Lexus wants to be taken seriously but it knows no one is going to spend $122,000 on one of its cars.
After proving it can sell volumes of luxury vehicles on par with Mercedes and BMW at no discount over its competitors, Lexus now finds itself at a crossroads. That’s because, although the automaker has done well to make a dent in the entry-level and mid-range luxury segment by wielding radical but stylishly designed vehicles, it lacks the pedigree of a top range luxury seller. Thanks to the LC, that may no longer be a problem for Lexus, but the prices released by the automaker show us that is still has a way to go.
The LC is important for Lexus because it ranks among a class of niche vehicles that serve as a brand ambassador but only make up a small percentage of sales. Mercedes has the S-Class Coupe and its line of SL grand tourers to do that job, and even though Lexus has the RC coupe for luxury buyers not burdened with friends or child care, it lacks a true luxury bruiser that goes toe to toe with its peers and makes the last step towards cementing itself as a high-end high-appeal brand among the general public. However, given that not many sane people would spend $122,000 (the starting price of the S-Class Coupe) on a Lexus, it has wisely priced its pick at a lower price point.
Both the V8 and hybrid variant of the LC start at less than $100,000, with the hybrid coming in at $96,510 and the V8-powered version starting at $92,000, excluding the $975 destination and handling charge for both vehicles. Coming standard is Lexus’ suite of safety features including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist/Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Intelligent High Beam. Optional are a limited-slip differential, a Mark Levinson sound system, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Intuitive Park Assist (IPA), Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Cold Area Package.
While the hybrid starts out pricier than its 5.0-liter V8 brother, options are much more expensive for the non-hybrid to help even out the price difference. The message from Lexus is clear: the hybrid is the one you should buy for the true Lexus experience. Options packages consist of the Touring Package, which sets the LC up for comfortable long-distance cruising, Sport Package with Glass to make the LC better in the corners, the Sport Package with Carbon, which replaces the glass roof with a carbon fiber roof, and a Performance Package with Carbon that features rear wheel steering for those who want to take things to the track. Expect the LC 500 and 500h to hit dealership lots in late 2017 as a 2018 model.