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Auto review: Thinking outside the box in the 2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

Larry Printz, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

Not practical enough for you? Buy a Lexus LS instead — but you’ll be missing out.

Find your favorite quiet road, put down the power top and winds — it takes 15 seconds and can be actuated at up to 31 mph — and your stress gives way to pleasure as fresh air and warm rays envelop you. Its 5.0-liter V-8, rated at 417 horsepower and 398 foot-pounds of torque, mates to a 10-speed automatic transmission. EPA-rated at 18 mpg in combined driving, and requiring 91 octane fuel, it emits a mesmerizing growl, one that quiets down when you require a more civilized comportment from your car.

The LC 500 is no sports car, but there are plenty of those. This is something rarer and more exclusive: a grand touring car of the first order. For those not interested in Nürburgring lap times, you’ll find the LC 500’s 4.6 second 0-60 mph time fast enough. Now, Lexus did change the steering and suspension somewhat for 2022 to improves its athleticism, but it doesn’t come at the expense of this car’s quintessential GT character.

That said, it would be nice to have less road and tire noise with the roof shut. And once it's closed, you’ll find huge blind spots as well, so take care when changing lanes. (Actually, this makes for a good case to never put the top up.)

But perhaps the biggest disappointment is the $1,220 Mark Levinson sound system, which lacks the mid-range punch we expect of an optional audio system. And the fiddly infotainment controls desperately need redesigned; I suggest the new system used in the far less expensive Lexus NX.

None of this is a deal breaker, for the 2022 LC 500 convertible is an alluring piece of rolling Japanese sculpture. It’s a grand touring car that relishes artistry over pragmatism, preferring the grand statement of creativity to the dreary certainty of rationality.

 

Yes, it’s time to think outside the box.

2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

Base price: $101,100

Engine: 5.0-lliter V-8

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