LEXUS

LEXUS LC CONVERTIBLE 500 5.0 [464] Sport+ 2dr Auto

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph4.6s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2275 g/km

The LC Convertible is, says Lexus, "one of the most sought-after vehicles we've produced". It's the first time the brand has properly ventured up towards the three-figure price bracket and to justify that, this open-topped sports car will have to be very desirable indeed. All the signs are that it is. It's come equipped to take on the luxury convertible segment's very top contenders, with drive dynamics that work on the track as well as on the highway. Plus there's styling that'll cause a stir in the High Street and a gorgeous cabin.

OPEN OPPORTUNITIES

The Lexus LC Convertible offers the potential for a fresh direction for this premium Japanese brand. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

The LC Convertible is, says Lexus, "one of the most sought-after vehicles we've produced". It's the first time the brand has properly ventured up towards the three-figure price bracket and to justify that, this open-topped sports car will have to be very desirable indeed. All the signs are that it is. It's come equipped to take on the luxury convertible segment's very top contenders, with drive dynamics that work on the track as well as on the highway. Plus there's styling that'll cause a stir in the High Street and a gorgeous cabin.

Background

"From the moment we finished this car", says Lexus Group Vice President David Christ, "we've been thinking of what comes next. This car signals the future direction of our brand". Clearly then, the LC Convertible is significant - more than just a derivative of the impressive LC Coupe. Like that fixed-top model, it's aimed directly at the BMW 8 Series and the Porsche 911 - and as with those cars, more powerful versions will inevitably follow. If the brand can be successful in this model's more exalted price bracket, Lexus will feel confident about producing super-luxury SUVs and boardroom-level saloons - and much else might open out.

Driving Experience

Not long ago, if Lexus had launched a car into this segment, it would have been a direct competitor to the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet. But it says much for the way that the LC Coupe has changed our perceptions of what this brand's dynamically capable of that we now have no trouble in perceiving this LC Convertible as a rival to far more sporting large luxury soft tops like the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. There's only one engine on offer, a 32-valve old-school normally aspirated petrol V8, but it's more than up to the job of moving this car along very quickly indeed, storming to 62mph in 5.0s en route to 168mph. Inevitably, this 457bhp 5.0-litre powertrain lacks the torque that would come as part of the turbo technology that all this car's competitors use, but Lexus reckon you won't really register that thanks to the trick this V8-powered LC has up its sleeve; a 10-speed automatic gearbox. The idea is that with so many gears, you simply won't notice the atmospheric 5.0-litre unit's relative lack of pulling power because of the way this car compensates with such a closely-stacked multitude of ratios. This open-topped model represents the Lexus brand's first use of a fabric folding top, rather than one with metal-folding panels. It doesn't activate quite as quickly as the roof of an open-topped Aston Martin Vantage, but a raising or lowering time of just 15 seconds is more than acceptable and it can happen at speeds of up to 31mph. With the roof in place, refinement is virtually as good as that of the fixed-top LC Coupe and you can really concentrate on this car's surprisingly drive dynamics. Yes, it slightly favours comfort over dynamism (as opposed to a rival Porsche 911 Cabriolet in which it's the other way round), but we think many potential customs might prefer that. And, if you wish, you can improve handling bite by stretching to the top 'Sport+ Package' model we tried, which also includes more responsive variable-ratio steering and a Torsen limited slip differential to help get power down through the corners.

Design and Build

The LC Convertible trades the Coupe model's 'floating' roof line for a sloping fabric roof that flows into a long, flat rear deck. Lexus claims that this convertible top can be opened in only 15 seconds and operated at speeds of up to 31mph. To keep wind buffeting down, there's a transparent wind deflector behind the rear seats. Yes, you get rear seats; there's a 2+2 seating layout that essentially the same as that on the LC Coupe, though rear seat space is slightly compromised by the roof mechanism and its storage compartment, as is boot capacity. At the wheel, you are looked after by seat heaters, neck heaters and a heated steering wheel, all of which are automatically activated depending on the outside temperature and the position of the fabric top. As with all LC models, there's a rotary touchpad-controlled 10.25-inch infotainment screen, a digital instrument binnacle and a premium stereo system. As you'd expect, the materials and finishing are faultless, as is the gadget count. The driver's cockpit has been ergonomically designed to instil confidence and invite spirited driving, with an intuitive layout of the controls and a well-judged seating position. The driver's hip point has been located as close as possible to the car's centre of gravity, maximising direct feedback of the vehicle's dynamic performance. You get a pretty small boot though, just 149-litres in size.

