BY H. THROTTLE
Consumers understand that Lexus is a quality luxury car brand with a motto of “experience amazing.” They are the leading flagship of the Toyota brand with some select local dealerships.
Coming my way this week was one of the finest Lexus vehicles, a 2021 LC 500 convertible with a suggested list price of $101,000. The carefully driven test model had all of the additional options adding up to a $112,296 price tag. Fine quality and trend setting vehicles are in demand and this “Infrared” red painted convertible is gorgeous. This is the first Lexus convertible that I’ve seen on the streets and I was behind the wheel of this eye-catching beauty.
Style and beauty are important in today’s world and with the stock market making new highs some consumers can afford to purchase luxury vehicles. There is a growing demand for not only new cars, but the used car market is ‘hot” right now. There is an ongoing shortage of computer chips that is creating delays in some brand name vehicles with COVID19 impacting chip makers in Taiwan and South Korea.
What is remarkable about this Lexus convertible is the quality of the design, the craftsmanship and the engaging red paint – it’s an eye stopper. Beyond great looks the LC 500 has a 5.0L V8 engine producing 471 horsepower. Needless to report that the engine does not need to be turbocharged. Surprisingly, the excellent 10-speed transmission assists in producing 25 mpg in highway mileage and 18 mpg overall.
Convertibles have heavier frames and weight, along with a lower center of gravity. A knob on the dash controls the drive modes with normal, comfort, and sport selections for the rear wheel drive car.
The LC 500 features an active sport exhaust that has that race car sound when pushing the pedal to the metal. However, this is not a race car, but very versatile in speed and performance. It can leave the stop light quietly, or in a fast roar. Steering wheel paddle shifters can be used to lock in the 10-speed gears, useful in climbing or descending the mountains West of Denver.
The soft top with roll bars is a masterpiece of a quick fold into a rear storage area in seconds. The trunk space is tight, but with a squeeze can hold two compact golf bags. A nifty center console latch displays the switch that raises and closes the canvas top.
The interior of this convertible is covered with luxurious brown leather making a rich, warm feel. The dash and controls are abundant with many selections for navigation and technical features.
The seats are ventilated, heated and cooled, with 10-way adjustable front seats. The Lexus 12 speaker premium sound system is outstanding with excellent sound projection, important with the top down.
The car is fully loaded with the latest safety features including run/flat tires on 20”10-spoke cast alloy wheels. The car has excellent brakes with high performance aluminum calipers. The car has an adaptive suspension system suited to the performance selection.
Sitting in the garage or at a charitable event with valet parking, this Lexus convertible makes a statement about auto excellence and who can own and drive such a masterpiece of fun and sunshine.