2018 LC500 gives Lexus brand a makeover

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The 2018 Lexus LC500 has become the car manufacturer's attempt to reestablish itself as an upscale brand with style. (KABC)

You may see a sleek new coupe on the road soon. It's long, it's low and some might be surprised to find that it's a Lexus.

The 2018 LC500 is a new flagship for the Lexus brand, but at a price that can top $100,000 with options, it isn't for everyone.

Though it can't carry more than two people with its small back seat, its shape attracts attention, which is exactly what a car brand's flagship is supposed to do.

It's not the first time Lexus has done this.

Six years ago, Lexus revealed a crazy-fast, crazy-expensive supercar called the LFA. It was nearly $400,000 and was in very limited production, but it garnered plenty of attention.

The LC500 is meant to get noticed too, but also be attainable to more people. Its design - from the Lexus studio in Newport Beach - is part of a style makeover for the entire brand.

This new Lexus coupe is also available as a hybrid, the LC500h. It features a V6 engine, plus battery power. It's an alternative to the V8 base engine for an extra $4,500 over the regular LC500's base price of $92,000.

The LC500h still performs very well, yet has impressive fuel economy. While the LC500 garners a respectable EPA rating of 16 city and 26 highway miles per gallon, the LC500h tops that by a good margin, with figures of 26 city and 35 highway.

An upscale automaker having hybrid power in its flagship is a growing trend. The Acura NSX supercar is hybrid only; there is no non-hybrid version. The eye-catching BMW i8 is not just a hybrid, but a plug-in hybrid.

For the ultimate in hybrid flagships, Porsche recently created the limited edition 918 Spyder. It sold out almost immediately, even with a price tag of more than $800,000.

The new Lexus LC pushes a lot of buttons. It's attractive, it performs and it's available with energy-conscious hybrid power. Now it just has to push the buttons of potential Lexus customers, who may still think the company only builds "boring" cars.


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