Lexus is the luxury brand of Toyota and is a direct competitor of companies like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and Cadillac across the globe. The Flagship of the company is the Lexus LC 500 which was till now offered as a coupe. At the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show, Lexus has launched the 2020 model year LC 500 Convertible. The car is based on the LC 500 Coupe and follows the basic lines and shape of the car.
The LC 500 Convertible has a the signature spindle grille of Lexus bordered by sleek triple beam full LED headlamps. The position of the headlamps is underlined by the, again Lexus signature, boomerang DRLs. The bumpers at the front are smooth and have tall and large air dams on the sides. The wheel arches are blown to present a muscular stance while the waistline is pinched up after the door. Rear of the car has a torpedo boat shape, a reminiscent of the luxury cars from the 1920s and 30s. The rear is busy, however the bumper replicates the air dams at the front here too. The tail lamps are LED and boomerang shaped while there is a lip spoiler on the boot. The rear side is completed with a pair of chromed dual exhausts. The car runs on 21″ forged alloy wheels with a unique design. The Lexus LC 500 is 4,760 mm long, 1,920 mm wide, 1,346 mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,870 mm.
The interior us luxurious and designed from comfort as well as to show when the top is down. The car can seat four people, but the rear seat would be a squeeze for adults. The interiors match the colour of the fabric roof which is triple layered for providing protection from the environment when required. The construction also provides excellent noise reduction with the roof up as well as prevents any kinks and creases in the roof when up. The roof can be folded even at speeds up to 50 km/h and stows inside a tonneau cover to provide a clean look when touring with the top down. To protect the driver and passengers when the roof is down, it the Lexus LC 500 has been provided with neck heaters as well as tiny air deflectors.
The front seats are powered for adjustment. They have been provided with fans for ventillation which cool the driver through the perforated leather or keep her warm during cold weather. There are three levels of heating to choose from. The interiors have been designed with the driver in mind. To pamper the driver, specially designed and shaped aluminium pedals have been provided. Lexus has provided the LC 500 Convertible with a dual zone climate control which also keeps in mind whether the roof is up or down. The steering is also heated.
Lexus has packed the car to the brim with technologies including a 10.3″ display for the infotainment system which is split in the center to provide the various controls on one side and the navigation system on the other side. The system is voice-activated and it can map millions of points of interest across the country. The driver can choose between English, French and Spanish as display language. And, in addition to offering up-to-date traffic and weather information, it also offers 3D city views, and simulated views of approaching highway junctions. The system displays the current speed limit and can automatically identify nearby petrol stations if the cars begins to run low on fuel.
Lexus has integrated the Amazon Alexa with the LC 500 and offers several of the voice activated services offered by Alexa onboard the car also. The driver can select from a pre-determined driving mode or choose individual modes to programme a personalised driving mode. Lexus has also integrated the LC 500 with Apple CarPlay. A remote touch pad allows the driver to access the various functions offered by the infotainment system like multimedia, climate controls and Navigation. The Remote Touchpad also mimics smartphone operations with ample touch surface area, pulsation feedback, and intuitive pinch, swipe and flick gestures. Drivers can also provide hand written inputs to the system. The Lexus LC 500 Convertible offers a full-color Head-Up Display which can project key information about audio, speed, current gear and RPM onto the windshield. The driver has the option to choose what she wants displayed on the screen.
Keeping up with the luxury positioning of the car, the Lexus LC 500 comes with a 12 speaker Mark and Levinson music system to keep you entertained by bringing the sound clearly at all corners of the interior. The car also comes with Sirius XM satellite radio, HD radio, a subscription free weather and traffic update system,
On the safety front, Lexus LC 500 comes with a reversing assist which displays the view from the rear camera onto the navigation system screen along with a grid to guide. The car comes with power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes include an Anti-lock Braking System. The front brakes comprise six-piston monoblock aluminum calipers with 15.7″ two-piece ventilated discs. At the rear four-piston monoblock aluminum calipers with 14.1” two-piece ventilated discs do service. A Brake Assist system which helps provide additional braking boost in panic-stop scenarios. The car also comes with an Electronic Brakeforce Distribution system to modulate the amount of stopping power sent to the front and rear wheels, for enhanced control. There is an intuitive parking assist system and a blind spot monitoring system. Despite all these assistance; if the car meets with an accident, the driver and occupant are protected using 10 air bags, a crumple zone and pop-up hood. In case of the Lexus LC 500 Convertible, the body structure has been further strengthened to allow for same levels of body rigidity as the Coupe.
The Lexus LC 500 is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0 litre V8 engine with dual cam, four valves per cylinder having dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). The engine produces 471 HP of power and 540 N-m of torque at 4,800 rpm. The power and torque are transmitted to the rear wheels through a 10-speed electronically controlled Direct-Shift transmission. The gearbox can be operated using the magnesium paddle shifters provided by Lexus. Though the Lexus LC 500 weighs a hefty 1,941 Kgs, on a drag strip it can do 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 269 km/h.
To handle all the power and torque and to keep the car stable on road, the front suspension comprises independent double-joint multilink with forged aluminum components, coil springs, linear-solenoid-actuated shock absorbers and adhesive-bonded stabilizer bar. At the rear suspension duty is done by another set up comprising independent double-joint multilink with forged aluminum components, coil springs, linear-solenoid-actuated shock absorbers and adhesive-bonded stabilizer bar.