The first Lexus LC Convertible is now available in South Africa and joins the list as one of the luxury lifestyle brand's flagship models. This expands Lexus’ presence in among the most elite market segments.
The Lexus design team received a daunting challenge: to create the world’s most beautiful open-top car. It was straight-forward, but a considerable challenge, as the new model had to preserve the essential styling motifs of the award-winning LC 500 coupe.
The roof was key to their goal, as chief designer Tadao Mori explained: “Few convertibles are stylish and elegant when the roof is open and when it is closed. We put maximum effort into realising the same beautiful roof line for the LC Convertible as for the coupe.”
The cover is set as low as possible, avoiding the familiar flat, platform look typical of many convertibles. The beltline kicks up behind the doors, creating an overall tight and clean profile.
The folding roof boasts an extra fold in the soft top to fit in the space between the rear suspension towers, creating a character line running from the front to the back.
As the cabin is more open to view, Lexus used innovative colour co-ordination to enhance the model’s special character and extrovert design.
Only one model grade is available and it’s priced at R2 345 500. The LC 500 Convertible delivers a unique and enthralling proposition in the luxury convertible segment by combining options-free indulgence with incredible V8 performance and sound.
The exclusive and bespoke LC 500 Convertible marks the ultimate representation of Lexus as a luxury leader for design and craftsmanship. Lexus targeted uncompromising engineering goals for the LC Convertible to harness the best of the dynamic LC Coupe. Pored over by expert Takumi craftsmen, these focused changes include:
ENGINEERING AND PERFORMANCE
The LC 500 Convertible combines highly rigid yet lightweight front, centre and rear bracing supports, a rear suspension tower brace and shear panel to ensure tight handling.
The Convertible builds on the relentless engineering evolution of the recently-updated LC Coupe - including lighter forged-aluminium suspension components, a hollow rear stabiliser bar, rear performance damper, optimised Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) and new Active Cornering Assist (ACA).
The celebrated 5.0-litre normally aspirated V8 petrol engine with direct injection which sees duty in both variants, makes 351kW of power at 7100rpm and 540Nm of torque at 4800rpm in the LC 500 Convertible.
A recently-retuned 10-speed automatic transmission combines with the revised chassis to leverage the best from the highly rigid GA-L rear-wheel drive platform, and enable smooth ride comfort to coexist with excellent dynamics.
The LC 500 Convertible can accelerate from 0-100 in just 4.7 seconds. Other specifications include a combined fuel consumption of 12.7 L/100km and a C02 emissions figure of 290g/km.
The LC Convertible further enhances the Lexus reputation for impeccable craftsmanship and a level of opulence that intensely focuses on every facet of the driving and ownership experience.
From the sight of the exterior design to the tactile touch of switchgear and semi-aniline leather-accented trim, to the sound of the V8 engine and incredible Mark Levinson 13-speaker audio system - every element is at a level befitting a Lexus flagship.
Further reflecting this renowned Lexus philosophy, there are no options for the LC 500 Convertible. Full specification includes:
COLOURS AND COMBINATIONS
As demanded from a flagship convertible by Lexus, luxury customers will be able to tailor their vehicle to match their personal taste thanks to 11 available exterior colour, interior trim and roof colour combinations.
In essence these include 11 exterior colours – Blazing Carnelian (orange), Terrane Khaki Metal, White Nova, Sonic Titanium, Solar Storm Red, Naples Yellow, Opulent Blue, Dark Grey, Black, Graphite Black, and Sonic Silver.
Customers can then select each exterior colour combos with either black trim and black roof, flare red trim and black roof, ochre trim and beige roof, or ochre trim and black roof.
The LC Convertible comes standard with four interior trims, namely Black, Flare Red and Ochre which is available in both the roof top Beige and Black respectively.
Furthermore, a walk-in function with memory is available for smooth access to the rear seat. It works by moving with the forward-folding operation of the front seat. By pulling the lever on the front seat shoulder, the seat automatically slides forward and the headrest retracts to its lowest position. Once entry is complete, returning the seat back to its upright position will trigger the process of the seat automatically returning to its prior position.
Regardless of the weather trending hot or cool, the LC 500 Convertible is designed with a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system that adjusts the temperature whether the top is raised or lowered. This is thanks to the Lexus Climate Concierge with Upper Body Heating which automatically manages the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater to ensure the cabin is comfortable. Lexus Climate Concierge automatically switches on the air-conditioning control, depending on the opening status of the roof. The air-conditioning cooling and heating are automatically adjusted depending on the exterior sunlight volumes, temperature and vehicle speed to maintain user-defined environment conditions. The HVAC system is even optimised to send warm or cold air to the back of the driver’s hands when gripping the steering wheel.
To further expand, the neck heaters have been included in the front cabin seats, to ensure a continuation of comfort with open-top driving as is with closed. What sets these neck heaters apart is the moveable fins, which allow for comfort of the user regardless of their height and preferences.
Engineers took care to ensure the driving experience is ideal for all occupants, as the cabin is designed to reduce wind noise thanks to the unique shape of the beltline and rear moulding to help suppress wind from entering. A standard transparent polycarbonate wind deflector helps restrict unwanted air from entering the cabin during low-speed travel, such as driving in the city, while the standard windscreen provides improved cabin experience during high-speed travel, such as freeway driving, for comfortable conversing with the top down. Active Noise Control (ANC) combines sound insulation and absorption techniques to help suppress unwanted harshness from entering the cabin.
Even though the LC Convertible has a soft top, Lexus wanted to secure the same kind of cabin quietness as in the LC Coupe. Acoustic simulations were created to find out where dominant noises were entering the space, so that the amount and location of soundproofing and sound-absorbing material could be calculated.
The storage area behind the rear seats for the folding roof presented a particular challenge, as it was a route for tyre and exhaust noise to enter the cabin. There was not enough room for sound-proofing material to be added, so the team 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.
As the area is visible and part of the car’s interior, it also had to look good. Lexus assessed many different materials before choosing one usually used for lining the wings around the wheels. This meets safety standards and, being applied with extra density, has just the right appearance.
LEXUS SERVICE INFORMATION
The 2021 LC Convertible comes standard with a best-in-class 7-year/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. This approach illustrates the belief Lexus has in its vehicles’ master craftsmanship and outstanding build quality. Vehicle service intervals are pegged at every 15 000km, alternatively once a year.