Behind The Wheel

2021 Lexus LC 500 — Classic Beauty

2021 Lexus LC 500Model tested: 2021 Lexus LC 500 convertible

Engine: 5-liter V8 Di HP

Transmission: 10-speed sport direct automatic w/paddle shifters

Horsepower: 471

Torque: 398 lb.-ft.

EPA rating: 15/city, 25/highway, 18/combined

Base price: $101,000

As tested: $113,450

Overview: The new convertible version of the 2021 Lexus LC luxury coupe is perhaps the most beautiful droptop on the planet. Its styling is as bold as any auto-show concept vehicle — and it’s a dream to drive. It holds the road effortlessly and its powerful V-8 will take you wherever you want to go — in style — as quick as you want to get there. It’s a grand touring car, with “grand” being the key word.

Walkaround: Lexus debuted the jaw-dropping LF-LC concept in 2016, wowing both the public and critics alike. Two years later, it hit showroom floors looking almost exactly like the concept. Six years later, it remains as bold and beautiful as ever. The LC 500 convertible shares Lexus’ polarizing hourglass grille and aggressive lines of the coupe, stylishly pairing them with the uncompromisingly long, low, wide body. With the top down, this is just a stunningly gorgeous vehicle.

2021 Lexus LC 500Interior: The LC’s interior isn’t exactly practical, but delivers a sensory experience not often found in any automobile. The intimate cabin boasts real wood, leather and metal trim. The ambiance isn’t what we would term sporty, but instead conveys a strong sense of exclusivity and indulgent luxury. The perfectly bolstered, leather front seats are exceedingly comfortable, spoiling you with multiple adjustments to accommodate a broad range of drivers over long rides. The small back seat seemingly isn’t meant for passengers, but things like briefcases. The center-mounted, 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen controls climate, audio, vehicle settings, navigation and everything else — including the optional 915-watt Mark Levinson 13-speaker premium surround sound system. There’s also a head-up display. However, the trackpad controlling the screen is overly sensitive, often requiring your eyes leaving the road to get what you want. This is a well-known issue in every Lexus utilizing this feature. While the trackpad is seemingly less sensitive than past models, it’s still problematic. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and using their map features is easier than accessing Lexus’ navigation system via the trackpad. Trunk space in the convertible is a minimal 3.4 cubic feet — pack light.

Behind the Wheel: In this age of 500-plus-horsepower, supercharged V8s, the LC’s spirited, naturally aspirated 471 horses hold their own, smoothly delivering strong acceleration. Handling the 0-60 drill in 4.4 seconds, it’s married to a 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters. While the LC may look exotic, it doesn’t pretend to be a supercar. The focus is grand touring in the traditional sense — comfortably cruising long distances with easy speed. It tackles every road surface with confidence. The all-wheel-drive ride is smooth, displaying poised certainty on winding roads and sliding through tight corners with an unexpected enthusiasm.

Bottom Line: The Lexus LC 500 convertible is elegant, built for classy speed and opulent intimacy. If price weren’t an issue, we would own this car.