Market and Model

From launch of this LC 500 V8 Convertible, pricing started at around £91,000 for the standard model, but many customers will want to find the extra fee - nearly £6,000 more - necessary for the 'Sport+ Pack' version we're trying here. If you're comparing to the LC 500 Coupe, think in terms of this Convertible needing a premium of around £10,000 over the fixed top in standard form; the premium is more like £6,000 if you're considering the 'Sport+ Pack' model. Unlike with the Coupe, there's no Hybrid engine option. What about rivals? You'll have a very pleasant task checking out all of these. Lexus pricing positions this LC above the slightly smaller Jaguar F-TYPE P450 RWD Convertible (which at the time of this test cost around £75,000). And slightly below cars like the Maserati MC20 Convertible and the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet - at the time of this test, the Porsche cost around £104,000, but even that represents a substantial saving on the £125,000 that Mercedes wants of you for their S-Class 560 Cabriolet.

Cost of Ownership

Predictably, you're going to need deep pockets to run an LC 500 Convertible; it could be no other way with a luxury cabrio powered by an old-school normally aspirated 5.0-litre petrol V8. Official WLTP figures suggest a combined fuel consumption figure of 24.1mpg and a smoky CO2 return of 275g/km. For reasons we've explained elsewhere in this review, unlike with the LC Coupe, there's no option of specifying an alternative 3.5-litre V6 Hybrid engine to improve things either. All of which means that you'll probably find it a touch painful to be looking at fuel read-out too often, though at least the massive 82-litre fuel tank provides a theoretical 435 miles of driving range. Lexus has done its best to maximise what's possible from this engine, claiming that it's optimised the exhaust layout and the engine control system. Plus of course, there's the sophisticated 10-speed auto transmission, which you'd think would use the engine's revs more effectively. On the plus side, residual values should look pretty healthy, at least as good as those of the posh Teutonic brands. After three years and 3,000 miles, independent experts reckon that an LC 500 will still be worth around 51% what you originally paid for it. Remember too when considering depreciation that an LC is better equipped than many of its German rivals. To match this car's spec, you'd have to spend extra cash on options with those cars, money you're unlikely to get back again at resale time.

Summary

The LC Convertible is a logical extension of the Lexus product range but for those fortunate enough to eventually own one, it'll represent anything but a logical purchase decision. This is the kind of car you don't want to have to sensibly justify, a way to reward yourself for decades of toil. Previously, if you wanted such a thing, didn't want a track-tamed roadster-style model and couldn't quite stretch to a convertible from Bentley or Rolls-Royce, something of a compromise was required. Either the luxury of a Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet or BMW 8 Series convertible. Or the sharper handling of a Porsche 911 Cabriolet or Maserati Cabrio. This Lexus has a pretty good stab at providing the best of both worlds. And that makes it very desirable indeed.

  • Heat insulating tinted glass
  • UV reducing glass
  • Automatic rain sensing wipers
  • One touch automatic power windows with jam protection function
  • Privacy glass in rear quarter
  • Rear wind deflector

  • Traction control
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Electric parking brake
  • BAS (Brake Assist System)
  • Electrically controlled brake system (ECB)
  • Hill start assist control with hold switch

  • Textile carpet mats
  • Carpet net on the passenger side

  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Adaptive variable suspension

  • Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity
  • Apple car play/Android Auto

  • Pre-collision system (PCS)
  • 6 driving modes Eco/Normal/Comfort/Custom/Sport S/Sport S+
  • 4 x front and 4 x rear parking sensors
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert
  • Electric power steering
  • Adaptive cruise control + pre-crash system
  • Lane keep assist

  • Touch pad controller for infotainment system
  • Push button starter
  • Electric fuel cap release
  • Electric boot lid release

  • Analogue clock with L motif
  • Lexus Optitron dashboard meters
  • Road sign assist - RSA
  • Lexus premium nav with 12 speakers, European map, remote touch interface, connected service, 10.3" display screen, street view, DVD, reverse camera

  • Heated, auto-folding door mirrors, auto dimming with rerverse tilt and memory
  • Door mirror integrated indicators
  • Auto dimming interior rear view mirror

  • Instrument panel and door trim illumination

  • DVD Player
  • 2 USB ports
  • Aux-in socket
  • DAB Digital radio
  • 8" multi-information display with movable meter ring

