Remember that sexy red Lexus LC500 that GC Mah was trotting around with, in the AutoBuzz Best Cars of the Year video back in 2018? Well, it’s back and this time, with its roof chopped off!

The new LC500 Convertible that’s now in Malaysia, from RM1.35 million, is the first soft-top Lexus has ever made. It may seem as simple as a coupe with its roof chopped off but with Lexus, things are never that simple. The rear trunk section has been lifted slightly while the integrated rear spoiler has been broadened to give the convertible a wider stance.

PERFORMANCE

  • Engine: 5.0-litre naturaly aspirated V8
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive (RWD)
  • Horspower: 470 hp @ 7,100 rpm
  • Torque: 570 Nm @ 4,800 rpm
  • 0 to 100 km/h: 4.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 270 km/h

What was previously a carbon fibre roof has now been replaced with a four-layer fabric roof which tucks under a cleverly integrated tonneau cover once it’s retracted. The roof of the LC500 Convertible takes just 15 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close and is capable of operating at speeds of up to 50 km/h.

While it’s common for most convertibles to come with lesser cargo space, in order to make room for the folded roof, the LC500 convertible is an exception.

It offers just as much luggage room as its coupe brother at 172 litres. It’s a result of folding the fabric roof and tucking it between the rear suspension towers. Meanwhile, the hydraulic motors that operate the roof have been fitted in the empty space behind the rear seats.

EXTERIOR

  • 6-pot caliper front brakes, 4-pot caliper rear
  • 21-inch forged wheels
  • Rear performance dampers
  • Adaptive Variable Suspension

According to Lexus, most folding roofs are expected to last around 10 years before it needs maintenance work. For the same reason, their engineers have tested the soft-top to its breaking point, lasting around 18,000 open and close cycles before a minor problem occurred. They did not elaborate further though.

Behind the rear seats now is a transparent wind deflector that keeps the cabin quiet enough for conversations at speeds of up to 60 km/h. It may be a small feature but Lexus says it can reduce airflow around the occupants’ face by about 20%.

INTERIOR

  • Head-up display
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 13-speaker 918 watt Mark Levinson sound system
  • Carbon fibre scuff plates
  • Heated and ventilated seats
  • 10.3-inch touchscreen display
  • 8-inch colour TFT multi-information display

At higher speeds, there’s a mesh windscreen also behind the rear seat which can be lifted up. This further reduces airflow around the head by about 67% at around 100 km/h. According to Lexus, they’ve tested various mesh patterns before deciding to go with this one. Lexus being Lexus, they’ve also made sure the mesh windscreen matches the luxurious interior.

Acoustic simulations were created to find out where and how the outside noises were entering the cabin. This is so that the amount and location of soundproofing and sound-absorbing material could be calculated.

The storage area for the folding roof behind the rear seats presented a particular challenge, as it was a route for tyre and exhaust noise to enter the cabin.

There was not enough room for soundproofing material to be added, so Lexus looked instead at adapting the trim material itself. By allowing air to pass through the structure and using sound-absorbing material on the reverse, the entire surface of the storage space soaks up noise. Impressive huh?

SAFETY

  • Six airbags
  • Front Pre-Collision System
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Automatic High Beam
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert

GALLERY


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Pan Eu Jin
Regularly spend countless hours online looking at cars and parts I can't afford to buy. How a car makes you feel behind the wheel should be more important than the brand it represents - unless resale value is your thing.