Lexus LC 500

Convertible Sport+

Pack

Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, rear
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, rear
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, rear
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, rear
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, rear
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, rear
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, interior
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, nose
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, nose
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, boot
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, front
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, front
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, front
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, side
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, front
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, front
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, front
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, front
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, side
Lexus LC 500 Convertible, 2021, side

LET'S get the obvious out of the way first - the Lexus LC 500 Convertible looks sensational, and more so in the flesh than in photographs.

And, if its looks don't turn heads then its sonorous V8 engine certainly will.

The first soft-top made by Lexus, the LC 500 Convertible arrived in the UK late last year and has gone on to win a hatful of 2021 car awards.

Though it was designed to look equally beautiful with the roof up or down - and I'd argue Lexus has succeeded with that - those awards were not just for its good looks.

This is a thoroughly capable and exciting, luxury 2+2 roadster.

The LC Convertible is available in two versions - standard and Sport+ Pack, which adds £5,850 to the price as well as 21-inch alloy wheels, semi-aniline leather seat upholstery, integrated neck warmers and, more crucially, a limited slip differential.

Its naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine and quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, delivers exhilarating performance - despite weighing slightly over two tonnes it still manages 0-62mph in five seconds. Maximum power of 457bhp is delivered at 7,100rpm, with maximum torque of 530Nm available at 4,800rpm.

It officially returns 24,1mpg and I managed a creditable 22.4mpg, which considering how addictive making that V8 roar is, I thought was quite good!

The roof can be raised or lowered in 15 seconds, and on the move, at speeds up to 31mph. Its lightweight mechanism means more of the LC's weight is lower down, lowering the centre of gravity, which improves cornering and comfort.

Naturally, the Lexus rides well and the steering does exactly what you ask of it. Ultimately, most owners will use the LC 500 convertible as a luxury GT wafting them to wherever they like in supreme comfort and very little buffeting from the wind with the roof down.

But, while it's probably not meant to be thrown around like an MX-5, with rear-wheel drive and the limited slip differential, you can push it hard on the twisty stuff where it handles much better than a car of this size and weight has a right to. It is at its best on sweeping A-roads though.

Though it comes with the ubiquitous paddleshifts, best leave the auto gearbox to take the strain as 10 speeds is a lot to flip through.

The cabin is also a glorious place to be, finished in sumptuous high-quality materials throughout - though the Ochre coloured leather in the car I was driving was a bit too loud for me (one of only two grumbles!). The seats are fabulous - supremely comfortable yet fabulously supportive when you want to push the V8.

And, of course, there's plenty of standard equipment now including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. There's a high-set centre console containing a tiered central stack which holds the climate controls, while lower down there are controls for the stereo.

The second grumble is that Lexus persists with a fiddly touchpad to operate the infotainment system. It's 10.3-inch screen is bright, colourful and sharp but its ease of use is spoiled by the touch-sensitive pad which would be much better replaced with a rotary dial.

As a 2+2, the LC Convertible lives up to its billing but the rear seats are tiny and will probably only ever be used as an extra luggage space. Which is a good thing as, though Lexus has Lexus ingeniously produced a folding mechanism that stows the roof within a very small space without intruding on the load compartment, the boot is only 149 litres, just enough for a couple of reasonably-sized overnight bags.

In terms of safety equipment, the LC Convertible is also well catered for by what Lexus terms its Safety System+ - a package of aids including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane departure alert and automatic high beam headlights. There's also eight airbags and blind-spot monitoring.

It would take acres of space to describe all the other little bits of Lexus brilliance which makes the LC Convertible so good, suffice to say, it deserves every award it has been given so far.

£98,275

457bhp, 4,969cc, eight-cyl petrol engine driving the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox

168mph

5.0 seconds

24.1

50

275g/km

37%

3yrs/60,000miles

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