  • Front and rear performance rod
  • 4 layered material soft top roof
  • Roof operating switches (centre console palm rest)
  • Roof storage space with tonneau cover
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Pop up hood
  • 2 tone outside mirror casings

  • Bi-LED headlights with auto high beam and follow me home function
  • Multi bulb LED indicators
  • LED rear combination lights with emergency brake signal
  • Headlight cleaners
  • Rear fog lights
  • LED door illumination
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED cornering headlights
  • High mounted LED brake light (back edge of the boot lid)

  • Open air control
  • Rear aero ducts
  • Dual zone climate control air conditioning system with auto recirculation, pollen removal mode, nano technology and climate concierge

  • 3 spoke heated leather steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifts
  • Luggage storage tray under deck board to right side
  • Carbon fibre sheet moulding inner door panels and inner boot lid
  • 1 cup holder in centre console
  • Electrically adjustable steering column with lock protect
  • Carbon fibre scuff plates
  • Driver and passenger door pocket
  • Aluminium sports pedals
  • Semi-aniline leather upholstery
  • 12V power outlets
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Leather gear lever
  • Neck Heater (front seats)
  • Drivers smart entry system
  • Tahara man-made leather finish: roof headlining, sun visor, door trim, front pillar, packaga tray trims & tonneau cover, instrument panel, console box
  • Front and rear centre armrest with storage

  • LED interior illumination

  • Passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Driver and front passenger knee airbag
  • Driver and front passenger 2 stage airbag
  • 3 point seat belts with pre tensioners
  • Auto locate tyre pressure warning system
  • Driver and passenger expanded side airbags
  • Audible and visual front seatbelts reminder

  • 2 fixed rear seats
  • Driver and passenger 2 way electrical lumbar adjustment
  • ISOFIX child restraint system on outer rear seats
  • 8 way driver/passenger electrically adjustable front seats
  • Driver seat memory function
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Front and rear head restraints
  • Front sports seats

  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Security window etching
  • Speed sensitive auto door locking
  • Anti-theft system with siren, alarm, intrusion sensor, glass breakage sensor, tilt sensor and engine immobiliser
  • Two motion door lock with double lock

  • Torsen limited slip differential

  • Driver and passenger sun visors with vanity mirror

  • Run flat tyres

  • 21" Forged alloy wheels

  • CO2 (g/km): 265
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • NOx: 0.017
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: 0.0002
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 531
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 288
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 225
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 216
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 275
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 275
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 275

  • Engine Code: 2UR-GSE
  • Cylinders: 8
  • Cylinder Layout: V8
  • Number of Valves: 32
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 12.3:1
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 10 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 94
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 89.5
  • CC: 4969

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): 16.1
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 34.9
  • EC Combined (mpg): 24.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 12.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 22.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 29.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 30.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 24.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 24.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 24.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 22.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 12.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 9.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 9.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 11.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 11.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 11.7

  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 50E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Service Interval Mileage: 20000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 464
  • Badge Engine CC: 5.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Coin Series: Sport+
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - KW: 341
  • Engine Power - RPM: 7100
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 391
  • Engine Torque - NM: 530
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 4800
  • Engine Power - BHP: 464
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): True
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 4.6
  • Top Speed: 168
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 54.1

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Tyre Size Rear: 275/35 R21
  • Tyre Size Spare: RUN FLAT TYRES
  • Wheel Type: 21" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 245/40 R21

  • Width (including mirrors): 2168
  • Height: 1350
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4770
  • Width: 1920
  • Wheelbase: 2870

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2035
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2450
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 82
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 149
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 415
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.8

  • Full colour head up display including Lexus card key: £1,250

  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Solid paint: £0
  • Special Metallic paint: £500

  • Hood - Black: Included
  • Hood - Beige: £0

  • Metallic - Graphite black: £0
  • Metallic - F Sport White: £0
  • Metallic - Deep blue: £0
  • Metallic - Terrane khaki: £0
  • Metallic - Cadoxton slate: £0
  • Metallic - Blazing carnelian: £0

  • Solid - Velvet black: £0

  • Special metallic - Naples yellow: £500
  • Special metallic - Sonic red: £500
  • Special metallic - Sonic silver: £500
  • Special metallic - Sonic titanium: £500

  • Semi-Aniline Leather/Tahara Man-made - Black with Black roof: £0
  • Semi-Aniline Leather/Tahara Man-made - Flare Red with Black roof: £0
  • Semi-Aniline Leather/Tahara Man-made - Ochre with Ochre roof: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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