The new Lexus LC 500 cabriolet is the halo model of the Japanese luxury brand. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new Lexus LC 500 cabriolet is the halo model of the Japanese luxury brand. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Lexus LC 500, a brilliant two-seater grand tourer for all seasons, goes head to head with rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz but it’s also a left-field alternative to the more exotic brands.

The LC 500 coupé was upscaled a few months ago and its convertible cousin has landed on SA’s shores.  

Featuring a wrinkle-free cloth roof — available in several colours — with four-layers of fabric to reduce noise, Lexus says the design of the convertible hinged on retaining the artistic panache and dynamic expertise of the LC500 coupé. This was achieved by redesigning the forward pillar, rearguards, boot, along with additional underbody bracing and rear-biased weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity.

With the soft top drawn the convertible matches the lines of its roofed cousin but the front and rear headroom are 11mm and 4mm shorter, respectively, and the boot 48l smaller. The top peels back in 15 seconds while driving at speeds of up to 50km/h.

Beyond the keyless doors with retractable handles is a cabin with quilted seats covered in semi-aniline leather and equipped with neck heaters. There's also 26cm multimedia screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a Lexus Remote Touch-pad (LRT) controller, 2x standard USB and 1x Aux inputs, voice control, and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. Interior lights are tough-sensitive and the cabriolet is fitted with sports pedals and stainless-steel scuff plates. Safety systems include active LED headlights, reversing camera, navigation, lane departure warning and steering assist,  adaptive cruise control, six airbags and vehicle stability control.

The cabriolet rides on 21-inch forged-alloy two-tone wheels and is powered by a 5.0l naturally-aspirated V8 petrol engine with outputs of 351kW and 540Nm driving the rear wheels and mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Performance is rated at 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 270km/h. Fuel consumption is 12.7l/100km and a CO² emissions of 290g/km.

Driving is taken care of by a mode selector: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Customise, Sports and Sport S+. The cabriolet’s also equipped with a mechanical limited-slip differential, adaptive variable suspension and a new active cornering assist system.

Eleven exterior colours — Blazing Carnelian; Terrane Khaki Metal; White Nova; Sonic Titanium; Solar Storm Red; Naples Yellow; Opulent Blue; Dark Grey; Black; Graphite Black; and Sonic Silver can be paired with either black, flare red or ochre trim, and a black or beige soft top.

The 2021 LC Convertible comes standard with a seven-year/105,000km warranty and Full Maintenance Plan at R2,345,500. The coupé is available for R2,158,200.

The Lexus cabriolet's digital cabin comes with plenty of luxury and in a variety of colours. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Lexus cabriolet's digital cabin comes with plenty of luxury and in a variety of colours. Picture: SUPPLIED
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