Lexus LC on track
2018 Lexus LC

It must play as cool to own a half-million-dollar car that is expensive to maintain, hard to insure, never driven to its potential, and impossible for the average middle-age male to crawl in and out of.

More design fun

Lecus LC: Best Automotive Designs



Vehicle Type: Grand Touring Car

Year Introduced: 2018

Designer: Tadao Mori


Now, none of my neighbors own a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but travel further northwest of Chicago than the suburb I live in, and the Italian exotica starts to become common, especially during fair-weather weekends.

Both of the Italian marques I just mentioned have begun selling crossovers (Purosangue and Urus, respectively), but I am not talking about the arguably practical Italians. I’m taking about the exotic core products of these storied brands, cars like the Ferrari F8 Spyder and Maserati Huracán. You’ve seen these cars on the road. Despite being offered in a variety of colors they are usually red or yellow, are almost never being driven aggressively, yet sound fantastic as they pass.

2018 Lexus LC Coupe, on track
2018 Lexus LC

And of course, they look great, which is really most of the job. The whole purpose of owning an exotic cars is knowing that your neighbors know you own an exotic car. But, what it you could own a great-looking sports car that wasn’t quite exotic, didn’t cost half a million dollars, and promised to be, oh, Lexus reliable?

Enter the Lexus LC, a gorgeous sports car (really a grand-touring car) that is probably misidentified as a Ferrari more than any other vehicle. Introduced for 2018, the LC features a breath-taking design, serious, though just shy or super-car, performance, and an earth-bound price. Oh, it’s also relatively easy to get in and out of. But about that design…

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Red Lexus LC Grille
2024 Lexus LC

Let’s forget for a moment that the Lexus trademark “spindle” grille was ever controversial, as it works so well on the LC. And, as most sports cars come sans grille, the front end of the LC is not only unique, it is brand defining.

Note, too, that the headlight clusters appear relatively far back on the LC body, almost inline with the wheel openings. The tight radius coming off the grille’s peak helps to give this Lexus flagship a sense of taut solidity, creating character without clutter.


Mostly smooth, the LC profile is defined by the rocker-panel line that concludes in the faux air intake in the rear quarter panel. As the LC engine is up front, there is no need for a rear air intake, but we appreciate the deception, er, effort.

Forgotten Concept: Chrysler Phaeton

Maroon Lexus LC
2024 Lexus LC


The rear view might be the LC’s least flattering angle, as there’s a lot going on. But while we’re not usually fans of the “floating roof” look, it works well here. We love how the A-pillar floats over the car, appearing to be flexed, and under tension.


While we also find the convertible attractive, the coupe is more successful in our eyes. Kudos to designer Tadao Mori for creating a car that accommodates two Americans in easy comfort, looks like, or better than, a modern Ferrari, and doesn’t require $1000 oil changes.

Sure, the LC isn’t really a sports car, it’s a grand-touring coupe in the finest tradition, but it is fast, sure-handling, and the perfect car to take out on a fine sunny day. A bit of bad news: The LC has proven popular as a used car, so don’t expect to find any second-hand bargains. On the plus side, the LC is a Lexus, so it’s likely to be trouble free for many years.

Forgotten Concept: Panhard Dynavia

Lexus LC Pictures

(Click below for enlarged images)

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