Judy Rae

Destined for the fairway at Pebble, the 2021 Lexus LC500 Convertible is already a classic  

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By Jeff Mitchell

Beach Wheels

So here’s my prediction: In 20 years those of you attending the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show in Monterey County will all be crowded around a certain convertible sports car.

You ask yourself what kind of car would be drawing all that attention? Could it be a rare Bentley or a Packard or, maybe it’s a Ferrari that founder Enzo Ferrari himself once drove.

Your guesses would all be good but they’d also be all wrong.

The car that this crowd will be encircling will be a 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible.

And here’s the thing — I make this prediction without a single ounce of doubt about whether it will come true.

And that’s why if you’re in the market for a special sports car that I think is a “pre-classic” I suggest that you run, not walk to your nearest Lexus dealer to order your LC 500 Convertible. They’re that special.

Last June I reviewed a 2020 LC 500 Convertible and frankly, to my embarrassment, I gushed over it.

Now, three months later, the folks at Lexus wanted me to test drive the 2021 model and I jumped at the chance.

Mind you very little is new about the 2021 but that’s because Lexus has made what I consider an almost perfect grand sports touring car — not a whole lot needed to be fixed.

The reason that this car is special now and will be well into the future is that it has a soul. Yes, I know that may sound silly considering it is an inanimate object, but I tell you it is true.

You can tell that Lexus told their designers and engineers to indulge themselves and make a special vehicle that combines stunningly sexy looks with powerful sports car performance. Add to that Lexus’ standard of luxury and you really have a one-of-a-kind vehicle.

Just like earlier this year, my tester came in what Lexus calls “Flare Yellow” with black drop top and a tan leather interior.

Under the hood of this beauty is a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 gas engine that remains bat-out-of-hell fast. With its wide, sexy haunches, the LC 500 Convertible is easily a “10” out of 10 in the looks department.

From the outside, the sheet metal styling is clearly the work of a sculptor. The vehicle is low slung and conveys a real attitude — especially with the Lexus trademark spindle grill.

Mechanically identical to the coupe, the LC 500, my tester produced 471 horsepower and 398-pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. This power plant is mated to a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. This is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle and has a growly exhaust note that’s worth the price of admission alone.

The convertible top is made from a fabric that provides optimal tension which minimizes unsightly wrinkling at the same time providing excellent sound isolation. 

That said, trust me, you’ll be keeping this baby’s top down most of the time you’re behind the wheel. The mechanism which operates the ragtop takes 15 seconds to open and just a little longer to close.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find a luxurious environment with supportive leather seating for two adults. Although Lexus claims you can seat four, the rear two seats are better for a couple of small kids or tonight’s pizza.

My tester featured a 10.3-inch split-screen multimedia display and navigation system and an amazing 13-speaker, 1,950-watt Mark Levinson audio system. The electronics featured connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Perhaps the only downside to this great car is the frustrating touchpad that Lexus continues to insist on adding to its vehicles to control the interior electronics. While you will get used to using it, my question is why should you have to? 

The vehicle, to no one’s surprise, has been designed to adjust the temperature automatically regardless of whether the roof is raised or lowered. With the top down neck heaters mounted in the seat-backs help keep you warm. The LC 500 Convertible’s “Climate Concierge” automatically manages the air conditioning, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater.

Safety gear contained within the Lexus Safety System Plus Includes pre- collision automatic braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure and lane-keeping alarms and adaptive cruise control. 

The MSRP for the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible starts at $102,025. My tester, as optioned, came in at just under $112,000. 

Final thoughts: To be sure, the LC500 Convertible is not inexpensive. But when you consider exactly what you’re getting I think you’ll agree it’s a great value — especially so when we’ll be seeing you and your vehicle on the 18th fairway at Pebble in just a couple decades. Buy with confidence and have fun.

 

Jeff Mitchell is a Los Angeles-based automotive writer and reviewer. Contact him at j.edward.mitchell@gmail.com

 

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