2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible new car reviews

15 seconds. That's how long Lexus says it takes to drop the top of its LC 500 Convertible.

But you're probably here for some performance-oriented numbers, so here they are: 471 horsepower and 398 lb.-ft. of torque from a 5.0-liter V8 engine that's backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission. Zero to 60 mph only takes 4.6 seconds, and Lexus estimates that the LC can reach a top speed of 168 mph.

Of course, Lexus's flagship V8-powered, drop-top grand tourer comes at a cost—$101,100, to be exact. For perspective, that's an $8000 price jump from the hardtop LC.

Did we find that price justifiable after some time behind the wheel? Read our driving impressions below to find out.

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J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

Let’s take a moment to appreciate just how lucky we are that the Lexus LC exists. Only around 7000 of the swoopy, futuristic-looking coupes have been sold since 2017. On paper, they make almost no sense. It’s a car with nearly 500hp, but it’s not exactly a sports car. It has every luxury feature known to man or beast, but it’s not exactly a luxury car. While I could make a shortlist of vehicles that it competes for market share with, like the Mercedes SL, the truth is it sits completely alone in an inexplicable space that makes zero sense.

And that’s all just so wonderful.

In 2021, It’s extremely cool to see a major car company produce a car that has no business existing, just because it’s cool. The truth is, most of us will never be able to justify a car like the LC, but just knowing car companies still have the guts to produce it makes me happy.

As a driving experience, the LC is every bit as satisfying as its spaceship looks imply. Even our convertible test car felt like it was carved out of a solid chunk of metal, with zero evident flex, and a top that you’d never know was retractable from inside the car.

The 471-horsepower V8 snarls to life through variable exhaust cutouts that fully open on the crank, letting everyone at the WaWa know that your grilled ham and cheese sub will be traveling home in a serious machine. A variety of drive modes, each with a corresponding layout on the all-digital dash, transform the LC from a soft-riding pussycat to a hard-edged tiger with a hair-trigger throttle and the ability to show a Mustang of Camaro its taillights on command.

Inside, the LC is highly dedicated to the comfort and control of the driver, and, to a lesser extent, the passenger. But the driver-focused mission is clear in the angle of the controls and readouts that are all highly biased toward the left-seat occupant. Some of the controls inside the LC are holdovers from previous Lexus pieces and haven’t been swapped out with recent updates on other models, but you don’t really care much about that from behind the wheel.

Ergonomics are typical Toyota excellent, and also typical modern Toyota frustrating with some of the common controls being buried behind one or more layers of DIC menu. I guess that’s just the way things are, but honestly, I shouldn’t have to click so many buttons just to turn on the seat heaters.

But, look, those are minor inconveniences that disappear when you drive the LC. People point, take pictures, wave, and generally act more excited than they do around a lot of other modern cars—even high-end ones. It’s fun to see people get excited about a car just because it’s unique, and I think, ultimately, that’s why Lexus can live with selling 1300 of these things a year.

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Comments
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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/1/21 1:10 p.m.

I know the LFA and LC aren't quite the same, but $101,100 doesn't seem quite as hard to swallow for a flagship model compared to the $420,000 that #2 example of an LFA is worth.

Although, it's hard to match that LFA V10.

hobiercr (FS)
hobiercr (FS) SuperDork
3/1/21 1:58 p.m.

Dead sexy and TWO "oh E36 M3" handles.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/1/21 4:13 p.m.

I hate white interiors.

 

Otherwise seems nice.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
3/2/21 6:25 a.m.

Those LC500s are absolutely beautiful.

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/2/21 6:29 a.m.

Seeing the coupe on the road is a real head turner.  They did a good job with that design.

calteg
calteg Dork
3/2/21 2:55 p.m.

I think this is more of a "sexy SC430" than an attempt at a hypercar. I keep hearing rumors about them dropping a TTV8 into various Lexus....a boy can dream, though I certainly wouldnt like the price tag

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
3/2/21 3:41 p.m.

In reply to calteg :

I'd agree with you on that one. The LC seems to be more of a grand tourer with some sporting undertones.

As far the turbo rumers, that would definately make the LC a potent machine.

FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
3/2/21 4:19 p.m.

I'm not a huge fan of the nose, but the rest, both in performance and looks, more than makes up for it. And ya, no white interiors for me. But, then again, I could never afford a 100K + vehicle.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/2/21 4:23 p.m.

Give me a tin top.  I saw one just like this today.  The green on that car is fantastic.

 

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/2/21 4:23 p.m.

Give me a tin top.  I saw one just like this today.  The green on that car is fantastic.

 

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