We’re not in the business of summarizing cars in single words, but Lexus’s LC500 coupe makes it tempting to try: It’s squishy. Maybe that isn’t the word Lexus would prefer, but the curvaceous body does look as if it was squished into being, the V-8 engine thrusts the car forward in squishy smoothness, and the ride quality is oh so squishy.
For 2019, Lexus has made the LC500 even softer, retuning the adaptive dampers to deliver an even more buttery ride. The automaker also ironed out the at-times untoward gear change behavior we experienced from the 10-speed automatic transmission in our test of a 2018 LC500. Wisely, Lexus left the drop-dead styling alone inside and out, though we wish it had addressed the car’s one major failing: the finicky touchpad controller (it works like the pad on a laptop) for the dashboard infotainment screen.
Not only does the LC500 ride beautifully in its default Comfort drive mode, in which the electronically adjustable dampers are at their most compliant, it drives with a more straightforward demeanor overall. Without weird inputs from the rear wheels while turning, the LC simply changes direction as effortlessly and deliberately as it cruises in a straight line. This remains a decidedly un-sporty car, with well-isolated steering and moderate lean in corners.
The only spicy aspect of the entire driving experience is the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8. Lacking turbocharging and the oft-accompanying surge of low-down torque, the LC wafts up to speed on a wave of ever-increasing thrust. Drop the hammer when the light turns green and the Lexus feels light on torque.
We’re willing to trade outright track performance for added comfort in the LC, though we wish the drop-off in grip weren’t so drastic. But few if any LC500 owners will take their coupes to the racetrack for a day of hot lapping. (We did, at our 2017 Lightning Lap track test, and the activity clearly didn’t suit the Lexus.) When it comes to the LC, simply sit back, relax, and enjoy this modern-day personal luxury coupe.
Forty years ago, this smooth operator probably would have had opera windows and a vinyl roof, maybe an eight-track player. Today, it’s an edgy knockout, a concept car that somehow escaped the auto-show stand and went directly on sale to the public. Its eye-catching looks haven’t softened in the two years since it debuted, but we can confirm that, for 2019, it is a little squishier. That’s just how it should be, and it’s great news for the upcoming convertible model.