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The long-awaited Lexus LC 500 convertiblelives up to everything you expect from Lexus, and it is still a credible sports car.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The long awaited 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is as striking as many European exotics costing much more.About eight years ago, Lexus shocked the world with its first exotic supercar. The 2012 Lexus LFA offered breathtaking performance with 563 horsepower from a V10 engine, along with outrageous styling worthy of a supercar. All 500 examples were snatched up by collectors or retained unsold by the lucky dealers who had them.

Fast forward to 2018 and Lexus came out with the LC coupe, with a 5.0-liter V8 or hybrid drivetrain. The LC looks very much like the LFA, and has a lot in common with the ultra-rare exotic. Although with a price pushing $100,000, the LC dramatically undercuts the European exotics and Acura's stunning NSX sports car alike.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2021 Lexus LC500 attracts attention coming and going — and it goes very fast, with a 471-horsepower 5.0-liter V8.

For 2021, Lexus will release the long-awaited LC 500 convertible. We got a chance to drive the car before it is released to dealers, and this vehicle lives up to everything you expect from Lexus, and it's still a credible sports car.

The 5.0-liter engine puts out 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are not as impressive as they used to be, but Lexus pairs the engine with an advanced 10-speed transmission, so the LC always has the right gear to pin your back to the seat if you get on the gas. The brakes, tires, and suspension are all similarly advanced, so the total package is fast, safe, and supremely comfortable.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The interior of the 2021 LC500 Convertible lives up to the high standards expected in the flagship Lexus.

Lexus has simplified the interior to the basics. You control the infotainment and just about everything through a touchpad or voice-activated interface. Everything you want is there, from navigation to communication to information.

The Lexus is really designed for two people. Although there are technically two rear seats, they're sized to carry your purse, briefcase, or backpack, not an actual human being. If you need to carry more people, Lexus has sedans and SUVs for that. The LC 500 is about luxury.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The front bucket seats in the 2021 Lexus LC500 are deeply sculpted and comfortable.

The top is typically Lexus. I confess it took me a while to discover how to take it down. When I discovered the switch, it was cleverly hidden under the wrist pad where you rest your arm to use the touchpad controller. Once you find that, putting the top up or down is easy. There's a clamshell cover behind the seats that opens up and the whole process takes just a few seconds to complete.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Once you find it, the hidden switch makes it easy to raise and lower the convertible top of the 2021 Lexus LC500 quickly.

With the top down, the Lexus commitment to engineering excellence really shows. There's no wind buffeting or fatiguing noise to deal with, just a pleasant open-air driving experience. Put the top up, and the LC 500 convertible is a cozy, warm cabin you could drive all winter long.

The purchase price for all this starts at $101,000. That gets you everything that matters, but you can plus that up by another $30,000 (or maybe a bit more) if you checked every option box. Sure, that's a lot of money, but Lexus certainly earned it.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

Base price: $101,000

Price as tested: $111,920

Type: Sports car

Engine: 5.0-liter V8 (471 hp, 398 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 15/25

Overall length: 187.4 inches

Curb weight: 4,540 pounds

Final assembly: Motomachi, Japan


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