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Long road trip-casual observations (Long)

LC Model (2018)

Long road trip-casual observations (Long)

Old 07-17-17, 01:46 PM
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Default Long road trip-casual observations (Long)

Just got back. Drove (with frequent stops) from Portland to: Reno-Las Vegas-Zion N.P.-Arches N.P.-Salt Lake City-Portland. (About 2660 miles)

Frankly, beyond having a great time with my wife for week, I’m not sure which part was better; the drive in our new Infared LC or the locations we visited.

The Locations:

Driving through mountain forested central Oregon, California and Nevada deserts past rivers and lakes imbues you with the spirit of scenic America. (Cue Dina Shore)

Reno was just an overnight. On to 114° Las Vegas where we saw two great shows: Frankie Moreno at the Golden Nugget and Zumanity at New York New York. Both are for adults who love to laugh and hear hits (some rockabilly) from ‘60s through today. Prudes may not like Zumanity and sensitive ears require protection at Frankie Moreno’s show, the fabulous sound system is loud. I’d skip the buffets; the restaurants are clearly better quality without the temptation that may cause your picture to appear in the dictionary next to the word glutton.

I criticize people who misuse the word “awesome” (as well as other California like valley speak), Notwithstanding, Zion and Arches National Parks among others, define the very essence of that adjective. There are many places in the world to visit, Zion, Bryce and Arches should be among them. As an aside, we skipped the more direct route from Zion to Arches I70 to US 191 and drove a bit longer to Rt 128 and followed the Colorado River to Moab. The scenery was spectacular. The road back home was both thrilling and boring, long stretches of 85mph cruise control with canyon carving that seemed too brief.

The LC:

With 230 miles on the ODO, a full tank, fluids and tire pressure at spec, clothes in the trunk and mini coolers and camera gear in the back seat the car harrumphed to attention and stepped smartly onto I5 south.

Sound is a combination of conversation, road noise (particularly on soon to be repaired asphalt) and music or news from the Mark Levinson stereo system. Since we like ‘60s music the cabin was frequently filled with the likes of Steppenwolf, Dusty Springfield and Frank Sinatra from my ITunes app.

The Alcantra sports seats are unusually supportive and sufficiently adjustable, though initially a bit firm. However; the headrests are a major point of discomfort. Though the styling matches the beauty of the interior, it only moves up and down a short distance resulting in sore neck muscles after a few hours. You can change the angle of the entire seat back, but not much relief.

The suspension, steering and tire combination were intentionally designed to provide a slot car like experience. After all, that’s why I purchased the car. But I found that a much more comfortable setting than “comfort” (think LS, if that were possible within the cost constraints) would have been nice on the long stretches. The LC requires constant attention to road changes.

Power was just about right, playing cat and mouse on two occasions. 40 miles outside Las Vegas it was back and forth with a 2016 LS 460L at 105-120 mph on clear unobstructed roads. On the Columbia River Gorge I84 near The Dalles, a new Dodge Demon and I played. He showed me his stuff when finally he rocketed passed me well in excess of 140. Sorry, but chicken on public roads for longer would have been foolish if not fatal.


The trunk is large enough for overnight bags and a few other small things, but retains too much heat. The fuel filler cap feels and functions well but the small plastic stand for the cap while refueling is poorly designed, the cap kept falling off. The infotainment touch pad, contrary to well publicized criticism works well— you simply have to understand and practice with it. The car provides an abundance of information, much of which requires steering wheel button or touch pad practice in order to ascertain when desired, (not unlike a new DSLR camera.) Auto bright lights illuminate well but turn on and off too quickly. Ingress and egress requires muscle and arm strength but not excessive. Exterior door handles look sleek and futuristic and work well, but I prefer the function of the older stationary kind. The windshield wipers and washer were yeoman like, but failed to clear all the bugs off the hot glass.

The miles seemed to pass in a blink. I averaged a remarkable 27 mpg; the car likes to cruise between 75-80 on flat road with greatest apparent efficiency at 1500 rpm.

Finally, the stares, gestures and remarks. If you are a shrinking violet, this is not the car for you. When around other people, an hour would not pass where another person or group didn’t give us the thumbs up, smiles or inquire about the car. A park ranger thought it was a Ferrari, a twin brother came over and gave me a fist bump, and most wanted to know how much it cost and how fast it went. In the scheme of things it’s still just a car, but then you only live once.
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Old 07-17-17, 03:09 PM
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The whole battery in the trunk was a huge mistake IMO. Heat, restricted fuse access, less trunk space, smaller fuel tank, etc. I don't think the supposed "better weigh distribution" was a good enough argument to do so. Not to mention needing a special battery with a vent tube ($$$).

Side note, my Huracan has better range than the LC on a full tank.
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Old 07-18-17, 03:25 PM
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Great write up. Did you get 27mpg in a V8 LC or Hybrid? I've gotten up to 24mpg in my V8 with highway driving.

Also I found my neck getting stiff with the touring seat headrest as well. I thought it was just me, but you've made me think that it's head rest angle/positioning. Longest trip I've done is about 3 hours.
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Old 07-19-17, 04:40 PM
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I have a V8. As I mentioned, I thought the 27 mpg was remarkable though my experience has been that this car clearly is more efficient at 65 in 10th than 35 in 3rd gear. Another curious thing about gearing. Whith no throttle down long hills the car would not maintain the highest gears resulting in a noticable increase in engine rpm. Shifting to (quasi) manual did allow 1 or 2 gear upshift but not to 10th.
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Old 07-19-17, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by OregonLC50 View Post
Another curious thing about gearing. Whith no throttle down long hills the car would not maintain the highest gears resulting in a noticable increase in engine rpm. Shifting to (quasi) manual did allow 1 or 2 gear upshift but not to 10th.
Couple of things might be at work. Were you in sport/sport+ mode? I think if you're in one of the sport modes, the tranny will hold onto lower gears even when coasting in the interest of responsiveness.

Not sure about the LC but some previous Lexus models would downshift to a lower gear if you used the brakes on a downgrade.
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