Comparing the Mercedes AMG SL 55 and Lexus LC500: Breaking Down 2 Luxury Coupes
There aren’t many modern sports cars today that can truly grab attention, but both of these premium models do the job. Whether it’s the Lexus LC500 or Mercedes-AMG SL 55 rolling down the street, heads will turn as they pass by. But which of these luxury coupes is the easiest to live with? And which option is more likely to gain value over time? We dug in to find out.
AMG SL 55 vs LC500 Performance
While both the Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and Lexus LC500 use V8 power, the similarities end there.
The AMG model uses a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 to churns out 469 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The LC500, meanwhile, makes use of a 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 and sends 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels.
The torque easily tips zero to 60 mph acceleration toward the Merc, getting it from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. The Lexus takes 4.7 ticks to reach the same pace, despite a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The Lexus does edge the SL 55 at the pump, earning an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Not that that really matters when talking about sports cars with near-six-figure price tags.
Without a doubt, handling is more focused in the Lexus, however the trade off is a harsh ride. The AMG has an adaptive suspension setup, but even the most aggressive setting feels a bit compromised. Furthermore, it’s a complex system and getting the settings just right can take a bit of fiddling.
For all its head-turning style, the Lexus LC500 isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to sit. The seats are well bolstered and deep wells make it easy to sink into the cockpit. However, the seat padding is firm and a limited range of adjustability makes it hard to find the right fit.
Meanwhile, the Mercedes-AMG SL 55 puts comfort at the forefront. Not only are the seats more agreeable for taller drivers, but a greater adjustability window means finding the ideal setup is actually possible.
Features are similar between both models, as dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and cooled seats, and an air curtain are standard on both coupes.
Living with an SL 55 vs Lexus LC500
While the LC500 is the more attractive choice, the AMG SL 55 is the easier car to drive on long road trips. The handling is a bit compromised, but that means a more comfortable ride on unpredictable country and mountain roads. An extra 2.5 cubic feet of trunk space doesn’t hurt either, and the better seats make the AMG a clear winner for those who want to drive.
Invest in the LC500
While there is a potential for both cars to appreciate in value over time, the LC500 feels more special. The concept-car styling makes it instantly memorable – the kind of car teenagers will remember seeing and want to buy when their income allows in later life.
The fact that it uses a naturally-aspirated V8 in a world of turbocharging and hybridization only enhances the Lexus’ standing as a future classic.