Lexus LC 500: The Lowdown on Upward Mobility By Cliff Leppke They say sex sells. It’s also expensive. One look at Lexus’ seductive LC-500 sports coupe could bankrupt several small nations. People will hock the family jewels in order to own this carnal beast. Lexus’ beguiling ride lists for $105,060, which includes a performance package with suede-like Alcantara headliner, 21-inch forged wheels and corner-carving rear-wheel steering. There’s more to the LC’s story than its wallet-fleecing price. Lexus offers V-8 powered hijinks, a carefully crafted interior and a capable chassis. Despite the LC’s carbon fiber roof, aluminum body panels, alloy hood and lightweight suspension pieces, it still weighs 4,378 lbs. Thus, it doesn’t tip toe on its wide rubber donuts. Yet, the LC-500 transports your imagination. Its style and substance turn Milwaukee’s Lincoln Memorial Drive into an Iberian Peninsula thriller. The pinch-waist exterior evokes a Dior New Look outfit. It pays homage to parent Toyota’s famous automated looms and their spindles. There’s a lots of exterior zigzag work and a bit of running mascara at the headlamps, yet the silhouette is comely, like a cello on steroids. Inside, the cabin is swathed in Alcantara. Upholstered dashboard pieces, expertly stitched and fitted, echo the car’s exterior motif. But you’ll want to drop a few pounds, like a Dior runway model, in order to relish the tight racing shell-like front seats. Drop in, the driver’s position is ideal. The rear perches are for luggage. Now, press the start button. A V-8 mill thunders to life. It crackles, too. Exhaust-system tricks embellish the engine’s siren song. Locate the silky 10-speed automatic transmission’s toggle-like shifter. Pull it leftward and then push it forward for reverse or aft for drive. You command 471 eager ponies corralled under a limbo-low hood. To exploit its power, investigate the instrument binnacle’s devilish horn-like stalks. The right one selects drive modes: eco, comfort, normal, sport and sport +. Just tap or twist this knurled protrusion and the LC goes from placid to hot rod. In +, the steering becomes twitchy. It also automatically performs deft race-car throttle blips that add aural excitement to velvety cog changes. This sexy thing is fast. It hits 60 mph in about 4.6 seconds. You witness this progress on a gimmicky motorized sliding vehicle speed and engine rev display. When moved to the right, you see a trip computer with small-font driving data. Another trick is the beautifully integrated infotainment screen. More than 10 inches of it flows from the instrument panel toward the right pillar. You ogle navigation, tunes data, an analogue-like clock and a quilted graphic above the trick glovebox. Some dashboard HVAC vents are hidden to complement the design. Brakes are good. Thick roof pillars and small side glass mean blind spots. Another myopic idea is the touchpad infotainment screen interface. This laptop like surface lets you wend your way through menus. There’s an acoustic donk and haptic feedback to help your fingers manipulate it. Several dedicated buttons and two thumbwheels let you summon common items without tapping the pad. Voice prompting is an alternative. Lexus, aware that they’ve buried too much stuff in the touchpad access, offers a concierge climate control setting. It automatically tweaks interior temp, routes air flow and chills or heats your backside. This vehicle rides on run-flat tires. Their stiff sidewalls permit short-distance travel despite punctures. They also impart a brittle ride, rattling several interior parts. One shaking offender is the center console’s sliding armrest. If you retract that rest, there’s a dual-purpose slot that’s too skimpy for a cup holder. There’s another dedicated cup-holding bin elsewhere. The tidy trunk is nicely carpeted with form-fitted panels. Even the underside of the parcel shelf is exquisitely tailored. Living the good life isn’t cheap. This Lexus, however, lets you choose a rambunctious romp or serenity now. The Lexus’ engine rpm in ‘normal,’ for example, is tame: 1,250 at 60 mph; 1,500 at 70 mph. That’s comfortable. For stress relief, engine-bay orthodontics (braces) prevent wiggles. You’ll squirm feeding it premium fuel, though. I observed 22 mpg overall. It’s EPA rated 16 city, 26 highway and 19 mpg combined. Lexus’ LC-500 might not knock a Porsche off its performance pedestal but it offers a wealth of sensual delights.