Automotive

Published on November 18th, 2020 | by Joshua Chin

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Lexus LC 500 Convertible Launched In Malaysia, RM 1.35 mil

The drop dead gorgeous Lexus V8 roadster has finally been launched locally. 

Malaysia, despite its tropical weather with sunshine all year round, has never really been a popular market with convertibles. Add to that the supposed pandemic-induced financial crisis on the horizon that will most probably dent the market for expensive cars, and it would seem ludicrous for Lexus Malaysia to officially launch the Lexus LC 500 convertible locally. Nevertheless, here it is today, in all its pale yellow glory. 

It goes without saying that the LC 500 convertible is essentially a drop-top variant of its already drop dead gorgeous LC 500 coupe. Credit where it is due to Lexus though, the Japanese automaker has somehow managed to make this cabriolet look even better than its hard-top stablemate. 

From the front and the rear, it is already a beautiful thing to behold, with all the nice exterior hallmarks are carried over from the coupe. The tri-beam LED projector headlights flank the signature Lexus spindle grille up front, while the rear end aesthetic is highlighted by what Lexus term the infinity mirror design full LED rear light clusters. 

The side profile however is where the money shot for the LC 500 convertible truly lies, especially with the roof down. Losing the roof just further accentuates the sleek lines of this Japanese cabriolet. Starting from the sloping bonnet line; and moving down its long, low silhouette with that side air intake and 21-inch turbine style alloys; before ending on its muscular rear haunches, there is simply not enough words to describe the look of this car. Other than just calling it plain sexy of course. 

Aesthetics aside, there is also much to love about the immense level of engineering that has gone into this stunning Lexus. Chief among which is probably with that retractable soft top. Made up of 3 layers of fabric and an additional layer of insulation material, this hydraulically operated roof goes up and down in 15 and 16 seconds respectively, and can be electrically controlled at speeds of up to 50 km/h. 

Like any other convertible, some weight has to be added at the expense of losing the roof. The Lexus has gained 90 kg over its hard top equivalent from this drop-top conversion, due to the additional bracing and roof mechanisms. Then again, looking at it, most will say that this is a small penalty to pay for those looks. Moreover, with the roof down, it also means one can even more clearly hear the burble of the V8 that resides under that sleek hood. 

Much like its coupe cousin, the convertible features the same 5.0 litre naturally aspirated V8 that outputs a healthy 470 hp and 540 Nm of torque. Mated to a 10-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission that sends its drive to the rear wheels, 0 – 100 km/h is dealt with in a shade under 5 seconds and will romp to an electronically limited top-speed of 270 km/h. 

Moving on to the more practical side of things, while Lexus calls it a 2+2 cabriolet, the only people who will probably get into the back of the LC 500 convertible will probably also entitle the driver to park the special parking spots in the mall car parks. Useless rear seats aside though, the cabin continues to be as exquisite as the exterior design, with the usual subtle Japanese flair to the proceedings that is to be expected with a Lexus. 

Among all the plush leather and brushed aluminium that line the snug roadster cabin, the interior highlights of this Lexus cabriolet include the 13-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound System that ‘automatically adjusts the acoustic design based on the ambient sounds’ and the Takumi designed gear shift that supposedly ‘fits the driver’s palm perfectly’. 

Other more conventional tech highlights in the LC 500 convertible are the 8 inch digital instrument cluster and the 10.3 inch central infotainment system. For which Lexus being Lexus, is still controlled by the little Remote Touch Interface touchpad on the centre console. Happily, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, as well as the heads-up display. 

 

Surprisingly for a drop-top, there is quite a usable boot too, with a reasonable 145 litres of trunk space. Thereby making it the a reasonable grand touring car. 

Speaking of grand touring, this is perhaps where the LC 500 convertible would really be in its element. Standard Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) means that the ride of this roadster is should be on par with the best comfortable cruisers in the business. A full suite of active driver aids as part of Lexus Safety System+ should also make cruising a relatively safe experience. Moreover, thanks to clever engine management and the transmission’s Artificial Intelligence Shift Control, Lexus claims that this 5.0 litre V8 convertible would return a reasonable fuel efficiency figure of 12.7 L / 100 km on the combined cycle. 

