It goes without saying that the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible, expected to be on sale at a Lexus dealership near you this summer, is an absolute stunner. Have you seen the photos?
But the true beauty of the latest addition to the LC family runs far more than sheet metal deep. Here are seven attributes about this droptop coupe that make it just as exceptional on the inside as it is on the outside.
A unique athletic identity — Toyota’s engineers didn’t simply chop the hard top off the LC 500 Coupe and replace it with one that opens to the elements. Extensive evaluation and analysis led to numerous modifications to the underlying platform to deliver a driving character that stands on its own. Of utmost important was finding ways to enhance structural rigidity through such innovations as a new Torsion box at the rear of the vehicle, beefier suspension and chassis braces, laser screw welding and the use of high-tensile-strength steel throughout. Suspension components have also been retuned, un-sprung weight reduced and the LC’s Adaptive Variable Suspension optimized to balance ride comfort with sharp handling.
A soft top inspired by Japanese calligraphy — The LC Convertible’s soft-top folding mechanism is an engineering marvel. With the push of a single button, it can be opened in about 15 seconds and closed in around 16 seconds — even while the car is traveling at speeds up to 31 mph. Its elegant and seamless hydraulic mechanism emulates the three-step movement of Japanese calligraphy: ink brush to paper; movement to the right; the stopping of the ink brush. Roof links and brackets made of premium magnesium and aluminum help reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s overall center of gravity. And the soft top itself — offered in either Black or Sand colors — is comprised of four layers of fabric, including one that aims to absorb exterior road noise.
Lexus Climate Concierge — Popping the top on the LC Convertible in good weather is a no brainer. But what if conditions are less than ideal? This Lexus Climate Concierge has you covered with upper body heating that automatically manages the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater to ensure the cabin remains comfortable. This system can even direct warm or cold air to the back of the driver’s hands as they grip the steering wheel. Meanwhile, the cabin design — as well as standard transparent polycarbonate wind deflector (for low-speed travel) and windscreen (for high-speed travel) — helps to suppress wind. Pair that with Active Noise Control and driver and passenger can easily carry on a conversation with the top down in city or freeway driving.
A beauty and a beast — Amid all of this technical and aesthetic beauty it would be easy to overlook that the LC Convertible, like its coupe sibling, is still a performance car. Its naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine is rated to produce 471 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. Mate that with a Direct-Shift 10-speed automatic transmission and this baby can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. And its maximum track speed is electronically limited to 168 mph. Yeah, that should do the trick.
Full blown multimedia connectivity — Though interior cabin space with a vehicle like this is always at a premium, the LC Convertible splurges with a 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display as the primary interface with audio and climate controls and other systems, including voice-activated navigation. And you can choose among Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or Amazon Alexa for the digital device integration that best suits your needs and wants. Going one step further, everyone who purchases an LC Convertible gets one-year subscriptions to Lexus Enform Remote (that lets you control various vehicle functions remotely via a digital device) and a three-year trial of Lexus Enform Destination Assist (that acts as an in-vehicle personal concierge with destinations and directions delivered by a live agent).
Lexus Safety System+ and then some — The LC Convertible comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Intelligent High Beams. But it goes further, matching the LC Coupe with Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. And, unique to this vehicle are its active roll bars designed to deploy upward when a rollover is detected.
The limited Inspiration Series — Looking for the ultimate in exclusivity? Lexus plans to give just 100 of its LC Convertibles the full Inspiration Series treatment. You’ll spot them at a glance with their unique Structural Blue exterior paint and Bespoke Amalfi White semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior. Among the less obvious points of distinction are standard carbon-fiber door sill scuff plates, a 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system with an 11-channel 918-watt amplifier, a limited slip rear differential and a rear performance rod with damper. Word of warning to your bank account: a unique, one-of-one was auctioned off in January for $2 million, split evenly between the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Those looking to secure one of the 100 won’t need to fork out that much, fortunately, as these Inspiration Series have a manufacturer suggested retail price of $119,800.
Want to know more? Check out the full press release on the Lexus Newsroom.
By Dan Miller