ComparisonsLexus LC: First Generation

Top Gear: Lexus LC 500 vs Maserati GranTurismo Sport vs Corvette Grand Sport

Lexus LC vs

Pat Devereux at Top Gear Magazine has put together a Chevy Corvette Grand Sport, a Maserati GranTurismo Sport, and the Lexus LC 500 for a very enjoyable comparison test:

There’s the distinctively gruff four-trumpet blare of the Corvette curling into a snarl as it heads towards the rev-limiter. The swirling, operatic tenor of the Maserati V8 filling in the middle and high notes. And then there’s a different, but equally mesmerising, V8 voice. It’s slightly buzzier, more controlled, smoother, zapping up through the gears. That must be the Lexus.

As the cars heave into view and crunch into the gravel-strewn car park, you’d be forgiven for wondering exactly what kind of test we are doing here. They are all two-door V8 coupes with around 455bhp, but that’s where the outward similarities end.

Lexus LC Top Gear

The description of the LC 500 driving experience is spot-on:

[The LC 500 has] a proper soul, which no one was expecting. It rustles into life quietly but then you stab the throttle and, hello, it wakes up and wants to play with you. Even being mated to a 10-speed transmission doesn’t mute or emasculate it. You change gear as much for fun as need for speed and can genuinely revel in its distinctive roar in the upper reaches. I mean, it even pops and burbles on the overrun like a proper V8 should.

Perhaps the biggest compliment you can give the engine is that it makes you want to outdrive the rest of the car. A couple of times, I was having so much fun screaming through the gears I had to have a word with myself that this is a 1935kg car riding on 245/21 fronts and 275/21 rears. I had to tell myself not to expect it to handle and stop like the racecar I’m imagining I’m in thanks to the engine. Think of it as a Japanese muscle car and drive it accordingly, and you won’t go far wrong.

Comments
Levi
It still is the best perfectly proportioned 4 seat coupe. It has real useful back seats. Still more desirable than any other GT, and only now upped by the LC.
Yeah. Assuming the coming update gives it a more modern roofline, the question becomes if it maintains those useful back seats.
P
Faisal Sheikh
I feel very happy for the LC500 that it is getting the appreciation it deserves.

On the flip side, I am an RCF owner as well, which makes me bitter because it was so incredibly underrated by the media. Considering, it put down lap times that were barely 1 second or less slower than the M4 (and in some cases matched them), yet it was dismissed as "too heavy" by reviews. Well, it is close to 350 lbs lighter than the LC500 so experience wise weight should be even less of an issue (does not seem to be an issue with the LC500) and driving dynamics wise, it is the most incredible driving experience I have had. It shrinks around the driver, the harder it is pushed. I feel lucky to own this car (I have driven many other sports cars over the years like E90 M3, AMGs, G37 coupe).

My rant notwithstanding, LC500 is an incredible car and glad it is getting all the recognition it should.

I agree, the RC F has got a bad rap from the media. It seems like the media often grab onto one issue (like being on the heavier side, or the famous complaint about Lexus' infotainment system) and they can't get by it. The media just like to complain. In the process they miss many of the strengths of the RC F; that engine is quick and it sounds great; you just can't beat the sound of an NA engine. Sure it's a little heavier, but when you look at lap times (when driven by expert track drivers) they are competitive and pretty damn good. As you know, a difference of a second is simply imperceptible even to regular lap driving enthusiasts. What's really important is that you love your RC F and that enthusiasm is likely to rub off on others. The RC F beats the LC on the track; actually, as I have stated before, the LC cannot sustain fast lap driving in S+ mode
Agreed. The high-revving engine was what made it a no-brainer for me. It revs so freely that it seems like there is no internal inertia in the engine despite being a 5.0 Liter. Many people said, I should seriously consider the M4, but it was not on the table for me because the engine/exhaust noise. I was actually in the market initially for a '13 E90 M3 sedan, but then switched to the RCF.

You hit the nail right on the head. RCF was putting good lap times down against the M4. Around the race track, RCF was closer in lap times to the M4 than ISF was to the E90/E92 M3. There were a few reviews that declared RCF the winner over the M4 saying the driving experience really makes the performance difference insignificant. Yet, subjectively 4000 lbs weight was used as an excuse to put it down. By the same token, Alpha Romeo, Camaro, C63 AMG, Mustang GT, RS5 all weigh 3800+ lbs.

I must admit, despite having the same engine, LC500 exhaust noise really makes me feel jealous of the LC500. The exhaust is so well tuned on the LC500. I wish we had the same exhaust system on RCF. Lots of induction/engine noise, but very little exhaust noise especially at high rpms.

PeterF
I agree, the RC F has got a bad rap from the media. It seems like the media often grab onto one issue (like being on the heavier side, or the famous complaint about Lexus' infotainment system) and they can't get by it. The media just like to complain. In the process they miss many of the strengths of the RC F; that engine is quick and it sounds great; you just can't beat the sound of an NA engine. Sure it's a little heavier, but when you look at lap times (when driven by expert track drivers) they are competitive and pretty damn good. As you know, a difference of a second is simply imperceptible even to regular lap driving enthusiasts. What's really important is that you love your RC F and that enthusiasm is likely to rub off on others. The RC F beats the LC on the track; actually, as I have stated before, the LC cannot sustain fast lap driving in S+ mode
P
Faisal Sheikh
I must admit, despite having the same engine, LC500 exhaust noise really makes me feel jealous of the LC500. The exhaust is so well tuned on the LC500. I wish we had the same exhaust system on RCF. Lots of induction/engine noise, but very little exhaust noise especially at high rpms.
You're right about the exhaust sound in the LC500; it's intoxicating. I happen to like the E92 M3 as well, but I think the RC F sounds better. The M3 is not nearly as reliable as well. I've driven the RC F but not too far. I loved the feel of the cabin and don't like the feel of the M3. a lot of complex things to consider
PeterF
You're right about the exhaust sound in the LC500; it's intoxicating. I happen to like the E92 M3 as well, but I think the RC F sounds better. The M3 is not nearly as reliable as well. I've driven the RC F but not too far. I loved the feel of the cabin and don't like the feel of the M3. a lot of complex things to consider
Yeah, the exhaust system on LC500 truly makes it sound like a million dollars. I was mostly serious about buying a 2013 E90 M3 because of the 4 doors and the high-revving V8. Once I saw a baby seat in the back of the RCF, I switched to RCF.

Having driven both, RCF handled (especially with my TVD version) better than the E90 m3, felt quicker and had more usable midrange torque. At high rpms, both felt equally dramatic and thrilling. Exterior and interior are more modern on the RCF.
wow
Finally amazing fair comparison

M
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