The Lexus LC 500 Convertible Lets You Hear Its V-8 More Clearly
The LC 500 coupe is perhaps the best car Lexus makes. Utterly gorgeous, with a nicely balanced chassis, a fabulous interior, and a high-revving naturally aspirated V-8. It’s a hell of a GT car, and now, its losing its roof. Say hello to the LC 500 Convertible, which makes its debut today before the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The fabric top folds down in 15 seconds to let you hear the LC’s 5.0-liter V-8 even better. The engine remains unchanged, with its 471-hp power peak arriving at 7100 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 4800 rpm. As before, power gets to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox.
Lexus engineers made chassis changes to the LC to help maintain some of the coupe’s structural rigidity. New, lighter suspension components were developed for the 2020 LC coupe and that hardware is carried over to the convertible.
Fumihiko Hazama, assistant chief engineer for the LC, told Road & Track that subtle changes were made to give the Convertible different driving dynamics than the coupe. Steering response was changed to be a little lighter off center, and even brake pad material was changed for slightly different pedal feel. To that end, the rear-wheel steering available with the coupe isn’t an option for the Convertible.
Unfortunately, the LC 500 coupe isn’t a lightweight at 4280 pounds, while the Convertible weighs in at nearly 4500 pounds. Then again, the LC isn’t really a sports car, so this shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
In person, the convertible offers all the visual drama of the coupe, especially with the top down. Hazama-san told R&T that the four-layer construction of the top helps maintain a smooth profile with the roof up. Overall, the LC Convertible is around 5mm taller than the coupe, and the trunk has a slightly more pronounced kick at the end to maintain downforce levels.
Interestingly, the LC Convertible offers a totally automatic climate-control system that even manages the seat, steering-wheel, and neck heaters both top up or top down. Other than the addition of those neck heaters, the interior of the LC Convertible is much the same as the coupe. A small polycarbonate wind deflector, active noise cancellation, and the kicked up beltline all help reduce wind noise and buffeting with the top down.
There’s a quite nautical white-and-blue color scheme that’ll come with 100 “Inspiration-Series” LC 500 Convertibles Lexus plans on building (which you can see here). The special-edition is painted in a unique color called Structural Blue, and the top fabric is blue as well. For regular LC Convertibles, you can have your top in either black or beige.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, so you can expect that information to be available closer to when the car launches next Summer. We guess MSRP will be somewhere in the low $100,000 range. And if for some reason you want your LC Convertible with the V-6 hybrid drivetrain from the 500h, keep waiting—Lexus will only offer this car with a V-8. There’s no room for batteries.
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