Mpumalanga – While Lexus might be known for its luxurious sedans, the Lexus LC500 Convertible enters the brand’s line-up as an open-top performance GT. This new offering now joins the existing Coupe and it’s nothing short of good looks with the performance to match.
In terms of design, the Lexus LC500 Convertible is a looker from all angles. Be it with the soft-top up or down, every detail, every line and every vent is in the right place and serves a purpose. The wide edgy grille might be a topic of discussion for another day however, the line that runs across the long bonnet gives the GT a bold yet aggressive persona. Said soft-top will open and close in under 15 seconds up to speeds of 50km/h.
The interior is futuristic like all other Lexus flagship models with a driver-oriented cabin offering enough room for adjustability, even for the tallest people. The seats are exquisitely comfortable and offer both heating and ventilation. The seat adjustment controls do take some time to get used to but once you are well acquainted, you are good to go. The Lexus LC500 Convertible houses a 2+2 seating configuration but the rear seats will most likely be used as extra storage space or smaller children.
Perceived quality of the cabin is impressive. What caught my attention most was the level of detailed design that has also gone into aspects of the interior. The floating door handles finished with brushed aluminium not only look good, but feel pleasant to operate. The positioning of the driving modes above the steering wheel ensures that you do not have to take your eyes off the road while to you switch through various modes.
At the heart of the Lexus LC500 Convertible is a naturally aspirated 5,0-litre V8 with direct injection and makes 351 kW at 7 100 r/min and 540 N.m of torque at 4 800 r/min. This is sent through a 10-speed automatic transmission and a Torsen limited-slip differential to the rear axle. With this, the brand claims a 100km/h time of 4,7 seconds which is accompanied by a thunderous soundtrack.
The drive is surprisingly quiet and refined with the top down and thanks to the Lexus climate concierge feature that automatically manages the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater, comfortable in the cabin is ensured depending on the status of the roof.
The electrically assisted steering system is precise, throttle response sharp and there is minimal lean through corner and bends. The twisty mountain pass from Kruger National airport to Skukuza through Sabie is scattered with uneven surfaces but the ride remained exceptionally planted with little wind noise making its way into the cabin while the soft top was up. The brakes also do an amazing job at slowing down the car.
In the end, the Lexus LC500 Convertible is a great performance GT. It really just makes you want to drive it with the top down and feel the wind in your hair while enjoying the comfort and a great naturally aspirated V8 soundtrack.
Written by Kumbi Mtshakazi
Price:R2 345 500
Engine:5,0-litre, V8, naturally aspirated
Power:351 kW @ 7 100 r/min
Torque:540 N.m @ 4 800 r/min
0-100 km/h:4,7 seconds
Top Speed:270 km/h
Fuel Consumption:12,7 L/100 km
Maintenance Plan:Seven-year/105 000 km maintenance plan