Lexus has unveiled just the third drop-top car in its 30 year history, the LC500 Convertible, ahead of its arrival in Australia during the second half of next year.
Although its first two attempts – the SC430 and IS Convertible – weren't exactly showstoppers, the LC500 Convertible hits all the right notes on paper.
For one, it's powered by a 5.0-litre V8 engine making 351kW and 540Nm, complete with an intake sound generator in the dashboard and a valved exhaust to develop more naturally-aspirated music.
UPDATE, September 30, 2020: The 2021 Lexus LC500 Convertible is now on sale in Australia. Details here.
There's no mention of a hybrid, suggesting the drop-top LC will be a V8-only proposition.
Lexus has opted for a soft roof, capable of opening and closing in 15 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h. The company says it's been designed to show no wrinkles, and claims the roof's frame isn't visible when it's raised.
To save weight, the front of the folding roof has been constructed from magnesium, while the bracing on the rear suspension is die-cast aluminium.
The whole body structure has been tweaked, according to Lexus, and there's extra bracing to compensate for the loss of the roof.
Unlike the coupe, the LC500 Convertible has also been treated to active anti-roll bars to help manage its weight. The weight distribution (48/52 front/rear) has been shifted slightly rearward compared to the coupe, thanks largely to the folding roof mechanism.
Inside, the cabin is largely unchanged from the LC500 coupe on which it's based. That means lots of soft, two-tone leather, and rear seats that are best reserved for contortionists.
A clear wind deflector and "a focus on aerodynamics around the belt line and rear mould" means occupants can happily converse with the roof down, according to Lexus.
Just 300 examples of the LC500 Convertible will be offered in the Morphic Blue colour scheme you see here.
When will the Lexus LC500 Convertible arrive in Australia?
The LC500 Convertible will touch down in the second half of 2020. Pricing hasn't been revealed, but the LC500 coupe starts at $189,642 before on-road costs.