Last Valentine's Day we fell in love. No, not with that one Instagram model we constantly stalk, but with Lexus' latest rear-wheel drive sports coupe known as the LC 500. Fast-forward eight months and 2017 is nearly over. But we can guarantee you there hasn't been a sexier sports car to hit showroom floors this year than Lexus' new flagship.
Its modern design makes it an automatic looker from the get-go, with features like futuristic LED headlights, three-dimensional tails, and Lexus' signature spindle front grille. The rear end is also pretty wide and aggressive while the roofline hangs quite low. Power is on point, too, thanks to a muscular 471hp 5.0L V-8 — similar to what we're familiar with from the RC F and GS F.
Unfortunately, with a starting price tag of $92,000, there aren't many of us who can simply drop a $13,000 down and make $1,200 a month lease payments (help us, we're poor!) The LC 500 is targeted at the wealthy and wise - the 50-plus crowd. Lucky for us, we still have some friends in high places to at least get behind the wheel again, even if we can't claim to own one.
Gordon Ting of Lexus Tuned has built quite the resume of Lexus project cars, for example, a trio of RCs. He's also been kind enough to let us drive 'em whenever we ask really nicely and are prepared to sign our lives away, for example, during last August's 400-mile Targa Trophy rally from LA to Las Vegas.
The LC 500 he loaned us is equipped with an Artisan Spirits lip kit and Volk Racing G27 Progressive Model wheels from Japan, plus Falken Azenis FK510 tires. There's not a lot of aftermarket support for the LC and this project car doesn't check all the boxes we're accustomed to, but we have to admit it was just enough to change this LC's persona from being grandpa's Sunday morning cruiser to a rally-ready doozer (okay, that was corny).
We'd like to thank Gordon for trusting us year after year with his newborns. We also have to thank our co-driver, Formula DRIFT champion, Dai Yoshihara, plus Jess Harbour, Sandra Wong, and Karina Velez for keeping us company and repping the latest Super Street Garage apparel (shameless plug).
The next stop for this LC is SEMA, where you might not even recognize it with all the changes Gordon has in store for it. And who knows, maybe we'll be taking it on another adventure next year — fingers crossed!