Lexus designer Tadao Mori, speaking of the just revealed LC convertible concept, says, "A production version of this concept would be exhilarating in many different ways." Would be ? This concept is exhilarating-so much so that we'd like to apply the same present tense to its status as a production vehicle. So far, it's a show car making its debut at the 2019 Detroit auto show.
What's there to think about, Lexus? The slinky LC coupe that's been on sale since 2017 still looks like a concept car that Lexus accidentally shipped to dealerships. This for-now hypothetical topless variant cranks up the visual wattage to electrocution levels. Like the hardtop LC, the topless convertible has a rakish stance and voluptuous body contours. A pair of bladelike flying buttresses flow from behind each rear headrest to the taillights, tamping down the visual height of the LC's booty. Even though the convertible's rear deck appears much longer than the coupe's stubby piece, the style works and is much better negotiated than the rear on its would-be competitor, the Mercedes-Benz SL-class.
From where we're sitting, little about the convertible concept seems conceptual. Without a doubt, this is a production-ready vehicle (likely a chopped-up series-production LC coupe), albeit wearing too-big (and very attractive) 22-inch wheels. Drop an inch from those rims' diameters to a more pothole-friendly 20- or 21-inch design, ensure that the power-folding roof operates as it should and keeps water out, and put this thing on sale!
Lexus is providing few details about the concept beyond its dimensions (predictably, it is nearly the same size as the coupe, being 0.4 inch longer and 0.2 inch lower), and earnest quotes from its designer hinting that an LC convertible seems headed to dealers in the future. Should that pan out, look for the production model to be available solely in LC500 guise with the LC500 coupe's 471-hp 5.0-liter V-8. The coupe's LC500h hybrid powertrain probably won't make the leap to the convertible, mostly because its lithium-ion battery pack sits between the rear shock towers, behind its vestigial rear seat-precisely where the LC convertible's roof would need to be stored when lowered. But maybe Lexus will find a way to reconcile that packaging conundrum. One thing's for certain: If Lexus builds this LC convertible (and we hope it does), it can only be heavier than the already porky coupe. If it looks this good, however, we won't care.
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