There is however a price to all this drop dead gorgeous beauty and sonorous V8 engine note, and that price is RM 1,350,000 inclusive of sales and service tax without insurance. Seeing that it is arriving here in a surprisingly short time after its global debut though, it may indicate that there are already a few eager buyers in the queue already for this drop dead gorgeous Lexus, that is set to officially be delivered to customers in February. 

PRESS RELEASE: The arrival of the Lexus LC 500 Convertible in Malaysia ushers in a new era of performance open-top motoring. Officially launched by Lexus Malaysia, the model marks the Japanese luxury automaker’s first convertible model and brings with it the credentials and qualities that exemplify the flagship range of the brand. 

Designed to further stimulate the senses, the LC 500 is testament of Lexus’ design, engineering and craftsmanship at its very best. Far from being a coupe with a chopped-off roof, the Lexus LC 500 was imagined with a convertible version in mind hence all the necessary reinforcements and storage areas were included at its design stage. 

“The new LC 500 Convertible brings with it specific attributes that can only be associated with open top driving,” explains Deputy Chairman of Lexus Malaysia Mr Akio Takeyama. “Armed with dynamic performance and handling as well as a sexy sillhouette, the new model not only elevates the sensorial experience for the driver but also allows them to feel more closely connected to the car, the road and their surroundings.” 

An Expression Of Ultimate Beauty 

The addition of the soft-top design has allowed Lexus engineers the luxury of further accentuating the sleek lines of the coupe. The LC 500 Convertible remains faithful to many of the defining features of the LF-LC concept car that inspired it. The signature low, sharp front design, 3-beam LED projector lamps and Spindle Grille, complements the convertible’s design to deliver a truly dynamic look. 

At the rear, the full LED combination lamps, boasting an infinity mirror design, helps create a sense of depth to the design whilst the third brake light integrated into the edge of the trunk lid further streamlines the profile. The LC 500 Convertible sits on 21-inch forged wheels with two-tone polished finish and black coating that affords the model with a muscular stance. 

Top up or top down, the LC 500 Convertible cuts a striking silhouette, befitting its status as one of the world’s most beautiful open-top cars. Best of all, this beauty is able to transform in mere seconds. The hydraulic-operated soft top features an innovative folding mechanism that allows it to open in 15 seconds and close in 16 seconds. 

The soft top – constructed from a 4-layered material (3 layers of fabric + NVH material) – can be opened or closed at speeds up to 50kmh for added convenience. A tonneau cover is also incorporated to cover the roof storage space in order to give the LC 500 Convertible a neat appearance when the roof is opened. 

Interestingly, due to its lightweight structure, the new roof contributes to the car’s dynamics, whilst eliminating significant intrusions to the trunk and cabin space, which can come with a heavier, bulkier hard top. Despite the addition of the folding roof, the LC 500 Convertible tips the scales at a mere 90kg more than its coupe sibling while the luggage compartment still delivers a respectable 149 litres of space. 

The LC 500 Convertible is offered in White Nova Glass Flake, Deep Blue Mica, Sonic Silver, Terrane Khaki Mica Metallic, Naples Yellow Contrast Layering, Blazing Carnelian Contrast Layering, Radiant Red Contrast Layering, Black, Graphite Black Glass Flake, Dark Gray Mica and Sonic Titanium with roof coloured options in black and beige. In terms of interior colours, the LC 500 Convertible is offered in Flare Red, Black and Ocher. 

Human Centred Interior 

Inside, the LC 500 Convertible blends the worlds of luxury and technology to produce a sophisticated and highly-refined interior. The 2+2 cabin combines elegance, superb comfort and modernity to create a driver-focused cockpit. 

