First Drive

Lexus LC 500 Convertible 2020 UK review

The roof mechanism itself is reasonably quick (though not as fast-acting as that of the new Aston Vantage Roadster) and operates at road-speeds of up to 30mph. The toggleswitch that controls the mechanism is then neatly hidden beneath a leather-clad flap on the transmission tunnel. The LC’s cabin is otherwise unchanged, and keeps the tiny rear seats, which are more useful for luggage than humans. 

But what a cabin this is. The camel interior of this car is especially fetching, but in any hue the interplay between curves, planes and hard angles feels likeably and exotically different to anything European. The recessed dashboard and organic-looking door-cards stand out in particular, and but for an inch more reach in the steering column, the driving position would be largely beyond objective fault.

Despite the detail changes, on the move the picture is more mixed, but perhaps convertible life does suit the LC’s demeanour better.

This car remains conspicuously well balanced and changes direction neatly. However, at 2035kg (100kg up on the coupe) and with an overt softness that works well on the straight ahead but holds the LC Convertible back during cornering, it certainly isn’t as rewarding or precise to drive as some German or British rivals. 

In general it wants (and needs) to be coaxed more than cajoled. The steering response is superficially keen, but the agility suggested by the exterior design isn’t there. Peel away that skin and you’d see that the V8 engine sits slightly further forward than it might, and this is discernable. Slighty spongey brake-feel doesn’t help. 

The LC Convertible car laps up motorways, and is comfortable and reasonably engaging on A-roads, but B-roads are best left to others.

The car’s strength is that it’s such an affable cruiser, with one of the most distinctive cabins and refined in any class. The low-speed ride continues to suffer from the large wheels (though less so than before), and we’d take a smaller rim size if possible, but if you mostly intend to sit back, let the miles go by and enjoy the glorious intake roar of the V8 without being too concerned about the shortage of torque, there’s probably enough here to offer longlasting satisfaction and interest. 

Lexus’s decision to lose the run-flat tyres, and various changes it has made to suspension bushing and damper rates, has obviously helped elevate the LC’s credibility as a GT car, and it should be seen as such. Moreover, wind buffetting is minimal, even at speed.

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