First Drive: The 2018 LC500 Will Kill the Idea of a ‘Boring Lexus’

2018 Lexus LC500

2018 Lexus LC500 | James Derek Sapienza/Autos Cheat Sheet

It may be one of the most worn out cliches around, but the line from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance bears repeating here: When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. Why? Because everyone — especially gearheads — loves a good legend. Like how the Ford GT40 happened because Hank the Deuce was livid after being jilted at the automotive altar by Enzo Ferrari. Or how the original Acura NSX is the sole reason why the Italians decided to clean up their act and build exotics that actually started every morning. It doesn’t matter that it may not be entirely true, but it’s close enough, and you just choose to believe that it is. 

Well, Lexus has a new flagship on the way, and believe it or not, there’s already a legend developing behind it that’s too good not to repeat.

Remember the LF-LC of 2012, the jaw-dropping concept that showed Lexus could do fast and sexy as well as anyone? According to legend, Akio Toyoda, the President of Toyota Motors, was sick of his prestige brand’s stodgy image. Lexus the boring luxury brand. Lexus the conservative one, the predictable one; the company that’s too safe for its own good. After the LF-LC’s launch at the Detroit Auto Show, the boss issued a decree: “No more boring cars.” Lexus needed to show that after nearly 30 years of being this close, it could build a world-class grand tourer that couldn’t be ignored. The days of “good … for a Lexus” were officially over. 

2018 Lexus LC500

2018 Lexus LC500 | James Derek Sapienza/Autos Cheat Sheet

Four years later, that’s why I’m outside Seville, Spain about to track the production-ready LC500. According to the myth, LC stands for “Lexus Challenge,” after Toyoda’s order to his engineers to build the car he saw on the podium by any means necessary. In reality, LC is short for “Luxury Coupe,” and existential moonshot or not, the car is no less of a milestone for the brand. In fact, it’s the most impressive performance car to wear the big L badge since the LFA supercar. Unlike that halo car, this one could mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the entire Lexus lineup. 

More Articles About:   , ,