6 great luxury drop-tops at bargain prices.
Lexus has finally announced pricing for the convertible version of the LC 500. The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible starts at $101,000, making it $8,050 dearer than the Coupe. Power comes from the same naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine found in the Coupe, producing an identical 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque going out to the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Though it isn't the quickest convertible on the market with a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds, the LC Convertible is easily one of the prettiest cars on sale right now and it produces one of the best exhaust notes of any car on the market. The LC is a compelling luxury option but for far less than six figures, there are plenty of great used alternatives to consider.
Mercedes just recently killed off the SL 63, as it prepares to reveal an all-new model. But the outgoing R231 generation car is not an outstanding bargain on the used market. Prices start in the low $80,000 range for the AMG SL63 model, which is powered by 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque (far more than the LC). A seven-speed automatic with all-wheel-drive propels the SL63 to 60 in just four seconds flat, blitzing the LC's acceleration times. Unlike the LC, the SL also benefits from the security and insulation of a hardtop convertible roof and more luxurious features like massaging seats.
BMW replaced its M6 Convertible with a new M8 flagship model, which has now pushed used M6 Convertible prices down to affordable levels. You can score an M6 with around 50,000 miles in the mid-$30,000 range, with even the nicest examples topping out around $80,000. This is a bargain price for the M6's incredible performance. It derives power from a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 552 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque or 592 hp in the Competition model. A seven-speed dual-clutch sends power to the rear wheels on most M6 examples, but a rare six-speed manual is also available.
No matter how beautiful the LC 500 looks, there will always be someone out there who belittles it for "only" having a Lexus badge. For those people, the used Ferrari California is the perfect alternative. Used prices now start at around $70,000 for what was Ferrari's entry-level model before the California T and Portofino. The California's 4.3-liter V8 produces 483 hp and 372 lb-ft of torque, which is comparable to the LC's power outputs. With a seven-speed dual-clutch, the California will outpace the LC to 60 in 3.5 seconds.
The XKR-S was the most high-performance variant of the Jaguar XK convertible since the extreme GT model was only offered as a Coupe. Propelled by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8, the XKR-S sent a whopping 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Not only is the XKR-S arguably as pretty as the LC, but it is also quicker to 60 mph at four seconds flat. Finding an XKR-S isn't easy since so few were built, but you can expect to spend around $65,000. A regular used XKR can be found under $25,000.
The Maserati Gran Turismo lived an impressively long life for more than a decade before a new model is finally set to arrive soon. These cars have depreciated heavily and can now be found starting at under $35,000. Like the LC, a naturally aspirated V8 sits under the hood in the used Gran Turismo. The Ferrari-derived unit produces up to 433 hp with a symphonic exhaust note. This is the only car on the list that's slower than the LC to 60 mph, but it is possibly the prettiest design of the 2000s.