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Auto review: Lexus LC 500 leaves custom touches to you

Barry Spyker, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

How do you improve on a luxury sports cruiser that is jaw-droppingly beautiful, supremely built, with a V-8 growl, athletic performance and exquisite two-tone interior with neck heaters?

Well, that’s your call. Be creative.

The 2024 Lexus LC 500 Convertible for the first time offers the Bespoke Build option, which allows buyers to customize with personal style and performance features. Options include 21-inch forged alloy wheels with black finish, dark chrome trim, carbon scuff plate and the neck heater for drop-top time. A sharp blue and white interior is available this year, too.

To document the distinct look, there’s a special badge on the center console and a certificate of authenticity printed on durable Japanese washi paper.

The convertible version of the LC 500 Coupe, introduced last year, is a head-turner. A sloping hood, broad grille and triple-beam LEDs give it a sleek front, while the rear rises slightly with a spoiler and unique Y-shaped taillight design. New exterior colors include Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 and Copper Crest.

The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 engine excites the innards the moment it revs up (someone said the exhaust note took five years to develop). The front engine, rear-wheeled convertible has the same power plant as the LC 500 Coupe and punches out 471 hp and 398 pound-feet of torque.

 

Mated to a 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters, it scurries to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, and hits 100 mph in 10.5. Track speed is electronically limited to 168 mph.

As impressive as these numbers are, it’s not in the same league as, say, a Porsche 911 S (0-60 mph in 2.2 seconds) or a couple of entries from BMW. But it’s quick enough for good, clean thrills.

The LC is more about road comfort and handling. Lexus says careful attention was given to the convertible’s suspension, tuned to adapt to weight differences from the coupe. The adaptive variable system adjusts the damping to the road surface and driving style — with an amazing 650 distinct levels of damping, says Lexus.

The result is near-perfect performance on corners with minimal body roll and improved steering feedback under strong G-forces. The ride is comfortable enough for daily driving, too, even with the 21-inch wheels.

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