Is it the ultimate individualist's GT? - Lexus LC500 V8 Convertible

The Lexus LC500 is a very rarely seen species of a Gran Turismo all over Europe. A car, I’ve always been fascinated about. Due to its unconventional and futuristic styling and of course, rare appearance.

The vehicle shown is a LC500 Excellence with the optional (3’500.- CHF) Sport Package which brings rear wheel sport dampers, a Torsen differential and the 21inch alloy wheels.


First impressions

A green sports car always catches my eyes. And this stunning Lexus LC500 Convertible really blends in with the “Khaki Terrane Mica” paintjob over the tan interior and soft-top. The 21-inch alloy two-tone trimmed wheels in silver and black provide an even more classy look which makes the car stand out properly. Especially when the sun kisses the fabulous colour, it really screams to have a proper look at it.

But while I walked around the convertible, I sometimes thought that some specific views at the rear make the car look like it has some weird proportions. I still struggle to think if the rear is too long or exactly on point because I really adored it a few times, too. Bit controversial thoughts, I know. But at least everyone can decide to like or dislike the looks by their own. But I’d like to point out that the taillights are very fascinatingly made. It seems like they have a huge depth to get some sort of a “tunnel vision”. Just look at the photos to understand the mentioned detail. The LC500 coupe version looks more harmonic compared to the convertible in my opinion.

Walking towards the front transforms the LC500 into a very futuristic spaceship. The front part is definitely the car’s chocolate side and made pedestrians turn heads. The designers went out of the box with their ideas and created a very unique looking machine. I believe that the headlights make the most out of the car to let it look like something coming from the future. I guess the LC500’s design language will still look temporary in 2030. Although the concept car is already ten years old. TEN YEARS! Sadly, the numberplate hides that sprawling spindle front grille a bit which gives the LC500 some very floating lines with a dramatically low bonnet. What is striking is that the bonnet and the fenders virtually merge and the huge wheelhouse with the 21-inch rims is effortlessly swallowed up.


What it’s all about

It is a Gran Turismo. A car, made for long distance travelling, equipped with a powerful engine with proper sound, outstanding design and rather less usability. The LC ticks all these boxes and proves to be a full-blooded GT Convertible. Although I wished the car to be slightly more practical because the back seats are almost unusable, and the boot is tiny compared to the car’s size. At least it will be bigger in the Coupe version and the back seats work as an additional space for luggage and backpacks. And before you start pointing at the Lexus, a Porsche 911 and Polestar 1 aren’t more practical at all!


Driving experience

If you decide to buy a Lexus LC, honestly, there is only one legit option to go for. Whether Coupé or Convertible, you need to choose the V8 without any doubt. The sound is a pure orchestra at its finest. Understatement during low revs, but tasty shouting above 3000rpm. The sound slightly reminds me to the great Maserati V8s and the Alfa Romeo 8C (I know they share the same base engines). And the manual downshifts in lower gears definitely give you goosebumps. Quite addictive! Although you’d better let the 10-gear automatic gearbox do his own job in any other scenario. All in all, the LC500 sounds to be very powerful although the 464PS aren’t that effectively feelable. But it is still a fast, naturally aspirated GT! And that’s what it’s all about.

Although the car feels very heavy in tight corners, the LC feels at home on countryside roads and motorways. A very chilled cruiser which brings a smile to your face every time you’re exiting a village to hear the 5.0L V8 rumbling. Like listening to Otis Redding’s latest mystic stories, he’s about to tell you.

I set myself the challenge to drive as economic as possible to see the V8’s possibilities in saving fuel and surprisingly managed to easily reach an average fuel consumption of 8.2L/100km on motorways and 8.0L/100km average on countryside roads without driving like my grandparents.

On the other side, if you like to enjoy the LC’s V8 properly, you might end up with a total average consumption of 11-12L/100km.

The optional wind deflector (extra 1’090.00 CHF) is a must and transforms the open-top driving into a true pleasure if you want as less wind as possible. It truly does its job perfectly.


To the interior

First, I’d like to point out that the green-over-tan configuration give the LC a bit of a british touch, doesn’t it?

The interior has everything you wish it to have. Although I couldn’t connect my phone with the car via Bluetooth. It just didn’t work. But Apple Car Play worked immediately after I plugged in the USB cable.

Speaking of listening to music, I was surprised that Lexus still offers a CD-Player. Something you definitely don’t see in a new car every day.

The adjustments for the air-conditioning and heating works with toggle switches on the dashboard underneath the screen. Very intuitive and simple.

Well coming to the LC’s limping leg which is the very fussy touch pad and the utterly slow navigation system. In addition, it looks very outdated.

Further on, the seat heating, steering wheel heating and the air scarf can only be set trough the infotainment system and that fussy touch pad, too. On the other side, these gadgets make the open-top-driving possible on beautiful winter days.

Oh, and there’re the already mentioned back seats which are totally useless for passengers, unless you carry some bags due to the tiny trunk or two small children.


What to buy?

The LC500 is the maddest Lexus since the LFA and backs it up with impressive dynamics for a heavy car… so long as you buy the V8, not the hybrid. The naturally aspirated V8 might mark the end of a dying breed of polluting engines. Yet alone Lexus announced a fully electric sports coupe called BEV during mid-February. If you search something individualistic with character, get your hands on one of these RIGHT NOW!


To end this review, I wanted to thank Lexus Switzerland for the opportunity to test drive their LC500 V8 Convertible version for an extended week.



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