Joining the range as one of the luxury lifestyle brand’s flagship models, South Africa welcomes in the first Lexus LC Convertible. The design team received a direct and daunting challenge: to create the world’s most beautiful open-top car, while preserving the essential styling motifs of the award-winning LC 500 coupé.
Roof design was key to their goal, as chief designer Tadao Mori explained: ‘Few convertibles are equally stylish and elegant when the roof is open or closed. We put maximum effort into realising the same beautiful roof line for the LC Convertible as for the coupé.’
The cover is set as low as possible, avoiding the familiar flat, platform look typical of many convertibles, while the beltline kicks up behind the doors to create an overall tight, clean profile. And the folding roof boasts an extra fold to fit in the space between the rear suspension towers, creating a character line running from front to rear. As the cabin is more open to view, Lexus used innovative colour co-ordination to enhance the model’s special character and extrovert design.
Lexus targeted uncompromising engineering goals for the LC Convertible to harness the best of the dynamic LC Coupé. Executed by expert Takumi craftsmen, these focused changes includea redesign of only three major panels (forward pillar, rear guards and boot lid) to ensure the svelte silhouette of the LC Coupé is retained. And a compact and lightweight aluminium and magnesium roof structure that ensures front and rear headroom stays within 11mm and 4mm of the LC Coupé, while boot space is within 48 litres.
Luxurious, wrinkle-free cloth for the four-layer roof design is supported by sound-absorbing material for the ultimate in design, refinement and security. A serrated-finish roof mechanism switch delivers impressive tactility as the roof is lowered (in 15 seconds at up to 50km/h).
Deep-hung upholstery, an expanded seat heating range, user-variable neck heaters and quilted semi-aniline leather trim for the updated front seats offers superlative comfort and support.
The LC 500 Convertible combines highly rigid yet lightweight front, centre and rear bracing supports, plus a rear suspension tower brace and shear panel to ensure tight handling. It builds on the relentless engineering evolution of the recently updated LC Coupé – 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 offers 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. This translates to acceleration from 0-100 in just 4.7 seconds; with a combined fuel consumption of 12.7l/100km and a C02 emissions figure of 290g/km.
The LC Convertible enhances the Lexus reputation for impeccable craftsmanship and a level of opulence that focuses on every facet of the driving and ownership experience. From 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:
- 21-inch forged-alloy two-tone wheels
- Pre-crash safety system (PCS) and brake synchronised
- Lane keep assist (LKA) with steering assist – standard Lane Departure Alert, Steering Control
- Blind spot monitor (BSM) with rear cross traffic alert (RCTA)
- Cruise Control – Standard-Adaptive High Speed
- Six SRS airbags (Side, Knee, Driver and Passenger)
- Vehicle stability control (VSC)
- LED headlights with cornering lights and washers and automatic high-beam (AHB)
- Keyless smart entry
- Retractable door handles
- LFA-style 8.0-inch digital instrumentation with slide-out meter ring
- 10.3-inch multimedia screen with Lexus Remote Touch-pad (LRT) controller
- Reversing camera
- Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility
- 2x standard USB and 1x AUX inputs
- Standard EMV Navigation with speed limit display
- Advanced multimedia voice control
- 13-speaker, 918-watt Mark Levinson Sound System
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Dual-zone climate control air conditioning with Lexus Climate Concierge
- Semi-aniline leather-accented seats
- 10-way power-operated front seats with driver memory settings
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Front seat neck heaters
- Power steering column adjust
- Steering wheel heater
- Touch-sensitive interior lights
- Sports pedals
- Stainless-steel scuff plates
- Mechanical limited-slip differential
- Drive Mode Select – ECO, COMFORT, NORMAL, CUSTOMISE, SPORT S & SPORT S+
Owners will be able to tailor their vehicle to match their personal taste thanks to exterior colour, interior trim and roof colour combinations. These include 11 exterior finishes: 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. Interior design incorporates four interior trims: Black, Flare Red and Ochre which is available in both the roof top Beige and Black respectively.
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 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. Neck heaters are included in the front cabin seats, to ensure a continuity of comfort with open-top driving or roof-up.
Engineers took care to ensure the driving experience is ideal for all occupants, as the cabin is designed to reduce wind noise due to the unique shape of the beltline and rear moulding, to help prevent wind from entering. A standard transparent polycarbonate wind deflector helps restrict unwanted air from entering the cabin at low speeds, such as city driving. The standard windscreen provides improved cabin experience during high-speed 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 this is a soft top, Lexus wanted the LC Convertible to have the same kind of cabin quietness as the LC Coupé. 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 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. The LC 500 Convertible is available in one model grade at R2 345 500. The coupé sells for R2 158 200