The Mercedes SL was once the undisputed king of the grand tour, its mix of restrained style, effortless performance and count-on-me dependability earning it no shortage of fans.
But recent generations of the SL have lost their way, a feeling made more apparent by the arrival of the new Lexus LC500 Convertible.
Born out of Akio Toyoda’s personal desire to change the world’s perception of Lexus, the LC500 is at once beautiful to behold and stirring to drive, not something drivers are familiar with as far as Lexus is concerned – unless you count the rare LFA supercar.
Built in the same Motomachi factory that produced all 500 LFAs, the LC500 Convertible displays the usual Lexus traits. Shutlines are faultless, there isn’t so much as a squeak from the cabin and the Mark Levinson audio system delivers a performance worthy of the Royal Opera House. The well-insulated soft-top roof folds away as quickly as you can sing the chorus to Mr Blue Sky, but the heater feels as though it struggles to keep the cabin sufficiently warm on an autumnal day. No matter; the engine, a 5-litre, naturally aspirated V8 will set your pulse soaring, especially as it works so seamlessly with the 10-speed automatic gearbox. In an era of turbochargers, time with a V8 as tuneful as this one will sooth the soul of any keen driver.
2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible statistics
- Price £90,775
- Engine 5-litre V8
- Power 457bhp
- Weight 2035kg
- Power to weight 224bhp per tonne
- Transmission 10-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
- 0-60mph 5.0sec
- Top speed 168mph
- Economy 24.1mpg
- CO2 275g/km
- Verdict A personal mission to change the view of Lexus that’s worked nicely