The Lexus LC 500 Coupe when it debuted, was the cornerstone in automotive design featuring the brand’s new design language. As the design has been slowly trickled down to the rest of its fleet, Lexus probably felt like they needed to push the design envelope again.
It is a blessing for us car enthusiasts that Lexus is still continuously raising the bar despite potential production woes, because they’ve just put out another stunner – the Lexus LC 500 Convertible.
Unsurprisingly, the LC 500 Convertible looks pretty much identical to the Coupe on first glance, other than the removal of its hard-top roof.
However upon closer inspection, the rear trunk is visibly lifted with a “kicked up” design, where the entire integrated ducktail spoiler has been broadened to emphasise the low-and-wide stance of the convertible.
Lexus has decided to opt for a soft top on the LC 500 Convertible. Made up of four layers, the soft top roof has been designed to retain the flowing roofline from the Coupe.
The frame of the roof is hidden underneath the fabric too, so as to not disrupt the overall shape, while the entire roof is tucked neatly under an integrated tonneau cover when retracted.
The roof takes 15 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close at speeds up to 50 km/h, while an animation on the instrument cluster shows its progress. The fabric for the roof has also been carefully selected to ensure optimal tension to prevent wrinkling, while improving the sound insulation inside the cabin.
On the topic of its interior, Lexus has made significant effort to maintain the luxurious ambiance of the cabin, even with the top down. The wrap-around body shape of the LC 500 Coupe, along with the transparent polycarbonate wind deflector helps restrict unwanted air from entering the cabin. An additional wind screen is also available to further reduce wind buffeting at higher speeds.
Other than physical sound insulation and absorption techniques, Lexus also utilises Active Noise Control to further suppress unwanted harshness within the cabin.
As with the Coupe, the entire cabin is still lined with premium materials all round, with a 10.3-inch split-screen multimedia display taking centre stage on the dashboard, which now supports Android Auto in addition to Apple CarPlay.
The Lexus Climate Concierge has also been upgraded to automatically adjust the temperature when the top is raised or lowered. Air blowers are designed to send cold or hot air to the steering wheel, while the seat and neck heaters ensure the cabin is at ideal temperature when the top is down.
Despite the removal of the roof, Lexus has made significant effort to maintain the driving characteristics of the Coupe. Chassis rigidity has been strengthened with the addition and relocation of various structural braces.
The suspension has also been tuned specifically for the LC 500 Convertible’s change in weight, while new performance dampers is adopted for a improved ride comfort.
The Lexus LC 500 Convertible utilises the same 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 from the Coupe, rated to produce 471 hp and 540 Nm of torque. The powerplant is mated to the DirectShift-10 automatic transmission.
Lexus did not provide any performance figures for the topless LC 500, but we figure the century sprint time should be a touch slower than the Coupe due to the added weight.
The Japanese luxury brand is quick to point out that no electronic sound generation is used for the engine note. Instead, a specifically-designed sound pipe sends the engine roar into the cabin through a diaphragm.
A computer-controlled valve also actively controls the exhaust back-pressure, while optimising exhaust tone and volume at higher engine speeds.
As for safety, Lexus Safety System+ comes as standard on the LC 500 Convertible, which includes a whole suite of advanced safety features such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Intelligent High Beams.