The driver’s cockpit is designed to instil confidence with intuitive layout of the controls and a seating position offering a commanding view of the road due to the low-bonnet line and the low-profile instrument panel. The model features an eight-way power adjustable semi-aniline leather sports seats with heater and ventilation for the perfect driving position. 

Crafted for comfort and practicality, the car features a Takumi designed gear shift that fits the driver’s palm perfectly. Catering to the demands of modern drivers, the LC 500 Convertible arrives with an impressive 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display, which provides immediate access to audio or climate controls and various systems, including the voice-activated navigation system. 

Integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the system also allows you to seamlessly cast your device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display. Befitting its sporty pretentions, engineers have equipped the LC 500 Convertible with features such as an 8-inch Digital Combination Meter as well as a Heads-up Display. A remote touch interface is also conveniently located on the centre console for added convenience. 

Affording audiophile levels to the LC 500 Convertible, Lexus engineers equipped the car with a 13-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound System. In true Lexus Omotenashi spirit, this system automatically adjusts the acoustic design based on the ambient sounds. So whether the roof is open or shut, the perfect environment for a rich audio experience is always achieved. 

Lexus engineers also designed the cabin to reduce wind noise via the unique shape of the beltline and rear moulding which suppresses wind from entering. A transparent wind deflector located behind the rear seats also helps reduce buffetting, keeping the cabin serene up to speeds of 60kmh. 

Sharper & More Refined 

While the new LC 500 Convertible stylishly blends the coupe’s unique roofline with the character of a convertible achieving an exquisite profile, the LC 500 Convertible still manages to closely-mimic the driving qualities of the Coupe allowing owners to enjoy the tin top’s dynamic performance with the alfresco freedom of a convertible. 

The secret to this feat has been through the employment of structural bracing, reinforcement of welding points and the use of body adhesive joints to create the highly rigid body required to create excellent handling stability. 

The LC Convertible’s suspension has also been optimally tuned to deliver comfortable yet precise road- going performance. The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) has been further optimized to complement the convertible, providing an impressive 650 different levels of damping force. 

Drivers can expect breath-taking performance courtesy of the 5.0-litre V8 engine tucked under the hood. Paired with a seamless Direct-Shift 10-speed automatic transmission, the naturally aspirated, direct-injection powerplant produces 470 horses along with 540Nm of torque on tap. 0-100 kmh is achieved in 4.9 seconds with top speed electronically-limited to 270kmh. 

Despite its impressive performance figures, the LC 500 Convertible returns a fuel efficiency of 12.7 L / 100 km (combined) thanks in part to its cutting-edge engine design mated to the transmission’s Artificial Intelligence Shift Control. The intelligent feature helps predicts driver’s intention and selects the appropriate gear for the best driving experience. 

Safety Assured 

Once again safety takes top priority in the latest Lexus model. The new LC 500 Convertible arrives with the Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+), which features a suite of advanced safety systems designed to mitigate untoward incidents on the open road. 

This includes Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams. The vehicle is also equipped with a total of six airbags with Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert as standard features. 

Being a convertible, the new Lexus model also boasts important safety features that are specific to a vehicle of its class. Chief of this is the active roll bars that extend upwards when a rollover is detected. When not deployed, the rolls bars are hidden from view to retain the neat silhouette of the convertible. 

“The arrival of the new LC 500 Convertible demonstrates Lexus Malaysia’s commitment in delivering the very best in performance, luxury and exclusivity, which discerning drivers crave for in today’s automotive market. This ultimate luxury performance car is a true stand-out that brings sexiness back to the road,” said Mr Ravindran K., President of Lexus Malaysia. 

The Lexus LC 500 Convertible is priced at RM1,350,000.00 after sales and service tax without insurance. Owners will be able to enjoy a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty plus free service throughout that duration or for its first 100,000km as long as it is cared for accordingly by trained Lexus professionals at authorised Lexus Centres. Early purchasers will receive their new Lexus LC500 Convertibles beginning February 2021 so hurry to your nearest Lexus Centre to secure your new pride and joy. 

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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