“You like my boy, I love it,” said YouTuber. Jim boarded me on a gimbal, as he cruised past me off New York’s West Side Highway to wave in a sea of Mazda RX-7s Was. It was a 7-day NYC, a massive celebration of rotary engine cars and their friends was held on July 7, and once again a crowd of Mazda owners and their friends descended on Times Square, this time despite the epidemic or perhaps because of it. From then on, most of these enthusiasts were trapped inside for months and desperate to roam their way outside.
I definitely felt the same way. And while I was in the car – the 2021 Lexus LC500 convertible, just a handful in the US at the time – there was not a Mazda, or a rotary, and unlike almost every other car in the event it had bone stock, it still is Got a lot of attention. thumbs up. Looks at Smile of approval. Questions about engine and sticker pricing.
This is not a car you want the word “subtle” to be anywhere in your vocabulary.
“It’s not mine,” I shouted back to my new friend, the press lender reluctant to insist on the logistics of the cars, but unwilling to claim the Lexus Velor of any kind stolen. I wish I didn’t think he heard me through my mask, or the roar of tuned engines as they revived off the highway. The LC500 stood out among the unexpected audballs like the massively modified RX-7s, R32 Skylines, S2000s, Integras, NSXes and Toyota Starlet GT Turbo, which all featured the party. So did the LC500 have a $ 112,000 price tag, far ahead of the rest.
It did not matter. The Lexus was quickly accepted. Liked it, even. Embraced by the JDM crowd of the 1980s and ’90s. It is very rare, very strange and not very much. And if you are lucky enough to invest in one, pay attention to what you are into.
In some ways, this Bubble Era feels a modern-day equivalent of a Japanese car – expensive, lavish, aimed at a very small buyer niche, and with no real discretionary business case attached. I think all FD RX-7 people liked it so much. Sports identity games, and all that. This is a Japanese take on the Aston Martin Volante or Mercedes SL, except the fresher is more unique. And you have to appreciate the Lexus and keep it out of the hour when the SUV dominates all.
2021 Lexus LC500 Convertible by Numbers
- Base value (as tested): $ 101,000 ($ 111,920)
- Powertrain: 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine | 10-Speed Automatic Transmission | Rear-wheel Drive
- power Horse: 471 horsepower
- Torque: 398 lb-ft
- Weight: 4,280 pounds.
- EPA Fuel Economy: 15 mpg city | 25 highway | Merged 18
- seating capacity: Four (technically speaking, the rear seats are only for small children or people you don’t like)
- promise: A V8-powered grand-touring convertible that is different from the rest.
- Delivery: Some flaws in execution cannot invalidate how special and fun it is.
A v8 stunner
Even with traffic and parking at a premium, and the roads thanks to an epidemic, And The worst economy that has been seen in decades, New York is still a den of very good cars. Kennens and Maconus abound. Some neighborhoods have a G-Class on every other block. Aston Martin convertibles and Lamborghins are not completely uncommon on BQE. Certainly, TLC-plated Camres dominates the landscape, but the city’s money is evident in its cars.
Despite this, the LC500 continues to be a staple in the week that I have. The droptop, long, long hood, sparkling red paint ($ 595 option) and the roar of the V8 attracted more attention than anything I’ve tested in a short time. If there is no reason other than the fact that you don’t see many of these around, then period. It’s amazing Lexus also makes them – only about 1,200 were sold in the US last year, period, and I’m surprised the number is so high.
Yet Lexus saw fit not only to keep it running, but to build a convertible version for 2021. I know Toyota is hell-bent on outsourcing BMW’s new Supra, but man, the world’s largest car company can throw us a bone whenever it wants. Service. Even if it loses money on a project that could very well happen – I think you might get away with a few things when you regularly carry multiple RAV4’s.
By the way, at least some semi-savvy car guys asked if it was an LFA or I requested that I modify the V10 engine that they had fitted. This confusion is somewhat understandable when you look at the two together. But the LC500 does not have the famous high-reveal 10-cylinder motor from Japan’s biggest supercar, nor can it match the signature LL. (Some cars can.) Instead, it has a gem of its own under the hood: Lexus’s 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V8, the same one found in the RC F, GS F and older IS F.
As visually stunning as the LC500, to me, that V8 is the real star of the show, as it was on RC FI, found itself deeply enchanted until last year. Naturally Aspire V8s are in such short supply these days, and this motor has a type of character that often lacks turbocharged engines. It sounds amazing, it is free-to-open, it runs on highway cruises and high-speeds and is a keen companion in shenanigans. For me, a twin-turbo V6 is no replacement for this thing. The word zero to 60 mph takes a little less than five seconds; It is understandable that the 4,280-pound weight has been curbed, but in the real world it proved to be too early.
