Lexus LC500 Convertible takes GT formula open-air

The V8-powered LC500 has been given the drop-top treatment, and debuts at the Los Angeles motor show 

Lexus has revealed its LC500 Convertible at the Los Angeles motor show, following a prototype showing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. The drop-top will only be available with the marque’s naturally aspirated V8, but we can’t say that’s an awfully bad thing… 

In standard coupe form the LC500 offers a rare, boost-less grand tourer experience, with its power coming from a 5-litre naturally aspirated V8. Its power figure isn’t a match for the likes of the BMW M850i’s, for example, but its intake and exhaust orchestra most certainly make up for this. Though we’re yet to test the new Convertible, odds are that it’ll only enhance the aural experience further. 

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> Lexus LC500 V8 review – A GT that feels as special and as exotic as it looks

The styling remains largely familiar, with the contemporary Lexus design language seen throughout. In order to avoid the loss of elegance some cars see with the removal of the roof, the Japanese marque has made a few changes. The rear of the model has been lifted and widened, with the beltline also raised behind the doors to enhance rake with the roof down. To avoid an unkempt appearance, the folding roof is stored under a tonneau cover, while crease-free fabric and a near-invisible supporting frame play their part when the roof up. The brand claims the roof mechanism can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph.

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Of course, the car’s structure has had to undergo some strengthening in order to retain some of the rigidity of the coupe, but lightweight materials such as magnesium and aluminium were used to keep weight gain to a minimum. No weight figure has been revealed as of yet, though. 

Under the bonnet is Lexus’s 5-litre naturally aspirated V8, putting around 471bhp and 398lb ft of torque to the ground through a ten-speed automatic gearbox, making the LC500 Convertible good for a 0-62mph sprint of approximately 4.5sec and a top speed of 168mph. As with the coupe, much importance has been placed on the engine noise, and so the same sound enhancing treatment found on the coupe has been applied to the convertible – a sound generator (not electronic) pumps intake noise through the dash when the roof’s down, whilst an exhaust valve enhances tones from the rear. 

Though a desire to throw buckets of V8 sound into the cabin is clear, the brand also understands that this isn’t always appropriate, and so it has worked on measures to reduce noise when the time is right. A transparent polycarbonate wind deflector and sound insulation in the roof work with clever ‘Active Noise Control’ features to suppress wind and road noise, allowing passengers to hold a conversation whilst on the move. 

Pricing is yet to be announced, but expect the LC500 Convertible to sit at around the £80,000 mark. Order books open in summer 2020.

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