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A convertible and a comfy V8 coupe... meet the outliers of the group

Stephen Dobie
On-paper stats only tell half the story. On paper, we have two cars sharing 18 cylinders and 800kW. They couldn’t be any riper for appearing at Speed Week. Yet there’s something novel about each of them being here. The Lexus LC500 and Audi R8 V10 Plus Spyder have all the ingredients of cars that could monster this test, but the recipes they follow mark them as outcasts in the pit lane. I’m here to tell you why they’re not.

Bringing a 1.9-tonne Lexus coupe to a track day with a GT3 in its midst very much fulfils the knife to a gunfight cliche. Only forget “knife”; the LC500 is more like a Hattori Hanzo sword. Same imbalance, just more beguilingly crafted. It’s just so sculptured. Once everyone’s had their fill of the Ford GT’s bewitching aero, this is the car they all want to pore over. Pick an angle, any angle, and it’s easy to lose unhelpfully large portions of our tightly packed schedule just gawping at the thing. Even Lexus’s own LFA might struggle for attention alongside it.

That’s before you’ve climbed inside, which is another five minutes of the day, gone forever. Lexus has tried lots of quirky features over the years, but the bits that work really work. The LC’s dial references the LFA’s, a TFT display mishmashed with beautiful craftsmanship, while you twiddle between the car’s drive modes (or loosen the ESP) via a knurled dial curiously placed above the instrument cowl.

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December 2017