On cue, Lexus has officially revealed the LC 500 Convertible to coincide with the Los Angeles Motor Show. After all, California, as I’m sure few would dispute, is one of the most perfect locales to cruise around in an open-top sporty V8 luxury grand tourer.
During prototype testing, Lexus’ half serious attempts at covering up the finished production car’s details via a thin vinyl wrap meant we already had a solid idea of how the Convertible would differ from the LC 500 Coupe. And by that we mean no change whatsoever besides a folding soft top replacing the solid roof, at least visually. Impressively, they’ve even managed to achieve the same structural rigidity levels as the hardtop.
The car looks absolutely stunning in these images; the coastline and countryside of northern California as a backdrop does wonders to accentuate the Morphic Blue exterior finish, a body colour limited to just 300 examples from launch.
The Japanese automaker said they have paid special attention to the foldable roof. When deployed, the supporting frame is obscured within the tonneau material, developed to ensure maximum levels of thermal shielding, water rejection, and fabric tension retention in order to prevent wrinkling over time.
When folded, a process that takes a mere 15 seconds either way, the roof remains extremely compact and allows the Convertible to retain the same sleek design, broad stance, and 2+2 capacity of the Coupe, with the cabriolet body just 10mm longer and 5mm taller. It can also be operated at speeds up to 50km/h.
With the roof down, careful consideration of the airflow around the now-exposed cabin, particularly around the belt line and rear mould design, led Lexus to dramatically reduce wind noise. This is aided by the transparent polycarbonate wind deflector and the Active Noise Control system (ANC) to archived impressively suppressed cabin acoustics.
As you might expect, the LC 500 Convertible is identical to the Coupe from a mechanical perspective. Power is supplied from a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 that generates 351kW and 540Nm and channelled to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.
To elevate the sports car experience, there is a sound generator specific to the Convertible that transmits engine intake sounds through the dash panel. In addition, an exhaust valve is installed to make the 2UR-GSE engine’s V8 soundtrack even throatier.
Lexus chief executive Scott Thompson confirmed the LC 500 convertible will arrive in Australia during the second half of 2020: "The LC 500 coupe is renowned for its enthralling sound and exhilarating performance, and these amazing attributes are heightened even further with the stunning LC 500 convertible. The exotic design is true to the award-winning coupe, while superb craftsmanship and sophisticated underpinnings ensure impeccable luxury and extraordinary handling coexist.”