For those who loved the LC 500 but wanted just that tiny bit more headroom, your prayers have been answered.
Lexus is not a brand known for going off the beaten path. Case in point, in the last 30 years or so, they have only ever produced two convertible models. The first was a drop-top version of the IS Coupe, limited only to the second generation. The second is what you see here today, whether you're reading this article or watched the virtual launch prior to this - it's the Lexus LC 500 Convertible, which will go for RM 1,350,500. In true Lexus fashion, that price is on the road, with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty, and free service for the first 100,000 kilometres.
What are the big numbers? We'll start with the soft top roof, as that is arguably the star of the show. It goes down in 15 seconds, up in 16 seconds, and you can bring it up or close it at speeds of up to 50 km/h. The rest of the metrics follow that of the LC 500 Coupe: a petrol 5.0-litre V8 up front singing to the tune of 470 hp and 540 Nm of torque, paired with a direct-shift 10-speed automatic gearbox delivering power exclusively to the rear wheels. 0 to 100 km/h is done in 4.9 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 270 km/h.
Everything apart from the roof is pretty much identical to the coupe, and that's a good thing. The interior of the LC 500 had always been a bit of a benchmark for other manufacturers, with the ever exciting 8-inch Digital Combination Meter sitting front and centre for the driver, changing appearances depending on the drive mode you select. A large 10.3-inch screen offers multimedia functionality with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, delivering crisp audio through a 13-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound setup.
Luxury is achieved through the big ticket items just as much as the small ones. Adaptive Variable Suspension at each corner offers 650 contiguous steps of damping for truly precise ride and handling - but its value is just as important as the transparent wind deflector between the rear seats that reduces buffetting from the wind at speeds of up to 60 km/h. Lexus' attention to detail is no lower when it comes to a drop-top, even though it poses far more difficult engineering challenges than that of the coupe launched just a few years ago.
Perhaps that's a bit of poor wording, because the reality is that the convertible form of the Lexus LC 500 is arguably its truer form - from the early design stages, the LC 500 was provided with the necessary structural reinforcement and storage space for a convertible. This is very much in the same breath of companies like McLaren, where many of their current high-end performance models are also designed to be tough enough without a roof. There's even an active roll bar system that will deploy in the event of a, well, rollover - necessary to keep the car propped up and avoid injuring occupants.
Structural safety is only one piece of the puzzle. Active safety is the name of the game these days, and the LC 500 convertible comes with the Lexus Safety System + (LSS+). The Pre-Collision System naturally applies brakes or warns you to help avoid impending collisions, while Lane Departure Alert and Lane Keep Assist keep you from straying out of your lane without signalling. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is always a great feature to have, automatically adjusting the car's speed to match traffic ahead.
If you order your LC 500 Convertible now, you can receive it sometime in February of 2021 - a pretty normal wait time given how special these cars are and how drastically global logistics have slowed down due to COVID-19. But with all the thunderstorms and rain in the coming weeks (it's monsoon season after all) perhaps dropping the top would best be reserved for a few months.