Gilded luxury with a dash of exclusivity

The Lexus LC 500 is the Japanese brand’s latest and greatest grand tourer halo car, offered as a sharp, muscle-bound sports machine that acts as the spiritual successor to the high-tech Lexus LFA. First rolling off the production line in March of 2017, the Lexus is keeping the LC 500 fresh with a new Inspiration Series version, blessing the two-door with unique aesthetic treatments inside and out, highlighted by a bright yellow color scheme.

Update 02/11/2019: We’ve updated this review with fresh images of the 2019 Lexus LC500 Inspiration during our visit to the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. Check them out in the gallery at the bottom of the page!

Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series Exterior Styling

  • Unique Flare Yellow paint job, metallic finish
  • Carbon fiber roof
  • New lower grille insert
  • Standard 21-inch wheels, unique design
  • Identical exterior dimensions as the standard LC 500
2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
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Compared to its standard model equivalent, the 2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series’ biggest draw is its unique black and yellow color scheme.

To kick it off, the coupe’s exterior is draped in a new hue dubbed Flare Yellow, which gets a metallic finish to keep it looking frosty. We think this retina-searing color looks great with the LC 500’s piercing exterior design, and we think it does well to highlight the car’s various aesthetic features as well, following its curves and catching the light at just the right angles. For reference, the standard model is offered in a line of paint finishes that are nowhere near as exciting as that of the Inspiration Series, such as white, black, and silver. There is a bit of color in the lineup, like red and blue, but the Inspiration Series’ Flare Yellow is the best of the bunch by far.

To this, Lexus added a splash of composite goodness, including a new carbon fiber roof. There’s also a new lower grille insert, and together with the carbon roof, the yellow paint really pops off the panels.

2018 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Concept
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The wheels helps in this regard as well. Mounted in the corners, the Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series comes standard with large 21-inch wheels, which use a split-spoke design and come finished in high-gloss silver, offering a nice complement with the bright yellow paint. For reference, the standard LC 500 comes with 20-inch wheels, while 21-inch wheels are optional equipment.

As a side note, the 2019 Lexus LC 500 inspiration Series is unchanged with regards to exterior dimensions, which are listed below for your convenience.

2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series Exterior Dimensions

Overall Length 187.4 inches
Overall Width 75.6 inches
Overall Height 53 inches
Wheelbase 113 inches

Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series Interior Design

  • Standard touring seats
  • Yellow Alcantara door inserts
  • Yellow stitching throughout
  • Semi-aniline leather upholstery
  • Unique carbon door inserts, inscribed with limited series details
  • Comes with matching travel bag
2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
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Luckily, Lexus was also inclined to update the LC 500’s interior with this latest Inspiration Series vehicle.

Up front, drivers and passengers are held in place by standard touring seats, which find a nice balance between comfort and sportiness with sumptuous materials and decently sized lateral bolsters.

In terms of aesthetic updates, the Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series comes with unique door inserts finished in an exterior-matching shade of yellow Alcantara. Meanwhile, the seats get an offset shade of white semi-aniline leather upholstery plus yellow stitching, while additional yellow stitching can be found on the instrument panel, console, and glovebox.

For reference, the standard LC 500’s interior is offered in color schemes like white and blue, yellow, red and black, and black.

2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
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In continuation of the yellow on carbon exterior theme, each example of LC 500 Inspiration Series also comes with carbon fiber door sill that bear a unique inscription as a nod to the vehicle’s limited production status.

Each LC 500 Inspiration Series also comes with a matching leather travel bag, which carries the requisite Lexus branding, plus Flare Yellow lining and double yellow stitching. Gotta match, after all.

And don’t worry, the bag should fit nicely in back thanks to the LC 500’s 5.4 cubic-foot cargo capacity. Passenger capacity is once again capped at a max of four.

2019 Lexus LC 500 Interior Dimensions

Headroom (Front) 37.2 inches
Headroom (Rear) 32.2 inches
Legroom (Front) 42 inches
Legroom (Rear) 32.5 inches
Shoulder Room (Front) 56.5 inches
Shoulder Room (Rear) 49 inches
Hip Room (Front) 54.1 inches
Hip Room (Rear) 43.7 inches

Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series Drivetrain And Performance

  • Naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8
  • 471 horsepower at 7,100 rpm
  • 398 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm
  • 7,300 rpm redline
  • 10-speed automatic transmission, RWD
  • 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds
  • Top speed of 168 mph
  • Suspension unchanged from standard model
  • Steel and aluminum unibody
2018 Lexus LC 500
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Note: standard Lexus LC 500 pictured here.
Under the hood, the 2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series uses the same engine and drivetrain as the standard model.

That means you get a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 pumping out 471 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 398 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. Redline is set at 7,300 rpm.

