The Lexus LC is one of those cars on the market that suffers from a bad case of Rodney Dangerfield-itis: it don’t get no respect. In spite of a stunning design, rip-roaring naturally-aspirated V8 and sports-car-sharp handling, the car simply doesn’t move in the numbers it deserves to; in 2019, for example, Lexus sold just 1,219 of them in the United States — roughly one for every eight Porsche 911s sold here.
Rumor has it that Lexus has grand plans to pump up the LC — specifically, a twin-turbo V8 and other sporty bits for an eventual LC F. For now, though, we’ll have to content ourselves with the small-but-substantive changes the carmaker has made to the LC 500 and LC 500h for the 2021 model year.
The most consequential change for those of us who place importance on a car’s handling are changes to that should smooth and sharpen up the ride. Thanks to a revised suspension — it now boasts aluminum lower suspension arms, lighter hollow design suspension stabilizers and new high-strength coil spring material — and lighter 21-inch rear wheels, unsprung weight (one of the biggest enemies of good handling) has been cut by 22 pounds, while revised tuning for the front shock absorbers and rear stabilizers reduce the (already-minimal) bounciness while improving the driver’s connection to the road. Active Cornering Assist — a.k.a. brake-based torque vectoring — improves the handling even further.
Outside, two new paint colors have joined the roster: Cadmium Orange and Nori Green Pearl, the latter of which debuted on a limited-edition LC last year. If you can keep from grabbing those lighter 21-inch wheels, you can now opt for Dark Graphite-finished 20-inch forged alloys. Inside, in a move sure to make Levi’s aficionados happy, the Bespoke White leather trim option is out, while Flare Red leather replaces Rioja Red.
Of course, if you don’t necessarily have to have a brand-new LC, you can snap up lightly-used versions for way less than the refreshed 2021 model. Examples with less than 10,000 miles can commonly be found for below $75,000…though considering how few of them have been sold, you may have to travel a ways to get it.
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