Meet my current dream machine. The "if I had all the money in the world, I'd buy..." car. I am, as I may have said on-air before, a beauty addict. It's why I love living in Northern California. Beauty surrounds us. And for my money, the Lexus LC500h is the most beautiful car on the market today. This is the kind of car that people stop and stare at. I came outside on Monday to find a neighbor I've never met before standing in my driveway in alternating states of awe and bliss. I have a new friend now. We bonded over the LC500h.
Part of it is the LC's rarity. So far, there are only about 3,000 of them out there after two years in production.
But most of it is the styling. I mean just look at it----low, long and lithe. This is just a spectacular design. It looks like it could punch a hole in the sound barrier. And, yes, it is fast. But it's also gentler to the environment than most high-performance cars.
That's because the Lexus LC500h is a hybrid. That's right---like a Prius. Sorta. In this case, the combination of a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine and an electric motor makes 354 horsepower, and gets you from standing still to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds so---not like a Prius, at all. But yes, like a Prius in the sense that it gets remarkably good gas mileage for a performance car (an EPA-estimated 27 city/35 highway), and is capable of operating purely on electricity for short periods of time, during which you are consuming no fuel whatsoever and putting not a single particle of pollutants into the air.
There is a non-hybrid LC500, with a 471-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. But I'd rather have the LC500h. Yes, the gasoline version is quicker, but only barely (4.4 seconds to 60 vs. 4.7 for the hybrid), and it's a lot thirstier (the EPA fuel economy estimate plummets to 16 city/25 highway). And it's loud. A good loud, yes---but there's a quiet, effortless whisper to the LC500h that, combined with the close-enough performance numbers and the major improvement in fuel economy, appeals to me. Your mileage (literally) may vary.
As you've probably guessed, none of this comes cheap. $97,460 is the base price for the 2020 Lexus LC500h. And it comes spectacularly well-equipped:
- Multi-stage transmission with steering wheel-mounted magnesium paddle shifters.
- 20-inch, ten-spoke forged alloy wheels with run-flat tires.
- Performance brakes with aluminum calipers and high-friction pads.
- Adaptive variable suspension.
- Lexus Safety System+.
- Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
- All-speed dynamic radar cruise control.
- Intelligent high-beam headlamps.
- Lane keep assist with steering assist and lane departure alert.
- Smart stop technology.
- SmartAccess entry system with pushbutton start/stop.
- Backup camera with dynamic gridlines.
- Triple-beam LED headlamps and daytime running lights.
- Heated and ventilated leather-trimmed ten-way power adjustable front seats.
- Power tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio controls, memory and cruise control.
- Power-folding, auto-dimming heated outside mirrors.
- Auto-dimming inside mirror.
- Auto dual-zone climate control with pollen filter.
- Glass roof with sunshade.
- Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
- Apple CarPlay compatible.
- Voice command and Dynamic voice command.
- Navigation with 10.3-inch display.
- Lexus Enform Dynamic Navigation (up to three year trial)
- Lexus Enform 4GB Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Lexus Enform Smart Watch and Alexa skill integration.
- Lexus Enform destination assist (one year trial).
- Lexus Enform app suite 2.0 (Amazon Alexa compatible).
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio (three month trial).
- Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect (included for the first 10 years of ownership)
- 12-speaker premium sound system with two USB and one AUX port, a single-disc CD player and Bluetooth.
- First aid kit.
- Carpeted floor mats.
The test vehicle also had some extra-cost options:
- 21-inch forged wheels ($1,440).
- Head-up display ($900).
- Mark Levinson 13-speaker premium surround sound audio system ($1,220).
- Premium Flare Yellow paint ($500).
- Sport Package with glass roof, eight-way power front seats with Alcantara inserts. ($1,400).
With $1,025 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line on the window sticker reads $104,540.
Some might call that an outrage. I call it an incentive to get rich.