It is more enthusiastic to drive by the weight of that pork. Steering is light and precise, body roll is minimal, and the ride is on the stronger side of comfortable. Even in Sport + mode, it’s not enough to set your hair on fire, but enough to move the entire package with force, there is some fun in the corners and you don’t get punished for doing so. . Some people may ding it for not having the ferrous level of AMG, but I think it is right of athleticism. It is balanced, and it is difficult to balance these days.
Inside something special, with some frustrations
Of course, the feel and pace only tells something of the story with a reasonably grand tourer. The idea is to be comfortable in itself. What’s the point of spending so much money on a convertible if it’s gonna kick your ass every day?
In truth, the LC 500 is something to behold inside – and as you step into it. There are a lot of unique touches from the pop-out door handles to the headrests of the Lexus “L” badge and from the “Waves” on the ornate leather to the steering wheel to the interiors. It is a cut above everything Lexus makes; Everything feels truly from the inside, not what you’d expect from a mass-market maker who built his bones on parts and platform-sharing. People on the 7th day often commented on how much leather is inside this car. And all this is offset by tasty brushed aluminum and high grade plastic.
It’s good inside, put it simply. One of the best interiors you can get right now at any cost.
Tradeoffs are endemic to many Lexus models, though right now. Expect a lot of ergonomic awkwardness, especially where infotainment systems are concerned. At first, I couldn’t even find the switch to drop the top at first — it’s buried in a leather wrapped panel under the trackpad that flips when you need it. I felt after I thought it was okay.
What I found out about Lexus’ trackpad system was more trouble than I always hated and hated here. When you are trying to conduct very basic tasks while driving, when you are parked and dangerous, the car escapes like an impulsive mouse with a touchpad to the trackpad and cursor system. is. I found myself only using my phone for navigation tasks, which is not something I think I should do on a six-figure luxury car in 2020.
You slide your finger along the trackpad to move the cursor on the screen to the pre-set menu on the interface, then click when you want to. That’s the idea, at least. I was constantly having trouble getting the cursor to go to the menu as I wished, to follow my finger commands properly and to stay where I wanted it to be. It is cumbersome to use for basic tasks, such as turning navigation addresses or car settings. Automakers need to stop trying to think again on tablets and smartphones, which have become used for everyone in the world.
Lexus is finally shutting down that system and back to touch the screen. They must have understood how irritated the old setup was. It’s a good move, but not enough to save the interface on the LC500, I’m afraid.
An even more minor disappointment was the layout of the automatic gear selector, which seems to be appended to a Prius, because that’s what you want in your fancy, expensive grand tourer. You pop it in for left and up or down and reverse drive respectively, then down again for manual shift mode. In practice, its use is disorganized compared to that sentence, and it seems to be, and slows down your efforts at the quick three-point turn you make.
I’m two minded about it, finally. On one hand, if you are lucky enough to consider the LC 500 convertible ownership in this economy, then you need to think long and hard about that trackpad and infotainment system, day in and day out. On the other hand, it is almost certainly someone’s second (or third, or fourth) car, a weekend and evening cruiser, a road trip machine – not their daily driver.
If so, you may be willing to ignore the technical issues of the Line of Control and adopt its many other good qualities. It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, at least. Again, for this price, it was better.
The LC 500 convertible starts at $ 101,000. My tester had a $ 10,0002 option, including a $ 5,290 touring package, including good leather seats, a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, “climate concierge” with upper-body warm-up, etc. . Siri Eyes Free, a head-up display, adaptive dampers, a torsion limited-slip differential and automatic high beams round out the spec list. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, you feel like you get a lot.
Releasing the infotainment system aside, the LC500 is a winner in my book. In many ways, we find ourselves in the most boring automotive landscape in history. Cars are faster, safer, cleaner and more efficient than ever, but many of them are expensive pickup trucks or crossover SUVs that all look and feel the same. So many cars that are really interesting have been erased so that automakers can focus on profits and the inevitable change of power.
The LC500, especially in convertible form, is awkward. it is different. It is comfortable, powerful and so striking that people cannot close their eyes. This is not exactly what you would expect from Toyota or its luxury division, and is not something you can often see on the streets as well. I’m glad this thing exists, period, but I was also very happy staying behind the wheel. For the few remaining grand tourer buyers looking to really stand out, this is a solid way to do it.
A group of tuned RX-7 drivers think it is good. What else you need?