Roof down, V8 howl up.
Appropriately set to go on sale next summer, Lexus has taken the covers (and the roof) off of its flagship LC 500 Coupe and the product is the striking LC 500 Convertible. The LC 500 Coupe is already a thing of beauty and the drop-top is predictably even more of a show-stopper. Revealed at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show, the LC 500 Convertible features a four-layer soft-top that can be opened or closed at speeds of up to 31 mph. The roof takes 15 seconds to open and just a second longer than this to close.
Lexus has done as much as possible to retain driver and passenger comfort even when the soft-top is stowed. The HVAC system will alternate temperature levels automatically regardless of whether the roof is up or not and has even been optimized to channel warm air to the back of the driver's hands - a heated steering wheel and seats are standard as well. Enhancing refinement with the top down is a transparent polycarbonate wind deflector that limits air from disturbing the serenity within the cabin.
The soft-top itself is offered in either Black or Beige to complement the LC 500's color palette. At the back, the middle brake light has been incorporated into the trunk lid and when neatly stowed beneath a tonneau cover, the coupe's dramatic design details like the tall grille and sharp, stretched headlights work just as effectively on the convertible. If sheer desirability was the goal, it appears that Lexus has hit the nail on the head with this one.
The cabin is also a treat, with premium-feeling materials and plenty of interesting design elements. There's also a 10.3-inch split-screen and the welcome inclusion of Android Auto, although Lexus has persisted with its fussy trackpad-style infotainment system - the setup still trails what you can find in rivals like the BMW 8 Series Convertible.
The feel-good factor extends to the oily bits, with the LC 500 Convertible using the same 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine with 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Being a non-turbo, the motor encourages you to chase the red line to unlock most of its power, a task that is bound to be even more enjoyable in the convertible as you'll have full access to the V8's spine-tingling wail. A ten-speed automatic transmission is fitted and power will be sent to the rear wheels.
As a fitting introduction, a special edition Inspiration Series - limited to just 100 units - will be offered in Structural Blue with white semi-aniline leather. The first LC 500 Convertible will be auctioned in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday, January 17, 2020. Expect to pay more than the current coupe's $92,300 for the privilege of owning one.