Put your foot to the carpet, and the LC 500 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Keep your foot buried, and it’ll top out at 168 mph.

Taking up the task of cog swaps is a 10-speed automatic transmission, which directs output exclusively to the rear axle.

Unfortunately, Lexus won’t offer the Inspiration Series treatment on the hybrid version of the Lexus LC 500, a.k.a. the Lexus LC 500h. For reference, the hybrid LC 500 produces 354 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 370 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Meanwhile, fuel returns get a bump to 35 mpg, while the run to 60 mph taking a few extra tenths at 4.7 seconds.

2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
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As for the underpinnings, the Lexus LC 500 uses a double-joint multilink with forged aluminum components and coil springs in front, while the rear utilizes an independent double-joint multilink, also with forged aluminum components and coils springs.

To haul it down, the Lexus LC 500 gets six-pot aluminum calipers matched to 15.7-inch ventilated discs in front, plus four-pot monoblock calipers in the rear matched to 14.1-inch discs. Under the skin, there’s a welded steel and aluminum unibody.

No word on how much the Inspiration Series’ carbon fiber exterior upgrades help with overall curb weight, but we’re guessing the new composites don’t cut much from the standard model’s 4,280 pounds - or at least not enough for Lexus to brag about, anyway.

2019 Lexus LC 500 Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 5.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 471 HP @ 7,100 RPM
Torque 398 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Transmission 10-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 16/26/19
Weight 4,280 Lbs
0 to 60 mph 4.4 seconds
Top Speed 168 mph

Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series Prices

2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
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Lexus will limit production of the Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series to just 100 units. Sales will commence in April of 2019. Pricing starts at $106,210. Look for an official public debut at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.

For reference, the standard LC 500 starts at $92,300, which means the unique paint, carbon fiber roof, updated interior, and limited production status add an extra $13,910 to the LC 500’s original MSRP.

It’s also worth mentioning that the hybrid LC 500 (a.k.a. the LC 500h) starts at $96,510.

Other options in this space include the BMW 6 Series and Mercedes-Benz S550.

Final Thoughts

2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series
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The 2019 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series follows hot on the heels of the LC Inspiration concept that dropped at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August of 2018, and it would appear as though this production version is more or less identical in terms of aesthetics (outside of the standard wheel design, that is). And that’s a good thing.

This will be the third iteration of the Inspiration Series from Lexus, with previous iterations also including a limited-run version of the LX SUV. Framed as a “unique mix of colors and features that build on the coupe’s stunning design,” the LC 500 Inspiration Series looks like a far better application of the brand’s limited series sauce compared to the previous SUV.

The bright yellow paint is a perfect fit for the LC’s striking exterior, and the interior stuff is nice as well. And while a few extra ponies would have been nice (well of course we want a few extra ponies), we know it’s a bit of a stretch in this space. The only real issue we have is the price - is nearly $14,000 over the base price really worth it? We’re not convinced, and yet, we just can’t stop staring…

  • Leave it
    • No performance upgrades
    • Pretty expensive

Further Reading

2018 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Concept Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Concept.

2018 Lexus LC 500 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LC 500.

Lexus is bringing some heat to the 2019 Chicago Auto Show with the first public appearance of the 2019 LC 500 Inspiration Edition. The third vehicle in the Lexus Inspiration Series, this LC 500 is a limited-edition model that features a unique mix of colors and features that build on the coupe’s stunning design.

All 2019 LC 500 Inspiration Series coupes feature vibrant Flare Yellow paint, a rich, metallic shade of yellow that’s eye catching from a distance, yet subtly handsome up close where the deep layers of paint highlight every crease in the sheetmetal. Standard 21-inch wheels and tires give this LC the perfect stance while the carbon fiber roof and lower grille insert add just the right amount of contrast.

The interior of the LC Inspiration Series also gets several unique design elements. Bespoke Yellow door inserts made of Alcantara connect the exterior to the cabin while the standard touring seats feature semi-aniline leather with yellow stitching. That same stitching is also used on the instrument panel, console and glovebox to give the entire cabin a one-of-a-kind look.

It’s not exactly a one-of-a-kind look, however, as there will be a total of 100 of these LC 500 Inspiration Series cars produced. An inscription on the carbon fiber door sills marks each car as part of this exclusive production run and each car will come with a matching leather Lexus garment bag that folds into a spacious travel bag. Flare Yellow lining highlights the inside panels, and double yellow stitching adorns the top hem which makes it a perfect complement for a weekend getaway in this new LC.

The LC Inspiration Series is powered by the same 5.0-liter, normally aspirated V8 found in every LC 500 coupe. It sends 471-horsepower to the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission, a setup that is capable of delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds.

The 2019 LC 500 Inspiration Series will go on sale in April starting at $106,210 not including destination.

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