MEANT TO BE: 2021 LEXUS LC 500 CONVERTIBLE
It has been darn near a decade since we’ve seen a fold-away roof come from the Lexus, even then however we couldn’t necessarily consider the IS 350 convertible a proper sports car. The last to receive that name was the SC 300… and again that was more along the lines of your fancy suburban housewife that needed a little rumble in her jungle. Now that Lexus as finally cut the top off the LC 500, it is almost like it has found its true calling.
Granted, if we could have it our way, we’d want all V-8 sports cars with a removable roof – who wouldn’t want to hear the raw sounds of eight-cylinders piping through our spine causing our hairs to stick up. At least we have to give Lexus credit where credit is due; they’re at least still producing a V-8 engine where most brands are starting pushing out turbocharged four’s and sixes to satisfy the EPA ninnies and their strict guidelines. The LC’s 5.0-liter V-8 is a musical symphony that grants a front row seat to its natural aspirated, unaltered sound. The deep throaty vibrations as it revs to 7000 rpms has us feeling like a teenager going through puberty. Even the 10-speed automatic smacks through its gears so quick in an intensifying, sassy manner that nearly requires us to leave a parental advisor disclaimer on the back bumper.
In coupe form, the LC 500 was already a heavy car, the convertible has made it heavier with all the chassis tuning and added structural support. The added weight however doesn’t affect too much how the car performs. It is just as quick as the coupe with 0-60-mph in around 4.5-seconds and sashay’s around corners like chipmunk chasing his stolen nut.
From the outside looking in, it’s a beautiful masterpiece. The LC 500 already is one of the prettiest sports cars on the market; with its roof off however, is like discovering our secret crush doesn’t wear any underwear – it only draws us in more for a closer look. And it only takes 15-seconds for the roof to fold down into its specially engineered compartment to reveal that the driver is really just a fat, middle-aged bald man with more sense than style.
As the Lexus LC 500 began its transition into the convertible family, much of its design elements remain the same with minor tweaks here, and there. Most of the interior remains untouched as it features a handsome, tastefully design suite full of leather and rich, contrasting materials. The front seats remain comfortable and supportive for a long driven journey, and despite the rear seat room being a no-occupant zone, it at least can support the golf clubs since nearly half the trunk has been designated for the roof. It seems however, Lexus wanted it to be a special occasion every time the roof was fold down as the switch panel is tucked away under a nicely leather covered flip up panel like as roof were popping the glass top off a fighter jet.
Driving it like a horned up teenager trying to attract the opposite sex however didn’t benefit our fuel economy seeing we initially averaged 10-mpg. Once we hit the highway for our 200-mile test, that number grew significantly seeing we averaged 29.2-mg on the highway, 4-mpg’s better than the EPA and a combined 19.1-mpg’s.
When it comes to the convertible sports car game, the LC is like a bargain hunter’s dream. Starting at $101,000, it comes standard with its 471-horsepower V-8 engine, a 10.3-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa and Lexus’ advance safety system. Even with our example topping out just over $113,300 with its upgraded 21-inch wheels, limited-slip differential and Touring Package, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet is barely just getting started at $113,500 and can quite easily pass $150,000. It’s the same story for the Mercedes-Benz SL 550 that starts at $114,700, but will top out somewhere around $130,000.
Life behind the convertible is a breeze. Pun intended. The Lexus LC 500 maintains its composure of a quiet, isolating cabin with all the luxuries of a six-figure sports car. The LC 500 was meant to be a convertible from a start, it’s more of a shame it took them 3-years to get here.
Vehicle: 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible
Base Price: $101,000
As-Tested Price: $113,320
Engine: 5.0-liter V-8
HP | Torque: 471-HP |398 lb-ft of Torque
Transmission: 10-speed Automatic
Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive
MPG: 15 | 25 | 18 (City | Highway | Combined)
As-Tested MPG: 19.1-MPG COMBINED | 29.2-MPG HIGHWAY (200-MILES AT 75-MPH)
Fuel Range: 330 miles
0-60 MPH: ±4.7 seconds