2021 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series: Great Color, Questionable Wing
If you’re looking for a sign that society is slowly gearing up to get ready to head in the general direction of normal, then take a look at the latest limited-run Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series. Shame about that wing, though.
For the record, we like most of what Lexus has done to the fifth LC500 Inspiration Series model. The aesthetic is fantastic: Obsidian black with matching forged-alloy wheels and a carbon-fiber roof on the outside, complemented by a black interior with saddle-tan inserts and trim. If you like your cabins on the dusky side, they don’t get a whole lot better looking than this.
The Inspiration Series car also gets the LC500’s optional limited-slip differential, which we consider a must-have, as well as a Yamaha rear performance bar, which damps those nearly-imperceptible distortions at the rear of the car. The LC500 enjoys other new-for-2021 performance enhancements, including new suspension pieces and lighter wheels which reduce unsprung weight by almost 22 pounds. Suspension travel has been adjusted, while a new “Active Cornering Assist” system slows the inner wheels in hard corners to reduce understeer.
And now we come to the part of the discussion we’ve been dreading: That ridiculous wing Lexus has stuck on the LC500’s trunk lid.
The inspiration (Ha! See what we did there?) for the wing is cool enough: Lexus engineers have been working with air race pilot Yoshihide Muroya on subtle ergonomic and aerodynamic improvements to his planes that helped him win the World Champion title in the 2017 Red Bull Air Race series. The aerodynamic work has been mutually beneficial, and one of the developments was the carbon-fiber wing seen on the 2021 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series. Its turned-down winglets create a vortex that smooths airflow at the back of the car.
Unfortunately, when bolted to the LC500’s rump, it looks like something you’d find on a twice-repainted Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by an underemployed community college student. At least in pictures. The wing might prove a little more palatable in three dimensions.
Wing aside, there’s a long list of things we love about the LC500, and its looks are right near the top. Its proportions and its shape are about as close as you can get to visual perfection. It certainly doesn’t need a nearly-six-foot wing bolted to its butt.
The good news is that Lexus will limit production of the 2021 LC500 Inspiration Series to 100 units, so your chance of seeing one is minimal. Fortunately, it seems the lovely new-for-2021 LC500 convertible rear-end remains unmolested. Let’s hope that remains the case.
Pricing for the 2021 LC500 Inspiration Series has not been announced, but the 2020 Inspiration Series was priced at $104,105, or around $10,000 more than the plain-Jane LC500. We assume the 2021 Inspiration Series car’s stick will be in the same ballpark. If there’s a no-cost wing-delete option, we’d be interested.
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