DRIVEN: 2023 LEXUS LC500, DROP TOP GORGEOUS

Ever since its debut at the Detroit auto show in 2016, the Lexus LC500 has been one of the most visually arresting vehicles on the planet regardless of whether you choose the coupe or convertible. This may be why so few updates have been made to its exterior. That’s not to say that Lexus has stood still on the development of this beautiful flagship.

The Lexus LC500 is beautiful from every angle

Working with 5-time 24 Hours of Daytona winner, racing legend, and Lexus ambassador, Scott Pruett, the engineers at Lexus have made a whole host of subtle changes to the tuning of the chassis and suspension of the LC500 to improve the ride an handling. It’s worth noting that the LC500 is a luxury car first, especially with the soft top. It’s a grand tourer meant to eat up miles of highway comfortably, but still offer thrills when you find yourself on the twisty bits. It’s certainly not a track car (though having driven a coupe on the track, it acquits itself much better than expected).

The cloth top seals tightly for a quiet and comfortable cabin

The dampers, coils and bushings, are unique to the LC500 Convertible as is the Yamaha sourced transverse damper at the rear. For 2023, Lexus tweaked the Adaptive Variable Suspension system which, based on how much better the Lexus felt on my drive route, results in an even more planted feel, nimbler steering response, and improved steering feel through high speed corners. 

The interior of the LC500 is one of our favorite in the category

The only other news for 2023 is a new exterior color, Cloudburst Gray featured here. It’s an elegant option that really shows of the car’s curves well and looks great when paired with the red interior.

Power comes from a naturally aspirated V8 engine.

Unchanged, thankfully, is the 471-horsepower, 5-liter V8 which is still one of the sweetest sounding in the industry. The 10-speed automatic transmission allows you to take advantage of the engine’s power which peaks a little higher in the rev range than the BMW 8-series convertible or Mercedes SL. 0-60 comes up in just 4.6 seconds which isn’t quite supercar territory, but plenty quick enough.

While our test car still had the annoying track pad interface for the infotainment system, the 2024 LC finally gets the new Lexus Interface with a 12.4-inch touch screen. This is a major upgrade and removes the biggest objection we’ve had to this otherwise beautiful car.

Lexus updated the infotainment system for 2024, removing the only real complaint we had about the LC500

This beauty and performance doesn’t come cheap. For 2023 the base price of the LC500 Convertible is $102,650 with destination and delivery. My test car, which featured the optional 21-inch wheels, premium paint, head up display, carbon fiber scuff plates, limited slip rear differential, leather trimmed front seats, climate concierge with upper body heating, and Mark Levinson audio totaled $113,050 out the door.

If you love beautiful things, enjoy driving with the top down, thrill at the roar of a well-tuned V8, and don’t need to put anything but a briefcase in the rear seats, the LC500 Convertible might just be the car for you.

This review was first published by our automotive partner, Rides & Drives

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