a Dark Graphite finish. The LC 500 also now is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The LC 500 still features active rear steering, a speed-activated rear wing, and variable gear-ratio steering; all available in the optional Sport Package which includes the carbon fiber roof.
The base price will still be a few-thou shy of $100,000.