Luxurious Vehicles – Lexus LC500 Convertible — Subtract Roof and Add Noise
After driving the Lexus LC500 Coupe simply over two years in the past, I used to be each impressed and dissatisfied. There was a lot to love concerning the LC500 but in addition a lot to dislike. Simply to recap: its engine was, and nonetheless is, a masterpiece, its appears had been killer and its inside was produced from the best supplies.
Nevertheless, its inside ergonomics had been a large number, its transmission was irritating and its infotainment system was simply concerning the worst I’d ever used. So when the prospect got here to check the newly add, and barely up to date, Lexus LC500 Convertible, I used to be very excited to present it one other shot.
Satirically, my drop-top check automotive wore the very same coloration mixture as my unique fastened roof tester. Which was a bit disappointing, as I wished to check out a unique coloration combo however I’m not going to complain about driving a six-figure luxurious GT, no matter its coloration. Greater than something, although, I wished to listen to that engine and not using a pesky roof interfering with my enjoyable.
Japanese V8 Magic
America is the nation most recognized for placing out nice V8s. Nevertheless, the 5.Zero liter powerplant within the Lexus LC500 would possibly simply be probably the most fulfilling V8 at present on sale. That may be a very daring assertion nevertheless it’s one I’m sticking by. I’m going additionally to stay by this subsequent declare — the LC500’s V8 is the very best sounding V8 on the planet. You may preserve your Ferrari V8s, AMG V8s and even the brand new Corvette V8. The Lexus LC500 Convertible at full chat, with the roof down, gives one of many absolute best inside combustion noises I’ve ever heard.
At low rpm, it places out a quiet, civilized burble; the type you’d anticipate from a giant V8-powered luxurious sedan. Let the revs climb previous 3,000 rpm, although, and the naturally-aspirated V8 lets out a vicious, violent wail, as if it’s ripping by way of the material of spacetime. The Lexus was dropped off at my home simply in the future after giving again the sensational-sounding C8 Corvette and it was additionally in my possession whereas I had a BMW M2 CS tester subsequent to it within the driveway. The Lexus made each vehicles sound like play issues, particularly the six-cylinder Bimmer.
It’s extra than simply noise, although. The way in which it revs so cleanly, with out the burden of getting to attend for turbo-boost, is such a breath of recent air. In in the present day’s period of turbocharged the whole lot, it’s simply to genuinely neglect what it’s prefer to drive a naturally-aspirated engine and, if you lastly achieve this once more, it’s such a rewarding expertise. When large-displacement, naturally-aspirated engines lastly die off, the Lexus 5.Zero liter V8 will probably be thought-about among the many all time greats. No query, it’s a first-ballot corridor of famer.
Admittedly, it’s not the punchiest of engines, with solely 471 horsepower, 398 lb-ft and a 0-60 mph time of round 4.7 seconds. These numbers make it each the weakest and the slowest automotive in its phase by an enormous margin. However I couldn’t care much less whereas driving it. Nail the throttle at 3,000 rpm and the mixture of ahead thrust and explosive noise is way extra fulfilling than any mind-melting blast to 60 mph in one in every of its German opponents.
One of the best half? No synthetic pops and bangs from the exhaust. I don’t know why each German automotive firm issues that automotive flatulence is the important thing to thrilling exhausts as a result of it isn’t. I blame Jaguar. The LC has none of it and it’s all the higher for it.
Sadly, the Transmission Can’t Hold Up
For as good as its engine is, and it’s completely good, its transmission is a little bit of a letdown. It’s a ten-speed torque-converter automated and, sadly, it’s significantly underwhelming. Firstly, ten gears is way too many. Who needs to shift by way of ten gears, sequentially, with paddles? It’s insanity.
Secondly, the precise transmission itself is the definition of a slushbox. Full throttle upshifts may be the slowest I’ve seen from an automated in over a decade, even in guide mode and in its sportiest settings. They only slowly slush collectively in a mushy, relaxed method. Whereas that’s effective for GT cruising, it’s not what you need if you’re flogging it.
That’s exacerbated by the truth that the engine needs snappier shifts, it craves them. It revs so splendidly that it begs for rapid-fire upshifts. But, you simply can’t get them, it doesn’t matter what kind of setting mixture you strive. It’s simply not programmed to be snappy.
When left to its personal devises, it’s effective nevertheless it’s a bit reluctant to drop down a few gears, which could be irritating if you’re in ninth or tenth gear on the freeway and also you wish to move somebody. And if you shift your self, it’s a must to drop far too many cogs to get ample passing energy.
If Lexus had been to ditch that ten-speed and swap it for a ZF-sourced eight-speed, the Lexus LC500 Convertible would have the near-perfect powertrain. But, for some cause, Lexus stubbornly sticks with the gradual and irritating ten-speed.
Experience and Dealing with are Improved
From what I keep in mind of the LC500 Coupe, it was a very good however not nice dealing with automotive. I distinctly keep in mind it having an honest trip however that sharper bumps would ship shock waves by way of the cabin. This time, although, Lexus appears to have nailed the trip/dealing with steadiness.
The Lexus LC500 Convertible is downright cozy over damaged pavement. Its large wheels nonetheless permit some jolts by way of however solely over the worst of street situations. For probably the most half, it’s comfortable and comfy, with out ever having that basic Lexus float. The trip is fantastically steadiness and excellent for a giant, cozy GT.
