Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Automotive Aphrodisiac

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Automotive Aphrodisiac

Article excerpt

Suddenly Lexus has emerged from the cocoon of boredom.

It's like the designers walked out of the CWA meeting and straight into a strip joint. The car brand with a reputation for quality, longevity and prudence can now add downright sexy and excitement to the resume.

Sexy is almost an understatement when it comes to the LC500. This is blood-pumping stuff at standstill.

The marque, along with mainstream underling Toyota, has recognised things have been stale in the past. Wow, what a way to break the design shackles.

There were signs of improvement when the RC coupe was released, but the LC raises the bar in spectacular fashion.

Heads turn in unison when the V8 petrol engine barks. The long bonnet, short overhangs front and back, low roof, flared wheel arches ... it all combines for a compelling package.

What's the price of spectacular? In this case it's $190,000 plus on-roads - not a bad deal when stacked up against other flagships like the Audi R8, BMW i8 or Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe in the $200,000 realm.

VALUE

Refinement and craftsmanship resonate throughout the leather-clad cabin. From the minute "in-stitching" on the gear shifter to the compact steering wheel and millimetre-perfect coverage around the door handle, it's an enveloping environment.

Standard equipment is befitting illustrious expectations, and it starts with the external door handles which pop out from the doors when you hit unlock on the key fob. Also standard are LED lighting, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, shiny forged 21-inch alloy wheels, 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, as well as heated and ventilated front seats with 12-way power adjustment.

There is even space in the console and cup holders, and our only complaint within a sumptuous interior was the Lexus multimedia system.

While there's no issue with the satnav or menus, the remote touch feature is cumbersome and slow. Operating with a mouse-style operation, it lacks simplicity and fails where the European dial systems excel.

There is a minimalist approach on the dash, which means accessing controls like the seat heaters can take some analysis rather than just hitting a button. …

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