The much anticipated convertible version of the Lexus LC 500 flagship coupe has made its global debut in Los Angeles (19 November) and will be on public view at the city’s 2019 Auto Show from 22 November to 1 December.
The LC 500 Convertible’s addition to the LC range demonstrates Lexus’s evolution as a luxury lifestyle brand, creating beautiful cars that stimulate the senses and deliver driving pleasure and excitement.
The exterior of the new model artfully interprets the coupe’s roofline in a convertible format to produce a car that looks good, top up or top down. The interior design addresses details such as the position of the tonneau cover and the seat upholstery materials to ensure a perfect appearance when viewed from outside.
The LC 500 Convertible follows the same Exhilarating Performance driving concept as the coupe, generating a sense of unity between the driver and car while giving the kind of experience that only a convertible can offer.
Bracing has been added to the car’s structure, with optimal shaping and location to secure a high level of dynamic performance, faithful to the driver’s intentions. The V8 engine, with its distinctive, robust note, gives pleasingly linear acceleration. To help maintain comfort and quietness in an open-top driving experience, the car is equipped with neck heaters and a transparent wind deflector.
A pre-order process for the new LC 500 Convertible, in the UK, will open via lexus.co.uk in December this year, with customer deliveries set to commence from September 2020.
Principal design features
The LC 500 Convertible’s exterior styling is based on that of the LC coupe, so the car retains excellent aerodynamics and optimal weight distribution, while incorporating functional beauty into the design. The soft-top roof creates a distinctive and sporty silhouette, while raising and widening the line of the boot lid produces a dynamic-looking side view that emphasises the car’s low and wide stance.
To maintain an attractive silhouette, the automatic folding mechanism stores the top beneath an integrated tonneau cover. The beltline kicks up behind the doors to give the look of the body wrapping around the cabin and creates an overall tight and clean profile.
The soft-top itself has a four-layer construction and has been designed to retain the flowing roofline of the coupe, without the supporting frame being visible through the fabric. The fabric has been manufactured and selected to ensure optimal tension, free from wrinkling and to provide excellent sound insulation.
The attention to detail includes colour choices for the exterior, soft-top and interior to match the tastes and diverse lifestyles of LC customers. Interior details include a pattern of graduated quilting and perforations on the upper sections of the seats and the Lexus “L” emblem embossed on the headrests.
The opening and closing action of the soft-top is carefully controlled, particularly at the start and finish, conveying a sense of quality and safety. Movement of the roof and tonneau cover is precisely synchronised and accomplished with class-leading speed. The top can be raised or lowered while the vehicle is in motion, at speeds up to 31mph (50km/h). An animation display in the instrument binnacle allows the driver to monitor the operation’s progress.
Exhilarating Performance and the convertible driving experience
The LC 500 Convertible has a new body structure designed to achieve a level of rigidity that supports the same signature driving quality as the coupe, while maintaining beautiful styling and appropriate luggage space. Precise design and location of the rear suspension tower brace has been key to gaining the desired structural rigidity. The brace is made of lightweight die-cast aluminium to minimise added weight, while a performance damper ensures a high level of ride comfort. There is further under-body bracing, which makes use of magnesium and aluminium in its construction to obtain both high rigidity and light weight. The result is dynamic performance true to the driver’s intentions.
The naturally aspirated V8 engine is mated to Lexus’s 10-speed direct shift automatic transmission, giving linear yet invigorating acceleration. Power output is tuned to suit the road, with smooth acceleration in everyday driving and acceleration to the limit when the driver desires and the occasion permits.
To make driving even more enjoyable with the top down, the LC 500 Convertible is fitted with a sound generator that transmits sounds from the engine intake through the dashboard, and an exhaust valve that enhances the powerful engine note.
Human-centred cabin design
Lexus focused on aerodynamic elements such as the beltline and rear moulding, and a transparent polycarbonate wind deflector to manage wind flow and maintain quietness in the cabin. This preserves the special feel of open-air driving while still making conversation possible. Sound management is key: the LC 500 Convertible is equipped with Active Noise Control and benefits from sound insulation and absorption measures to suppress unwanted noise and unpleasant sound frequencies.
The audio system faithfully reproduces the original sound of instruments, vocals and recording environment. Its acoustic design automatically changes when the top is up or down, so listening quality is maintained.
Similarly, the Lexus Climate Concierge adapts heating and ventilation according to whether the roof is raised or lowered, automatically controlling the air conditioning, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering wheel heater to ensure comfort for everyone on board, regardless of the temperature outside.
|Overall length (mm)||4,760|
|Overall width (mm)||1,920|
|Overall height (mm)||1,350|
|Roof opening time||15 sec|
|Roof closing time||16 sec|