Make no mistake, although, the LC can hustle. Steering is properly weighted and surprisingly correct. In fact, it’s utterly numb nevertheless it must be in a giant GT; it’s constructed for consolation, not for velocity. Nevertheless, you may place the LC precisely sufficient and have a very good little bit of enjoyable tossing it round.
One situation I did have with it was that, over some actually tough pavement, I did discover some chassis flex and vibration. And not using a roof, the LC500 Convertible appears to have misplaced an honest little bit of torsional rigidity. For probably the most half, it’s completely effective however some harsher bumps can expose a little bit of flex.
I wasn’t anticipating that, both, as Lexus is often recognized for excellent construct high quality. General, although, the LC500 feels largely stable and even the flex that does happen isn’t a deal-breaker and is kind of understood.
What I appreciated about my time with the Lexus was the truth that it actually leaned into its GT-nature. It’s not a automotive that tries to be one thing it’s not; it doesn’t attempt to be a sports activities automotive or a supercar; it’s unashamedly a grand-tourer. Due to that, its singular focus, the Lexus LC500 Convertible feels purposeful and sincere, which is de facto fairly charming.
Seems to be Nice, Inside and Out
A number of yr on and the Lexus LC continues to be the most effective trying coupes/convertibles on the street. It’s an absolute stunner. Now, admittedly, it’s not probably the most historically fairly trying GT within the phase and is a little bit of an acquired style. Nevertheless, as soon as that style is acquired, you may actually start to understand its magnificence. Its grille continues to be a little bit of a controversial matter and it nonetheless appears just like the Predator however the whole lot else is stellar and actually distinctive. I do suppose the LC500 Coupe is the higher trying automotive however the Convertible appears nice with the highest down.
What probably stands out much more than the outside design is the inside design. The cabin of the Lexus LC500 Convertible is sensational to take a look at and sit in. It’s fantastically sculpted, with a lot depth and so many layers to its design. The supplies, match and end are all excellent as effectively. Even one thing so simple as turning the aluminum quantity knob, which includes a clean operation with no bodily clicks, feels particular. It’s the most effective trying, most attention-grabbing cabins in the marketplace. Till you attempt to use something.
Whereas the LC500’s cabin is attractive, it’s completely infuriating. It blows my thoughts how Lexus is ready to craft such sensational trying cabins and put not the slightest effort into ergonomics. While you sit within a BMW or a Porsche, you may inform there have been 25 conferences with all the inside designers about the place to put the fan management buttons.
Conversely, you may inform some man confirmed up on a Friday, with a sandwich in a single hand, and simply began placing buttons contained in the LC500. As an example, why are the game and traction knobs mounted to the facet of the gauge cluster, like Frankenstein’s neck bolts? Why are the heated seat controls buried within the infotainment display? Talking of infotainment, why does this one exist in any respect?
The next assertion just isn’t hyperbole: Lexus’ infotainment system is the worst one ever fitted to an vehicle. Ever. Firstly, a mouse pad is simply nonsensical to make use of whereas driving. Secondly, it’s a must to use it to swipe the glowing orb cursor factor onto sure icons and it’ll snap to them. However there are too many icons and you’ll’t freely transfer the cursor, because it kind of simply snap to the totally different icons in a particular order. So why not simply use a swivel wheel?
Utilizing it’s so irritating that I refused to take action. In truth, throughout my week with it, I saved the local weather management display up all the time. That approach, I may management my heated seats and steering wheel (in addition to the beautiful heat air neck vents) and never contact anything. I by no means really listened to the stereo, which I do know includes a good Mark Levinson unit, as a result of I couldn’t be bothered to take care of the infotainment. That mentioned, I didn’t want a radio, because the LC500’s V8 soundtrack was higher than any track I may have placed on.
The Lexus LC500 Convertible is an excellent grand touring automotive, with gorgeous appears, a stunning cabin to take a seat in, a supple trip and the very best sounding naturally-aspirated V8 on the planet. To be sincere, the LC500 is worth shopping for for its engine alone, it’s that good.
Nevertheless, the automotive as a complete is let down however its irritating cabin know-how. Which may appear trivial however, as an proprietor, you’d should reside with that on a regular basis. Each time you’d wish to regulate the radio, put in your heated seat or use navigation, you’d have to make use of that monstrosity of an system, which might be extremely annoying.
That mentioned, if you happen to can reside with that, and I sincerely counsel that you simply strive, there’s a lot else to like concerning the Lexus LC500 Convertible that it’s possible worth it. And whereas the Coupe appears higher, I believe it’s the Convertible that you really want. Not solely does dropping the highest present that sense of open-air driving however you get to listen to the fantastic, spine-tingling V8 utterly un-corrupted by a roof.
Do I believe the Lexus LC500 Convertible is worth shopping for over its opponents, just like the BMW eight Sequence and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe/Convertible? It’s robust to say however I assume it comes all the way down to your priorities. Audi doesn’t actually have a direct competitor, because the closest factor to the LC500 Convertible Audi has is the R8 Spyder and that’s fairly a bit costlier. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re in search of an impressive all-around automotive, then you definately’re most likely higher off with one of many Germans.
They’re simply extra well-rounded, have higher tech and are simpler to reside with on common foundation, whereas additionally being brutally quick and likewise very good to drive. Nevertheless, if you would like one thing that’s extra of a toy, one thing to take out on the weekends and savor as a particular driving expertise, I believe the Lexus might be the higher wager.