It was an absolute beast on the open road. Picture: Wilson Smith.
It was an absolute beast on the open road. Picture: Wilson Smith.

Craziest feature of $199K Lexus

A SECOND staff member joined her colleague at the service window and shot me a seductive smile after closely examining my ride, clearly not perplexed about why a man driving a $199K sports car was spending less than $10 for breakfast at a Hungry Jack's drive-through.

By the time my order arrived it was clear she was flirting with me, only I wasn't getting involved because I had the distinct feeling she only liked me for my wheels.

That and my missus would have my balls.

The car I was driving was the Lexus LC 500, which is the vehicle featured in the recent Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther - a fitting choice given its futuristic design and feel.

Lexus has designed the car low and long with short overhangs, a tapered midsection and an aggressively-flared rear end.

The spindle grille mimics the face of an electric razor and makes for a futuristic look that brings attention to the graceful lines running over the perfectly proportioned cabin.

In addition to the sleek vents on the side of the vehicle, the LC 500 has a number of other classy touches including the flush door handles, 53cm forged wheels and infinity-mirror tail-lights.

While the exterior is more than enough to attract the attention of babes from Hungry Jacks, the interior of the LC 500 was where things really stood out.

The car has beautiful hand-finished leather liberally applied to the dash, doors, and console, while the solid aluminium switchgear, heated and cooled power adjustable front seats and featherweight magnesium paddle shifters make for a comfortable and stylish ride.

Lexus replaced the bulky joystick operation it had previously been criticised for, instead adding a haptic laptop-style mousepad that controls the 26cm high-resolution split-screen multi-information display that provides access to things like audio, climate controls and navigation.

Designed to mimic smartphone operations, the touchpad responds to pinch, swipe and flick gestures, although it's not the easiest to use when not stationary.

The 20cm digital adaptive meter with movable interface displays vital performance information such as engine and road speed, but the real hero of the ride is the full-colour heads-up display.

The HUD projects a range of essential navigation, safety and performance info directly on to the windshield in front of the driver - it almost looks like a hologram on your bonnet.

The Head-Up Display is the best feature of the entire car.
The Head-Up Display is the best feature of the entire car.

When driving the LC 500, I felt it was almost a necessity that I blast gangster rap belligerently loud using the 12-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, which offered an immersive surround-sound experience and when combined with my sleeve tattoos and gold watch probably made me look like someone that people call for "beers" in Sydney.

Sadly the rear seats are too tight to fit anything other than a child, pet or small adult and the boot is not much better, although lets hope you're not using the boot for any of the aforementioned groups.

The car gets a lot of attention when driving and is equally as fun to show to your rugby league team when you are boasting that you are essentially the real-life homeboy from Wakanda - Yeah the Kings.

The LC 500 I was lucky enough to drive for the week. Picture: Wilson Smith
The LC 500 I was lucky enough to drive for the week. Picture: Wilson Smith


Lexus has introduced a 10-speed automatic transmission, which is powered by the 471 horsepower 5.0-litre V8 engine capable of 0 - 100 in 4.4 seconds

The LC offers five drive modes, which range from the fuel efficient ECO setting to the SPORT+ option which recalibrates suspension and steering, enhances handling and allows you to go closer to the performance limit.

While ECO might be good for the city, driving a $199K car in Sydney's streets is not so enjoyable - I was about as anxious as Schapelle Corby on a round-the-world surf trip.

When you get out of the city and get to give the car a nudge, the vibrant engine sounds are enhanced by special sound-control valves in the exhaust that activate during start-up, at standstill and full throttle.

The mesmerising engine sound is also routed directly to the cabin through the firewall, which acts similar to noise cancelling headphones.

Adaptive Variable Suspension allows you to vary shock absorber response through 650 different levels, which helps maintain a comfortable ride and handling stability.

The vehicles 1935kg kerb weight might be a little on the heavy side, but the car is more than capable at handling winding roads with a surprising level of agility.

And while speed limits were obviously followed during my testing, if a country road out near Berry was hypothetically used to get the car to 200km/h, it definitely wouldn't feel like you were driving that fast, with the car never losing control or comfort.

It's like the Jennifer Aniston of cars. Picture: Wilson Smith
It's like the Jennifer Aniston of cars. Picture: Wilson Smith


I am going to level with you, I am more of a bicycle guy who enjoys living inner-city and being able to quickly cycle everywhere I need to get.

And while driving the LC 500 for a week was probably the most fun I have ever had in a vehicle, it created high levels of stress due to its hefty price tag.

In saying that, if I was to ever get off my pleb journalism wage and had enough money to not care about dropping $199,000 on a car, you would most def catch me riding in style in this car that handles as good as it looks.

Sorry footy boys - and my girl at Hungry Jacks - you will only see me on the pushy ... for now.


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