The Lexus LC 500 comes in three forms – Coupe, Hybrid Coupe and Convertible. In any form however, it is an elegant sports car – at least in its appearance. All models feel a bit heavy to be rated as an all out sports car, but while their weight is evident, their power credentials are indeed satisfying. I had earlier expressed my feeling that the LC 500 would come closer to perfection in drop-top form.
After a five year absence with no convertible in the lineup, the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible came to fruition having first been shown as a concept car at the 2019 Detroit International Auto Show, followed by its global debut at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Both models are seriously focused on delivering the same level of dynamic driving performance and luxuriousness.
The LC 500 Convertible was an expansion of the Lexus two-door family, promising to further stimulate one’s senses with the allure of open-air motoring. Its unique roofline skillfully combining that of the coupe and hybrid coupe. The convertible’s profile is equally gorgeous with the top up or down.
Lexus engineers relied on both computer-aided engineering analysis and real-world driving evaluation in order to match the driving qualities of the coupe counterpart, with the extensive research and development yielding impressive results.
The focus was to retain similar handling dynamics to the LC 500 and 500h coupe while also improving chassis rigidity with the addition and relocation of various structural braces.
Both Coupe model’s curves are highlighted in the silhouette of the convertible through a few key changes. At the rear, the trunk is accentuated with a “kicked up” design that slightly lifts its profile, while the spoiler surface is laterally broadened emphasizing the car’s low, wide stance. The center brake light is now integrated into the trunk lid, where the coupe’s light rests on the top of the rear windshield.
The cabin design reduces wind noise due to the unique shape of the beltline and rear molding that suppresses wind entry.
The front engine, rear-wheel-drive LC 500h Coupe delivers satisfying performance similar to that of the coupe, but not quite on the same level.
CABIN CREATURE COMFORTS and CONNECTIVITY:
Much like the LC 500 Coupe, the LC 500h Coupe comes with an impressive 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display that provides immediate, simultaneous access to audio or climate controls and other various systems, including the voice-activated navigation system.
For 2022, the LC 500h features Android Auto, allowing the seamless casting of one’s device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display. Play music via favorite apps such as Spotify® and Pandora®, send messages through a range of commonly used apps like WhatsApp®, navigate with Google Maps™, and request information—all voice activated—through the Google Assistant™. For added convenience, Android Auto is also able to deliver tailored information based on calendar, usage activity and habits.
With the integration of Apple CarPlay® i, one can access the familiar interface from an iPhone through the vehicle’s multimedia display. Simply connect an iPhone to get directions, make calls, send and receive message via Siri®, and access apps like Spotify™, Audible® and Apple® podcasts.
It’s possible to bring all the convenience of Amazon Alexa on the road with the Lexus+Alexa app. Using only your voice, it’s easy to access thousands of the same functions available with Alexa at home. Listen to audiobooks, stream Amazon Music, make lists, check the weather, get news briefings and much more. One can also use it to control compatible smart-home devices such as lighting, thermostat and security systems. Offering added in-vehicle convenience, Alexa even syncs to your Navigation System to provide on-the-go recommendations.
The Lexus Enform Remote service can lock and unlock doors, start the engine and climate control, check the fuel level and more, all through a smartphone, smartwatch or devices enabled with the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. And it’s included for the first three years of ownership.
Lexus Enform Destination Assist three-year trial is included and acts as an in-vehicle personal concierge, providing directions and destinations delivered by a live agent. The Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 app trial period offers access to favorite mobile applications through the vehicle’s center console display, including Amazon Alexa compatibility, NPR One, iHeartRadio®, Slacker® and Yelp®.
Sport front seats are both comfortable and supportive with impressive adjustability. Rear seating is suitable only for highly diminutive occupants as they are really only suggestive for occupation.
SAFETY A HIGH PRIORITY:
The new 2022 LC 500H comes standard with Lexus Safety System+, which includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Intelligent High Beams. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert also comes as standard fare.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect comes standard and is complimentary for the first three years of ownership with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365.
Lexus Enform Service Connect is complimentary for the first 10 years, and the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. The Lexus app or LexusDrivers.com website can be used to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues. and the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. The Lexus app or LexusDrivers.com website can be used to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues.
My test LC 500h sported a Smoky Granite metallic exterior finish, while the interior was executed in flashy Black and Orange-toned leather. The base price was set at $114,210., while the final tally came to $115,285., after factoring in all the options, which included the 21-inch forged, polished alloy wheels shod with staggered run flat Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires; Head-Up –Display; Limited Slip Differential; Touring Package; and delivery, processing and handling fee.
Considerable driving evaluation and analysis went into crafting unique driving qualities giving the vehicle a specific athleticism.
The suspension was tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the coupe and convertible. From its dampers and coils, to its bushings and the unique Yamaha Performance damper placed transversely at the rear, the Convertible’s specially-designed components are designed to help ensure comfortable, yet sharp, road-going performance. A reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke, and weight is also reduced in the rear with the use of lightweight die-cast aluminum for the construction of the suspension tower brace.
The tuning of the Adaptive Variable Suspension is optimized to complement the convertible. The AVS system continually adjusts damping control in response to driving operation and road surface conditions, with the ability to adjust to an impressive 650 different levels of damping force. The AVS system has also been relocated compared to the previous model year coupe, as it no longer resides at the top of the absorber and is now mounted to the lower side of the shock absorber body below the spring.
Acceleration is exhilarating, handling characteristics are quick and nimble, ride quality is firm but smooth. There are left and right stalk controls for driving modes and conditions flanking the steering console. The left knob tales care of turning off traction Control and Snow mode, while the right knob controls Sport, Sport +, Normal, Custom, Comfort and ECO modes. Sport + was determined to be the most enjoyable and also delivered the best and most enjoyable exhaust note.
THE FINAL TAKE:
First impressions alone are worth the lofty price tag. The 2022 Lexus LC 500h is truly drop dead gorgeous from virtually every angle and the driving experience delivers the pinnacle of enjoyment. It ranks right up there with other high-end Coupes on every level and is actually more reasonable in terms of cost than many. This is a car that I could learn to love and live with.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2022 Lexus LC 500h Coupe
Base Price: $114,210.
Price as Tested: $115,285.
Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, V-6, with Lexus Multistage Hybrid power.
Horsepower (bhp): 354 total system
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 398 @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: Multistage with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and manual shift mode.
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / RWD.
Suspension: Front – Double-joint Multilink.
Rear – Multilink.
Brakes: Four-wheel power-assisted disc brakes with ABS, EBD and BA.
Front -15.7 in ventilated rotors with six-piston opposed aluminum calipers, high-friction brake pads.
Rear – 14.1 in ventilated rotors with four-piston opposed aluminum calipers, high-friction brake pads.
Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport – 245/40 R21 96Y-front / 275/35 R21 98Y-rear mounted on 5-“V”-spoke Polished alloy wheels with painted inners.
Wheelbase: 113.0 inches
Length Overall: 187.4 inches
Width: 75.6 inches – without mirrors
Height: 53.0 inches
Curb Weight: 4,340 – 4,540 lbs.
Turning Circle: 35.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 21.7 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 26.0 mpg city / 34.0-mpg highway
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.