The LC loses its top to go against the BMW 8 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The 2020 Lexus LC Convertible is a drop-top version of the company’s range-topping coupe. Initially just a rumor, the 2020 LC Convertible was recently confirmed for production when car paparazzi started spotting test cars being driven on public roads. As these photos suggest, the 2020 LC Convertible will be identical to the coupe below the waist, inside the cabin, and under the hood. The 2020 LC Convertible arrives more than two years after Lexus launched the coupe. That’s a long wait, but the Japanese automaker finally has a competitor for the BMW 8 Series Convertible and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet. Better late than never!

  • 2018 Lexus LC Convertible
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    467
  • Torque @ RPM:
    389
  • Displacement:
    5.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    150000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2018 Lexus LC 500 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 661465

Note: Lexus LC 500 pictured here.

As predicted by our rendering, the LC Convertible is identical to the coupe below the beltline. The spy shots also confirm that the drop-top will be more than just a coupe with its roof chopped off. In order to turn the LC 500 into a convertible, Lexus revised the A-pillars, and redesign the section behind the rear seats. Modifications include a pair of small rollover hoops, revised rear fenders, and a new trunk lid that allows the retractable roof to slide behind the rear seats. Needless to say, the LC convertible will be a gorgeous roadster.

Interior

2018 Lexus LC 500 High Resolution Interior
- image 661493

Note: Lexus LC 500 pictured here.

The interior of the LC convertible will also be identical to the coupe’s, but the occupants will benefit from the infinite headroom that comes with a roofless grand tourer. With the top down, passengers riding in the rear will no longer have to worry about the limited headroom. The open-top experience will come with all the niceties we’ve seen in the LC 500, including the two-tier-style dashboard, acres of high-quality leather and Alcantara, and flawless fit and finish.

Although not yet confirmed, the convertible will probably receive a feature similar to Mercedes’ Air-Scarf neck heater and draft-reducing electric wind deflectors for improved comfort during drives with the top down. A climate control system that uses sensors and actuators to maintain the temperature when the roof is folded would also be mandatory in this luxury convertible niche.

Drivetrain

2018 Lexus LC 500 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 661492

Note: Lexus LC 500 pictured here.

Don't expect it to be as quick as the coupe though, as convertibles are known to be a tad slower due to their less aerodynamic shape.

The drivetrain is yet another department where this cabriolet will be similar to the LC 500. And, this would be great news, as the coupe uses the company’s tried-and-true 5.0-liter V-8. Already offered in the RC-F and GS-F, the naturally aspirated mill cranks out 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet in the LC 500 and should do the same in the drop-top. It will mate to the same ten-speed automatic transmission and push the car from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Don’t expect it to be as quick as the coupe though, as convertibles are known to be a tad slower due to their less aerodynamic shape. With the LC 500 needing around 4.5 seconds to reach the benchmark, it’s safe to assume that the convertible will scream to 60 mph in about 4.7 ticks. Not bad!

Lexus will also offer a hybrid version that will combine a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine and two electric motors. The entire system cranks out 354 horsepower and mates to a unique transmission, which consists of a four-speed automatic gearbox embedded into a continuously variable transmission. This dual transmission provides stepped access to the torque generated by the electric motor, and functions like a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Prices

With pricing for the coupe set at $92,950, the convertible model will probably retail from at least $120,000 before options. The hybrid coupe comes in at $97,460, so the electrified drop-top will probably cost almost $130,000 before options.

Competition

BMW 8 Series Convertible

Introduced as a replacement for the 6 Series, the 8 Series is also available as a convertible and it’s a solid option for the Lexus LC. Sporty but also elegant on the outside, the 8 Series comes with BMW latest technology inside the cabin. BMW offers two engines for the 8 Series, but only one is powerful enough for the LC. I’m talking about the range-topping twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8. Rated at 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, it delivers an extra 56 horses and 164 pound-feet over the LC. It sends the German coupe flying to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and to a top speed of 155 mph. The second engine is a smaller, 3.0-liter inline-six that generates 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This model hits 60 mph in 4.6 seconds with AWD (quicker than the Lexus LC) and in five clicks with rear-wheel drive. Pricing for the 8 Series starts from $97,400 in 840i trim and from $121,400 in M850i spec.

Read our full review of the BMW 8 Series Convertible.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet

It might seem a bit far fetched to compare the LC to the S-Class Cabriolet, but the Lexus is about the same size and its interior could give the Merc’s a run for its money if equipped with the proper technology and the right options. Similarities continue under the hood as well, where the S-Class packs a biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8 producing 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Although a bit less powerful than Lexus’ 5.0-liter, Mercedes’ V-8 makes up for it with a whopping 127 extra pound-feet of torque. Sprinting to 60 mph takes only 4.6 seconds, while top speed is limited at 155 mph. Mercedes also offers a pair of AMG versions that are notably more powerful. The AMG S63 comes with 603 horsepower and 664 pound-feet, while the V-12-powered AMG S65 hits the road with a whopping 621 horses and 738 pound-feet of twist. Pricing for the S-Class Cabriolet starts from $134,300, while the AMG lineup comes in at $180,100.

Read our full story of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet.

Conclusion

2018 Lexus LC Convertible Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 663268

The Lexus LC convertible is no longer speculation. The luxury brand has confirmed such a model is underway and the spy shots suggest that an official launch isn’t far awa. Will a drop-top LC make sense for Lexus today? Our answer is yes! Most manufacturers are expanding at an incredible rate and the premium market is stronger than ever, growing with each year that passes and coming up with increasingly better cars. BMW has covered just about any important market from the compact 1 Series to the full-size 7 Series, while Mercedes-Benz has even come up with a few niches of its own with the CLA and CLS. Lexus, on the other hand, has a rather limited catalog, especially in the two-door department, where its only offerings are the RC, RC F and IS C. That’s two coupes and only one convertible. Now that LC 500 is here as its largest coupe, a convertible version enables the Japanese carmaker to draw in buyers that would otherwise opt for a BMW 8Series Convertible or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet.

  • Leave it
    • Just a rendering for now
    • We don’t know whether Lexus wants to build it or not
    • Tough competition from the Germans
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