Judy Rae

Lexus’ LC500 convertible may well be the sexiest car on the street

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Beach Wheels

By Jeff Mitchell

I like most anything with an engine and four wheels and have since I was a kid. And, generally, the faster and sleeker the automobile, the more I like it.

So you can probably imagine my reaction to the first time I set eyes on Lexus’ LC500 Convertible.

I was stunned.

I also fell immediately in love with the darned thing.

It was almost cruel to only have a week to drive this beauty. My tester came dressed in what Lexus appropriately calls its “Flare Yellow” paint and trust me, you can see this monster coming down the road from a mile out.

Make no mistake. If you buy an LC500 Convertible, you are doing so for the visceral pleasure of driving a very slick grand touring sports car that, with its naturally aspirated 5.0 liter V-8, is bat-out-of-hell fast. The LC500 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 has wide, sexy haunches and conveys a real attitude — especially with the Lexus trademark spindle grille — that separates it from most everything else out on the road.

Mechanically identical to its sister coupe, the LC500, my tester’s gas V-8 engine produced 471 horsepower and 398-pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. This power plant is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. My tester’s twin-port growly exhaust note was worth the price of admission alone.

Due to the fact that this engine is not turbo- or supercharged, there is almost no delay on the power band when you mash the throttle. It did 0-60 in 4.7 seconds.

Offered in black and beige, the convertible top is made from a fabric that provides the right amount of tension to minimize unsightly wrinkling but at the same time provides excellent sound isolation when closed. That said, trust me, you’ll be keeping this baby’s top-down and open most of the time you’re behind the wheel. The mechanism which operates the ragtop takes 15 seconds to open and a second longer to close.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find a luxurious environment with supportive leather seating. Lexus says you can seat four in the LC500 Convertible, but trust me, the is a two-seater and no one is crying over it.

My tester featured a 10.3-inch split-screen multimedia display and navigation system. The electronics featured connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And, yes, Lexus has provided one of its controversial touchpads to help you control everything. 

The vehicle, to no one’s surprise, been designed to adjust the cabin temperature automatically whether or not the roof is raised or lowered. With the top is down neck heaters help keep you cozy. The LC500 Convertible’s “Climate Concierge” automatically manages the air conditioning, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater for you.

Final thoughts: The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the LC500 Convertible is just over $100,000, which, no doubt, is a serious chunk of change for most everyone. But when it comes to cars, you truly do get what you pay for and this vehicle is worth every penny. 

By the way, you’ll find that the vehicle competes with the BMW 8-Series, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and MB’s SL-Class.

We are living in a bit of bleak era at the moment. The LC500 Convertible offers a respite from some of the things troubling this old world of ours. If you can swing it, get one, put the top down, get out there and don’t look back.

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

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