Lexus is an automaker known for its luxurious accouterments and attention to detail. Over the few years that the brand has been around, it has become respected for both the comfort and the handling capability of its models. For 2021, it is no different for Lexus. In fact, the company has a new LC 500 Convertible that promises to deliver on the Lexus posh and performance reputation.
Lexus has been without a convertible in its lineup since the 2015 model year concluded. Since then, it seems that there has been enough of a desire by the buying public for the return of a topless model to the lineup that Lexus has decided to bring one back. So, a press release this morning announced the return of a convertible to the Lexus portfolio of products.
The making of the Lexus 2021 LC 500 Convertible
As with any convertible, considerable strengthening must be done in order to ensure that the loss of the LC model’s top does not compromise the driving dynamics of the vehicle. To that end, Lexus engineers went to work and made a new rear torsion box that is mated to tower and V braces. This stiffened the car’s structure, making it more predictable and durable.
The loss of the LC 500 coupe’s top also means the weight of the vehicle changes. So, the team at Lexus made sure to update the suspension to compensate. They fine-tuned the dampers, coils, and its bushings to facilitate comfortable yet sharp road performance as experienced on 20-inch wheels shod with run-flat tires at all four corners. Optional twenty one inch wheels are available.
The top itself is a quick animal. It can be put down in 15 seconds. It can go back up again in 16 seconds. This means the functions can happen easily when the driver pulls up to a red traffic signal. But, if not at a stop, according to the press release, the opening and closing of the tops can happen at up to 31 miles per hour. When it is down, it tucks under a hard tonneau cover.
The LC 500 Convertible’s performance envelope
A 5-liter, naturally aspirated, V8 is housed in the front of the LC 500 Convertible. It is the same powerplant found in the LC coupe producing 471 horsepower. The convertible can run zero-to-sixty at 4.6-seconds shifting through a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Inside the topless Lexus
Inside, the topless Lexus has an infotainment display measuring 10.3 inches. Compatibility through Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and Alexa are available. This allows drivers the ability to listen to their tunes through Spotify, Pandora, or Amazon Music.
Also inside, there are some convertible specific safety features. According to the press release,
“There are important safety features specific to convertible, though, such as the active roll bars that are designed to deploy upward when a rollover is detected. When not deployed, these roll bars are hidden from view to retain the convertible’s exquisite silhouette when the top is down.”
A risky launch
Lexus began its brand pursuing consumers of the luxury performance lifestyle. The brand has been steadily growing by anticipating that consumer’s lifestyle needs. Normally, the launch of the LC500 Convertible would be considered a great thing for the company. However, in a good economy, convertibles are only single-digit sales percentages when compared to ordinary cars. In the pandemic economy, however, the launch of a high-end convertible may be considered risky. Nobody really knows how well or how quickly the economy will bounce back on a worldwide scale. If the global economy does bounce back strongly, however, then Lexus is sure to have another low volume hit on its hands. The LC 500 delivers topless posh and power, just what luxury performance lifestyle consumers want.