Skip to main content

No results found

Living, Motors

Drive:

The Lexus LC500 V8

divider
Kevin Haggarthy
Drive The Lexus LC500 V8 Yellow limited edition

Fish and chips. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, the great British fry up. Or… how about quinoa and avocado salad, pumpkin soup with wholemeal bread, or even a veggie stir-fry? We know we should opt for the healthy option, but you can’t beat a good occasional plate of fish and chips. Now turn the same debate to cars.

The big push for environmental health and clean air encourages our showroom choices to be hybrid or electric. No more the big, powerful, noisy petrol-engined cars we once knew and loved. Many of us car buffs yearn for the days when cars were powerful, fast, noisy, sexy and mean. Yet just as we are about to resign ourselves to a life of new car model boredom, the V8 Lexus LC500 is born, and powerful muscular cars are back in style again.

Credentials

Whilst there are four seats, the LC500 cannot pretend to be anything but a two-seater – for adults. It’s a big car (for a two-seater) and is comfortable and beautifully laid out inside. There’s lots of in-car gadgetry, but the touch regulation feature is fiddly at best. Despite its brawn the LC500 is not an irresponsible car, with an environmentally friendly right foot on a good day, even 35.3 mpg is achievable. It has attention seeking looks and noise, and has the biggest front grille the world has ever seen.

Lexus LC500 V8 Interior

It’s all there under the bonnet though; a naturally aspirated V8 engine. 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds, a top speed of 168 mph, and 471 bhp. The magic is delivered through a 10-speed Sports Direct Shift auto gearbox. Multiple drive options – Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus – are at the press of a button so you can drive in the mood you feel. There’s a massive 540 Nm of torque too. Throw in a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system (£1,000), head-up display (£995), and silver metallic paint (£675), and this LC500 is yours for a whisker over £79,000.

On the road

Oh, but what fun you will have. The LC500 is easily a usable everyday car for business and pleasure. The ride is firm and whilst there is arguably scope for better damping, the ride/ handling compromise proves acceptable when exploring the car’s capabilities at speed. It’s also an excellent long-distance motorway cruiser; it’ll purr along with minimal soundtrack in Normal and Comfort ride settings, but just a hint of throttle says, ‘Ok – time to work it.’

When ‘working’ this big car hard on crosscountry narrow lanes, size is an issue; yet the car feels ‘smaller’ when pushed hard due to a well sorted chassis and fine grip, and whilst the ride is stiff the LC turns in with both accuracy and confidence. For high performance driving the biggest issue is sorting out a decent gear change strategy, if you choose to use manual application via the steering column-mounted paddle shift; ten gears are just too many and it can all get pretty complicated. The solution of course is to leave it to the auto gearbox to sort out in Sport or Sport Plus.

The brakes do their work admirably and at night the main beam lights are fantastic – when set to automatic not once did anyone give a remonstrating flash to suggest the automatic dimmer was not auto dimming when it should.

The Contender

The LC500 is not a purist driver’s machine, but a great compromise between stonking performance, long-distance high-speed cruise-ability, day to day usability, and comfort. If you want dropdead gorgeous looks, massive straight-line performance, great acceleration, and relish in the powerful front engine/rear drive setup of one of the best V8 soundtracks on the planet, you will buy this car.

Whilst this is all about the V8, there is a petrolelectric hybrid version with a naturally aspirated 3.2 litre V6 if you must. Fish and chips versus quinoa and avocado salad; the choice is yours.

RECOMMENDED

Wed 16 Jan 2019

Tom Zinovieff  

Bespoke Furniture Maker

Bespoke furniture maker Tom Zinovieff exudes that gleeful tranquillity of someone who quite genuinely loves what they do. Furniture making runs in his family. His family has managed a local woodland for many years and after completing his training he moved into his father’s old workshop ready to carry on the trade for another generation. We visited him there on a gloriously sunny afternoon to learn more.  

Thu 17 Jan 2019

Graven Hill:

Open the door to custom build new homes 

Graven Hill, one of the country’s most innovative self-build and custom build villages, is holding its first ‘Hard Hat’ event of 2019 on 26 January. The event will give visitors the chance to view the custom build new homes that are currently under construction and look around the site to get a feel for how their ideas could be translated into bricks and mortar. Sensible shoes will be a must! 

Thu 17 Jan 2019

Cotswold Stone:

Millennia in the Making 

The Cotswolds sit atop this pre-historic legacy, as though a lush green velvet shawl has been draped across the hunched shoulders of a rocky frame. Cleaved from the ground and its antediluvian origin, it is this material that gives the area its ineffable quality. The sheer abundance of stone is the reason for its ubiquity and the mesmeric uniformity of the structures it now forms. So quietly proud and seemingly preordained are the villages of the Cotswolds, that it’s hard to imagine that it all began with the discreet amalgamation of infinitesimal morsels. 

Thu 17 Jan 2019

Selling your Home:

The Little Things  

We’re all different – and never more so than when it comes to our homes. All you have to do is look through this magazine, or a property portal online to see that personal taste is varied, to say the least, from conventional neutrals to vibrant boho or monochrome chic. And of course this is how it should be: it’s important that our homes reflect our taste, allowing us to feel ‘at home’ at home.