This is my third go with the Lexus LC since 2020 and, spoiler alert, my feelings about it have not changed a single iota: I love this car.
And how could I not? Look at it. It’s like the result of an exercise where the primary goal was to build the most beautiful car on the market so that every adult and every child would stop and stare, preferably with their mouths open.
I’m exaggerating, of course, but only a little. The LC has been engineered to make you fall in love and I’d say the mission has been a smashing success. But it’s not just the beauty boxes that have been ticked here.
The LC has a big and powerful V8 that sounds magnificent from start up to shut down. The convertible has a fancy motorized top that performs a cool and intricate ballet every time it’s in use. The low-slung interior is loaded with exquisite design details, heated everything, high-tech display screens and exacting fit and finish, as one would expect from Lexus.
And it’s pretty darn fast, too, even if outright performance isn’t really what it’s built for. But not to worry, you can easily leave others in your wake at a traffic light if you so choose. And that’s fun and all, but cruising in the LC is really its sweet spot.
So, why am I reviewing the LC convertible again when I reviewed it
in Fall 2020? Well, firstly, I was asked to do so by my editor who had a scheduling conflict and tapped me to fill in, and I am a team player!
Secondly, the 2022 model year introduces some changes to the LC line that are worth reporting. I’ll get to those shortly, but first, a primer. The LC family are built on the TNGA-L (Toyota New Global Architecture-L) platform which is shared with the full-size LS sedan and second gen Toyota Mirai.
All LCs are rear-wheel drive and are available with a gas powertrain (5.0-litre V8, 471 hp / 398 lb-ft) or as a gas hybrid (3.5-litre V6, 354 hp net). Both variants are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The gas model comes in coupe and convertible, while the hybrid is coupe only.
In terms of new for 2022, there are some mechanical changes and new cosmetic options afoot. On the mechanical front, Lexus engineers have adjusted the LC’s front and rear suspension settings for better road contact, a more linear steering response and steering effectiveness in high-G cornering.
On the cosmetic front, all LC models are now available with Bespoke Build, which allows buyers to customize their cars with a variety of styling and performance options. Among the cosmetic options are a choice between 20-inch cast alloy or 21-inch forged wheels, with the latter being standard on the convertible.
The convertible’s top is available in two colours, Black and Sand, and there are nine exterior colour options, including Cadmium Orange (shown), which is new for 2022 in Canada. Other exterior finishes include Ultra White, Atomic Silver, Smoky Granite Mica, Caviar (black), Infrared, Flare Yellow, Nightfall Mica (dark blue) and Nori Green Pearl.
Three interior colours are available, depending on exterior finish: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel (light brown).
Finally, each LC Bespoke Build comes with a unique interior badge and a certificate of authenticity printed on Japanese washi paper, signed and stamped by Yasushi Muto, LC Chief Engineer, and Lexus Canada Director Martin Gilbert.
As far as driving impressions are concerned, my previous remarks still apply. Put simply, the LC convertible is delightful.
The V8 offers gobs of torque for smooth, linear power delivery, and with a great exhaust growl that becomes even more aggressive in sport and sport+. Steering effort is weightier and suspension damping is firmer in these modes also, which can make the LC convertible a quick and responsive car. Lexus notes a zero-100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds with a governed top speed of 270 km/h. Fast enough, I’d say.
As for cabin accommodations, they are as luxe as they were last time around. Fine stitching details on the seats and dashboard, unique switch and even door pull design make the LC a car one won’t soon forget. The leather seating offers great comfort and support, with heating and cooling at the ready, plus a neck warming option in the headrest which I used during brief periods when the top was down during my cold mid-April stint.
There are a few nits to pick with the LC beyond its rather tight interior confines and tiny trunk, however. Lexus is rolling out a spiffy new infotainment system, and it is already available in the new NX and LX SUVs but has yet to find its way into the rest of the lineup, including the LC. There’s no timetable for its arrival yet, but my hope is it will be soon because the current system, while functional, could use an upgrade.
Not only is there no wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but the graphics look old and low-res, and the user interface is needlessly fussy. A lack of USB-C ports and wireless cell phone charge pad should also be addressed. One could argue I’m being a bit nitpicky, but it’s a $124K car— these asks do seem reasonable given the price tag.
But here’s the thing: when you’re cruising in the LC with the top down, as I did briefly when the sun finally came out, these concerns just melt away. I didn’t think about them at all because the driving experience is sublime, and I think most intenders won’t care either.
They’ll just want to drive their LCs with the top down, smiling all the way.
2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Specifications
BODY STYLE: premium 2+2 convertible
DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 10-speed automatic transmission
ENGINE: 5.0-litre DOHC 32-valve V8 (471 hp / 398 lb-ft)
FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium 91+) 16.0 / 9.5 / 13.0 L / 100 km city / highway / combined
CARGO VOLUME: 96 litres (3.4 cu-ft)
PRICE: $124,300 base, $127,221.70 as tested, including freight, excl. taxes