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Coupe of the Year 2018: Lexus LC

The Lexus LC is the 2018 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the Audi A5 and Porsche 718 Cayman commended

When Lexus revealed the LF-LC concept at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show, few people thought the coupe would make it to production looking that good – us included. Surely Lexus wouldn’t be brave enough to bring out such a bold production car?

Rarely are we so happy to be that wrong. The Lexus LC is every bit as special to look at as its concept, and to drive one is just the same.

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We love the hi-tech approach to making a hybrid powertrain and CVT gearbox work well, offering efficiency and smooth cruising in this luxury two-door coupe, as well as strong performance. But if speed is what you’re after, the V8 model should be your pick. The bellowing engine is a joy to drive, revving hard and with a wonderful howl. Even the transmission delivers quick enough shifts, while at a more sedate pace the Lexus is a consummate cruiser.

The handling is a delight, too, with plenty of grip and poise. There’s also a fair amount of comfort and refinement on the motorway, confirming the LC’s credentials as a grand tourer. Around town the composed ride and V6 hybrid mean you’ll even be able to get under way using electric power alone, while the boost from the battery and motors provides assistance when it’s needed.

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As with all Lexus models, the quality of the car is outstanding inside and out. The only slight drawback is the infotainment. That’s a shame, because with a better system the Lexus would be even more impressive overall.

The LC uses lessons learned from the LFA supercar and is one of Lexus’s best-driving models ever. Yet its 2+2 layout, sumptuous cabin and roomy boot make it nearly as usable as an IS saloon. 

Our choice

Lexus LC 500h (£76,595)

The hybrid LC will be a wise choice for most owners, because it has plenty of performance, despite claimed economy of 44.1mpg. It still handles beautifully, too. However, the V8 model is the same price to buy, and its powertrain will excite enthusiasts much more. 

Commended 

Audi A5

Audi A5 Coupe - front

Thehandsome two-door A5 follows the same template as its successful predecessor by providing similarly sleek lines and a surprising level of practicality. Also, as we’ve come to expect from Audi, its interior simply oozes premium appeal and features a range of the latest technology.

Porsche 718 Cayman

Porsche 718 Cayman 2016 - front cornering

For keen drivers, coupes don’t come much more exciting than the Porsche 718 Cayman. Although the engines have lost some of their character, they’re ruthlessly effective, delivering huge straight-line performance. Factor in a sublime chassis and the Cayman is still a top choice.

Auto Express New Car Awards 2018

For complete, in-depth coverage of the 2018 New Car Awards, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now or click here to subscribe...

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