► Lexus’ new flagship cabriolet
► Rivals the likes of the Porsche 911
► Really Japanese, pretty Lexus – and pretty very good

The energy of a flagship shouldn’t be ignored. Even though the Lexus LC Coupe is fairly minimal in terms of over-all gross sales volumes, its result on the brand’s profile has been big. In the year pursuing its debut, research volumes improved by 41 per cent, and several of those people who have been drawn in by the LC finished up buying a more very affordable Lexus – like the RC, NX or RX alternatively.

By launching the new LC Convertible, the manufacturer will no question be hoping to repeat some of this fortune, and the overwhelmingly good response on social media to its announcement displays there is a superior likelihood of it executing just that. But it is no use just turning heads on the avenue – it is got to be as extraordinary a car as its coupe sibling.

Just shut up and permit me seem for a second…

It is a bit of a stunner, isn’t it? Unapologetically Lexus, showcasing an huge ‘spindle’ grille and much more cuts and slashes than a two-little bit crime novel, still these options that appear to be relatively more than the leading on anything like the UX SUV work properly on the LC’s extended, lean silhouette.

2020 Lexus LC Convertible - rear

It is preserved the roofline of its coupe sibling quite nicely, too. The fabric roof is fairly complex but when raised it looks correctly built-in. When lowered, there’s a distinctive upkick to the window line that raises the rear deck driving the passenger compartment. It’s extremely effective.

We’re unique enthusiasts of the gentle signatures both of those front and rear, although even the interior’s relatively beautiful – all fascinating surfaces and large-finish supplies.

Where’s the hybrid?

Lexus tells us it ‘could’ have set up a hybrid powertrain in the LC Convertible, but it decided not to – apparently, the added excess weight of the batteries on top of the added reinforcing needed without having a sound roof would have compromised the car’s dynamics as well a lot. Not so considerably in in general heft – the LC Convertible’s barely heavier than the Coupe – but in balance.

Best hybrid cars and trucks and plug-ins

This provides it the distinction of getting Lexus’ only model out there in the British isles with no hybrid trickery in any way.

2020 Lexus LC Convertible - engine

It also leaves the 5.-litre naturally-aspirated V8 as the sole motor on supply. The factors we place up with, eh? Properly, in this scenario, you’ll require to set up with a gasoline economic climate figure of 24.1mpg and CO2 emissions of an eye-watering 275g/km. Par for the program with huge V8s, but never enjoyable to feel about. At minimum the large 82-litre fuel tank presents a theoretical 435 miles for each tank, earning this an appealing long-distance cruiser.

What’s it like?

There’s 457bhp on offer, with peak power coming in at a gloriously raucous 7,100rpm. It’s a satisfaction to rev – with the sort of response you only get from a naturally-aspirated powerplant. The sound by itself is terrific, too, and Lexus has not bothered to suit a ‘loud’ button like you’d find on an AMG Mercedes – if you want far more volume, you are going to just have to change down a couple of ratios on the 10-pace auto and place your foot down.

Do so and the LC will sprint from -62mph in 5 seconds flat – similar to the Coupe – and on to an electronically constrained major pace of 168mph. On our slippery exam roadways there was enough shove to spin the wheels correct up to fourth gear…

2020 Lexus LC Convertible - front cornering

The gearbox is reassuringly slushy when you’re cruising all around carefully, but will hang on tenaciously to ratios when you set your foot down – in particular if you shift into Sporty S manner – and the relaxation of the time will happily continue to keep you in the engine’s torque band.

Our only gripe is when you consider handbook control, with these many closely-spaced ratios demanding fairly frantic paddle-flapping at complete chat.

How does it journey and cope with?

Very properly indeed. The LC Convertibles we drove were all Sport+ models, which function a constrained-slip differential and overall performance dampers at the rear. Unfortunately, there is no home to provide the coupe’s rear-wheel steering in – a disgrace, as this is a huge car or truck and feels like it to travel.

But provided the road’s wide enough the LC steers and corners with real fluency. There is a ton of grip and while the steering’s a minor distant, it is mild and specific. It is no chore to hustle this car or truck.

2020 Lexus LC Convertible - rear cornering

When cruising, the fabric roof can make alone acknowledged with the barest trace of scuttle shake on pockmarked surfaces as effectively as a somewhat firmer edge to its coupe sibling. These are definitely insignificant gripes, however, and the the greater part of the time you will settle into a sumptuously upholstered (and reassuringly lower-mounted) sporting activities seat and appreciate a spectacularly very good grand touring experience.

All informed, it errs more in the direction of consolation than dynamism, versus the 911 Cabriolet which suggestions the other way – not an unappealing prospect.

What’s it like inside of?

Hushed with the roof up – elevating or decreasing it can be done at speeds of up to 31mph. Roof down, there’s potentially a very little far more bluster than we’d like, but this 6’3 tester is not the very best judge of that, and shorter motorists will locate themselves extra secured from the things. That’ll be the scenario for the Mercedes-aping neck heaters, much too, which unquestionably worked miracles on our upper back again.

2020 Lexus LC Convertible - interior

There are two rear seats in listed here, theoretically – like any of this car’s rivals they’re supposed as extensions of the boot fairly than actual locations for people to sit. Though a little one seat might in shape back there. The boot itself is shallow but basically shaped, and must in shape a pair of suitcases or quite a few smooth baggage.

The LC’s dashboard is the antithesis of the 911 Cabriolet’s strait-laced and Germanic affair – it is pure Lexus, with a stacked centre console reminding us a tiny of Renaults from the 1980s. That’s a very good comparison, we promise.

Material and construct high quality is peerless, with not a vibration or rattle to be felt even on inadequate surfaces, and all the buttons and switches operate with reassuring excess weight. The roof controls are cleverly hidden away beneath the palmrest, far too.

The LFA-design and style moving binnacle for the electronic sprint is a lovely social gathering trick, however from the most current super higher-res shows on some rivals the LC’s gauge cluster appears to be like a small old-college. The similar can eventually no more time be explained for the infotainment – the pin-sharp central show at last characteristics Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing for you to banish Lexus’ possess program for great. It’s a disgrace you have to work it as a result of an uncomfortable touchpad relatively than a touchscreen, although.

Verdict

Placing to search at, the Lexus LC Convertible turned heads left and correct on our exam route – and as it is likely to keep on being really unique, it’ll be accomplishing that for a though to appear.

2020 Lexus LC Convertible - side, roof up

The issue of irrespective of whether it’s far better than a Porsche 911 is moot, as even with their very similar rate tags (that is, when you’ve chosen objects these types of as ‘seats’ or ‘windows’ from Porsche’s possibilities record) and status as four-seat sports activities cabrios, they are fully distinct in character and execution.

Taken on its possess deserves, the LC Convertible is a wonderful achievement. It’s a Lexus truly worth acquiring psyched about, with a wonderful motor, beautiful styling and all the hallmarks exceptional to Lexus ownership.