Last year, the LC 500 Convertible arrived on Lexus dealer lots across the country, broadening the flagship LC family with a stunning exterior design, optimized suspension tuning and an innovative soft-top roof. The LC Convertible returns for 2022 with updated suspension tuning and a more focused color palette, featuring nine exterior colors.
The 2022 LC 500 Convertible will have an MSRP of $101,100 and is expected to arrive in dealerships in late 2021.
The LC 500 Convertible may be based in part on the LC 500 coupe, but it is no mere crop-topped replica. Considerable driving evaluation and analysis went into crafting unique driving qualities that give the vehicle its own athletic identity to offer impressive performance that remains true to its convertible design.
Careful attention was given to the LC Convertible’s suspension, which is 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 (AVS) is enhanced to complement the convertible as well. 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. For 2022, the LC 500 Convertible continues to embrace the Lexus Driving Signature Next Chapter pillar through enhancements to the vehicle’s dynamic handling characteristics. Front and rear suspension settings have been optimized to enhance ground contact feel, linear steering response and steering effectiveness in the high cornering G range. This suspension enhancement results in nimbler vehicle handling and a sharper connection between driver and vehicle.
The LC Convertible comes standard with 20-inch cast alloy wheels, and 20-inch forged wheels are also available. The option to upgrade to large-diameter 21-inch forged wheels is available as well. Run-flat tires are employed at all four corners to eliminate the need for a spare tire, which, in turn, allows engineers to free up space, save additional weight and shorten the rear overhang.
Cream of the Crop Top
The LC Convertible’s soft-top design allowed engineers to focus on accentuating the sleek lines of the convertible without significant intrusions to the trunk and cabin space that can come with a heavier, bulkier hard top. It features an innovative folding mechanism that includes a tonneau cover for when it is stored. The movement of the folding mechanism is inspired by the three-step movement of Japanese calligraphy: ink brush to paper, movement to the right, the stopping of the ink brush.
The roof can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph. An animated display on the multi-information display shows the top’s progress and provides warning messages to confirm the status of the soft top roof. One of the most impressive aspects is the time it takes to open or close: approximately 15 seconds to open and approximately 16 seconds to close, depending upon environmental factors. Even the sound system is fine-tuned specifically for the convertible, with an equalizer that adjusts based on the driving environment whether the top is open or closed. The power window controls have been linked to the movement of the roof as well, allowing the ability to switch to open air freedom with the single push of a button.
Once closed, a tonneau covers the roof storage space to provide a weather-resistant seal from the elements. The rear profile of the LC Convertible trunk is accentuated with a kicked-up design that lifts its profile slightly, while the surface of the spoiler is laterally broadened to emphasize the low, wide stance of the car. The center brake light is integrated into the trunk lid.
Premium magnesium and aluminum components are adopted for the roof links and support structure to provide both a reduction in weight and a design with a low center of gravity. The roof material itself was carefully selected and manufactured to help ensure optimal tension, to minimize wrinkling and improve sound insulation. The four-layer soft top, which includes three layers of fabric and one layer of sound-absorbing material, is designed to retain the flowing roofline of the coupe without the supporting frame visible through the fabric.
A hydraulic system is responsible for opening and closing the convertible’s roof in an elegant, seamless motion. The system features an electromagnetic valve to control the hydraulic pressure generated by the hydraulic pump to extend or contract cylinders for the tension bow, main roof and the tonneau cover. Three times the number of typical durability tests were conducted to ensure reliability and quietness of operation.
The LC 500 Convertible top is offered in two colors: Black and Sand. The exterior color palette has been refined for 2022 and includes Ultra White*, Atomic Silver, Smoky Granite Mica, Caviar, Infrared**, Flare Yellow**, Nightfall Mica, Nori Green Pearl and Cadmium Orange**. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel.
*Available for an additional $500 charge
**Available for an additional $595 charge
Regardless of the weather trending hot or cool, the LC 500 Convertible is designed with an HVAC system that adjusts the temperature whether the top is raised or lowered. The Lexus Climate Concierge with Upper Body Heating automatically manages the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater to ensure the cabin is comfortable. The HVAC system is even optimized to send warm or cold air to the back of the driver’s hands when gripping the steering wheel.
Engineers took care to ensure the driving experience is ideal for all occupants, as the cabin is designed to reduce wind noise thanks to the unique shape of the beltline and rear molding to help suppress wind from entering. A standard transparent polycarbonate wind deflector helps restrict unwanted air from entering the cabin during low-speed travel, such as driving in the city, while the standard windscreen provides improved cabin experience during high-speed travel, such as freeway driving, for comfortable conversing with the top down. Active Noise Control combines sound insulation and absorption techniques to help suppress unwanted harshness from entering the cabin.
There’s no question that the purr (and subsequent roar) of the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 elicits an intoxicating note that beckons the driver to depress the throttle and bring the engine to life. The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive LC Convertible shares the same direct-injected V8 powerplant as the LC 500 Coupe. The engine is rated to produce 471 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 398 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. For the LC Convertible, the engine is paired with a Direct-Shift 10-speed automatic transmission. The convertible posts an impressive 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds, and its maximum track speed is electronically limited to 168 mph.
Although great effort is put into keeping certain sounds out of the LC 500 Convertible, the powerful roar of the naturally-aspirated V8 engine is not one of them. Engine intake pulses are naturally carried through a diaphragm into a sound pipe that carries the sounds of the V8, not the air itself, into the cabin to enhance its rumble (similar to the system employed in the Lexus LFA). To further enhance the aggressive tone of the engine’s exhaust and augment performance, a computer-controlled valve balances the fine line between optimizing exhaust back-pressure, exhaust tone and volume at higher engine speeds.
Inside, the LC 500 Convertible is equipped with an impressive 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display to provide immediate access to audio or climate controls and various systems, including the voice-activated navigation system.
Android Auto™ allows users to seamlessly cast their Android phone’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display. Play music via 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 with just a voice command — through the Google Assistant™. For added convenience, Android Auto can also deliver tailored information based on your calendar, usage activity and habits.
With Apple CarPlay compatibility, customers can access the familiar interface from their iPhoneâ through the vehicle’s multimedia display. Simply connect an iPhone to get directions, make calls, send and receive message via Siri® and get access to favorite apps like Spotify, Audible® and Appleâ podcasts.
With Alexa integration, you can bring all the convenience of Amazon Alexa on the road. Just ask Alexa for the same access to information and the thousands of skills available with Alexa at home. Listen to audiobooks, play favorite music, make lists, check the weather, get news briefings and much more. Users can also control compatible smart-home devices such as lighting, thermostat and security systems. Offering added in-vehicle convenience, Alexa even syncs to the navigation system to provide on-the-go recommendations.
The Lexus Enform Remote service allows drivers to 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 also included and acts as an in-vehicle personal concierge, providing directions and destinations delivered by a live agent. The Lexus App offers access to Amazon Alexa compatibility through the vehicle’s center console display.
Lexus Safety System+
The 2022 LC Convertible comes standard with Lexus Safety System+. This includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Intelligent High Beams. Also like the LC 500 coupe, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert come standard.
There are important safety features specific to convertible, such as the active roll bars that are designed to deploy upward if a rollover is detected. When not deployed, these roll bars are hidden from view to retain the convertible’s exquisite silhouette when the top is down.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect trial comes standard and is complimentary for the first three years of ownership with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365. With Lexus Enform Service Connect trial, the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. The Lexus app can be used to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues.
*Does not include the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee of $1,075