Beautiful, grand, lovely. Any of those phrases and extra like them could possibly be used to explain the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible’s design. Additionally they apply to the noise made by Lexus’ 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine. In actual fact, go down the listing. The inside is simply as beautiful. Its dealing with defies the 4,557-pound curb weight. Certain, the infotainment system is sizzling rubbish to make use of, however … who cares?
Messing with a method as excellent because the LC 500 Coupe is dicey enterprise. That mentioned, these designers already had one mic drop second. What’s a second with the Convertible?
One have a look at the dazzling drop high is sufficient to flip anyone right into a believer. The unique LC was basically simply the LF-LC Idea dropped at life in manufacturing type. Few (if any) designs of the previous decade have transitioned so gloriously from the make-believe world of idea vehicles to manufacturing autos. Seeing the LC parked amongst Ford Explorers, Chevy Tahoes and different common fare at a grocery retailer brings into focus how unprecedented the design is. It appears to be like as if any person ripped the automobile straight out of a fantasy novel and caught it on metropolis streets.
The primary time I drove the LC, some man and his buddy adopted me for a number of miles till I arrived at my vacation spot, simply to scramble out of their automobile and get a better look. That’s the sort of automobile that is. A few years from now, there might be fantastically preserved examples of them sitting on the grass at concours reveals throughout the nation, rightfully taking its place as a shining instance of peak automobile design from this period.
And sure, these are heady phrases. However have a look at it!
The Lexus spindle grille that appears so awkward and misplaced on some Lexus fashions suits the LC’s face. It’s complemented by a hanging triangle-shaped triple-LED headlight design. Lexus designed the entrance LED daytime working lights to swoosh in the identical form and magnificence of the grille, too. There are not any obnoxious or pointless pretend vents ( you, Supra). It’s not attempting to be a muscle coupe with a brilliant aggressive chin or bulging hood. The entrance is simply clear, pointed perfection.
It’s after we get to the A-pillar that the Convertible begins to diverge from the Coupe. Connecting to the highest of the pillar is, nicely, a roof. In the meantime, the Convertible has a comfortable high that fully disappears right into a pocket of house behind the rear seats and in entrance of the trunk — principally the realm the place the hybrid battery would go, due to this fact explaining why the Hybrid and Convertible have equal trunk house and why there is no such thing as a Convertible Hybrid. The folding motion (which takes 15 seconds and may be carried out at speeds as much as 31 mph) is impressed by Japanese calligraphy in that it makes three distinctive strikes to mimic the three-step motion of placing the comb to paper.
The lengthy doorways lead into outward splaying hips that create a concave angle to the aspect profile. It’s a way more dramatic set of angles in particular person than the way it seems in pictures. Flush door handles contribute additional to the clear look of the aspect, and useful vents stay on the backside to deliver air to the rear brakes.
We arrive on the most questionable little bit of design simply aft of the doorways. Like many coupes turned convertible, there’s a kick upward within the physique to a flat decklid past. This provides some vehicles a hunchback look to them, and whereas it’s undeniably current within the LC, the uneven design is executed with a rearward-extending strake about in addition to one can count on. You’ll be able to see the resemblance to the Coupe that kicks upward into the “floating roof” the identical method. The Convertible has nothing to fulfill however open air on its flip to the sky, so it seems misplaced.
Not like the Coupe’s gently falling roofline, the Convertible has a largely flat decklid. This design appears to be like abrupt and never as elegant with the roof up, however it’s beautiful with the roof stowed. Resolution? Maintain the roof down!
The rear finish is one other instance of masterful styling. Lexus makes use of mirrors within the taillight modules to make it seem as if they haven’t any finish. The trim across the lights themselves is supposed to mimic Japanese swords, and the sculpting of the rear bumper makes the steel seem as if it’s wrapped tightly across the physique. Even the badging and mannequin designation is pure class.
Lexus might’ve given the automobile a extra dramatic exhaust exit, however it’s arduous to care given how unimaginable it sounds. The pitch and quantity is dramatically affected by whether or not you’ve gotten the highest down or not, in addition to the window place. Placing the highest down however leaving the home windows up is the very best listening expertise, as you get the complete aural assault from the exhaust, however the engine forward can nonetheless be heard over the wind dashing by, too.
Nothing else on sale right this moment has the identical impact. Some vehicles are louder and sound extra nasty and guttural. However the biting and candy, muscular soundtrack from this V8 can provide some other automobile a correct battle. Sitting within the driveway or taking part in a staccato rata-tat-tat at 7,400 rpm, the LC 500 Convertible is as lovely as may be.