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Lexus LC 500 Convertible V8 (Regatta Inspiration) (2020 - )

It is a vehicle that’s packed with class-leading technology and boasts a beautifully crafted interior making it an exceptionally desirable 2+2 convertible

Starting price:

Why we love it:
  • Sensational high-performing 5.0-litre V8 engine
  • Drop dead gorgeous design – inside and out
  • Beautifully refined to drive
Where it could be better:
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Infotainment touchpad is really clunky
  • Limited rear passenger space


Lexus LC 500 Convertible V8 (Regatta Inspiration)

The exquisite Lexus LC 500 was launched back in 2017 and rightly took its place as the flagship model in the Japanese carmaker’s extensive line-up. Fast forward a couple of years and the LC 500 Coupe was joined by the LC 500 Convertible, a beautifully-designed car powered by a mighty 5.0-litre, V8 engine and boasting looks that simply cannot be ignored.

It was Lexus’ first open-top car and was designed to look as stunning with the roof raised or lowered (it worked). Factor in that V8 roar and it has everything you could want from a premium drop-top model … at a price, of course.

The LC 500 Convertible is available as an entry-level model (that is anything but basic) or in trims called Sport Plus Pack, Black Inspiration and Regatta Inspiration. And there are numerous packs to be introduced so each car can be personalised to taste. We opted for the range-topping Regatta Inspiration specification.

Lexus LC 500 Convertible V8 (Regatta Inspiration)

Both the Lexus LC Coupe and Convertible boast beautiful styling cues, with the newer open-top model adding the appeal of wind-in-the-hair, roof-down driving.

Designers gave careful consideration to the design of the car as they wanted it to look just as appealing with the roof raised or lowered. With that in mind, to produce the desired silhouette, the point where the soft top meets the car’s rear quarters was moved as far backwards as possible, so creating a fastback look when the roof is raised.

The LC Convertible boasts a muscular look without being too aggressive in the process thanks to its large spindle grille, a hallmark of Lexus design, along with distinctive lighting signatures, prominent front and rear wings, plus striking 21-inch alloy wheels.

The interior is pure class and ours was finished in stunning white and navy high-end leather upholstery, along with navy blue seatbelts. The powered seats and steering wheel make finding the ideal driving position a simple task and there are memory settings too. The seats can be heated and cooled, while the steering wheel can also be warmed against the elements. And with the roof down, there are headrest heaters - it seems they have thought of everything.

The cabin is feature-rich with a 10-3-inch infotainment screen, 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, Bluetooth, full smartphone connectivity, DAB radio, sat nav and plenty more besides. The only downside is the clunky touchpad that is used to access these features. It is so dated, but will hopefully be upgraded when the new model arrives.

The eight-inch tft display clearly shows all the vital driving data and there is a head-up display to keep a watchful eye on the speed.

On The Road

Lexus LC 500 Convertible V8 (Regatta Inspiration)

Handling & Performance

Powering the beautifully sleek Lexus LC 500 Convertible is a high-revving, naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine delivering 457bhp and 530Nm of torque. That translates into some impressive and somewhat enviable performance figures with a 0-62mph sprint time of just 5.0 seconds and a top speed of 168mph.

With a 10-speed automatic gearbox and rapid acceleration, this rear-wheel drive car is blisteringly quick out the starting blocks and there is the perfect soundtrack to match that V8 engine, meaning you will be heard long before you’re seen.

It’s a car that effortlessly eats up dual carriageway miles on long journeys delivering a refined ride with occupants well-cushioned against any bumps and dips along the way. And the excellent insulation and noise-proofing means barely a sound filters through into the cabin.

Then when faced with the open road, the LC 500 Convertible is composed, confident and nicely balanced as it fizzes through the twisting country lanes. It is a wide car so you will need to tuck in close to the hedgerows and, with a kerb weight in excess of two tonnes, it feels quite heavy. But the perfectly weighted steering offers ample driver feedback and there are paddles to switch through the gears manually for added fun.

Drive modes called Eco, Comfort, Sport S, Sport S+, Normal and Custom change the dynamics of the vehicle, along with a Snow setting for extra grip in more adverse driving conditions.

Lexus LC 500 Convertible V8 (Regatta Inspiration)

Space & Practicality

The Lexus LC 500 Convertible attracts attention wherever it passes thanks to its beautifully dynamic and streamlined styling. And it is impossible not to get noticed as the vehicle stretches 4,770mm in length, is 2,168mm wide (including mirrors), 1,350mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,870mm.

With this Lexus being classed as a 2+2 sports convertible, it does have rear seats but they are not really suitable for passengers – certainly not adults anyway. They are ideal to throw a bag or jacket on though.

The boot is accessed via a powered lid and is relatively compact in size with a capacity of just 149 litres. This is also comparable to rival 2+2 models. 

But throughout the cabin are some practical storage compartments, including a deep central cubby bin, door pockets, a net by the passenger’s right foot, a glovebox that drops down at the push of a button, trays and a cup holder.

When the sun puts in a rare appearance, the multi-layered canvas roof can be lowered at the push of a button. Both lowering and raising the roof takes about 15 seconds and can be achieved on the move at speeds of up to 31mph. 

When lowered, the roof folds away neatly into a compartment that has been created behind the rear seats, which is where the hydraulic motor is also located, so it does not impact on boot space. According to Lexus, the system should last at least 10 years before it requires any mechanical attention.


Lexus LC 500 Convertible V8 (Regatta Inspiration)

Running Costs

The Lexus LC 500 Convertible ML (Mark Levinson) entry model is priced from £106,385 and the costs rise to £113,885 for the Regatta Inspiration trim level, as tested. 

According to official figures under WLTP testing, the Lexus LC Convertible can deliver a combined 24.1mpg with carbon emissions of 275g/km. So, it’s not exactly a cheap car to run, but few V8 models are.

With that high carbon emissions figure, taxing the car is going to be pricey with a first year’s Vehicle Excise Duty fee of £2,605, dropping to the standard charge of £180 after 12 months.

And there is more bad news on the finance front. Because the car costs in excess of £40k it is subject to a government premium car tax levy that adds an extra £390 to the annual charges from years two to six.

For anyone lucky enough to be considering this Lexus as a company car, the tax savings are not great either as the Benefit in Kind rating is 37 per cent and model, as tested, sits in insurance group 50.

But it is worth reminding ourselves that the Lexus LC 500 Convertible is a premium high-performance car so rival models would have similar costs. 

One advantage Lexus does have over many competitors though is its warranty package. While the car comes with a standard three-year, 60,000-mile warranty this can be extended free of charge up to 10 years or 100,000 miles provided the car is serviced regularly at an authorised Lexus workshop. In addition, Lexus has an excellent reputation for reliability meaning the LC 500 Convertible should deliver thousands upon thousands of trouble-free motoring.


Lexus LC 500 Convertible V8 (Regatta Inspiration)

As we move at quite a pace to a world full of electrified vehicles, it’s still great to see a powerhouse of a car featuring a beefy 5.0-litre V8 engine. Not great for the planet admittedly, but a pure delight to drive.

Due to fairly low volume sales figures, the Lexus LC Convertible has never been tested for a Euro NCAP safety rating, but the car is equipped with the very latest technology to protect occupants and other road users alike.

It is a vehicle that’s packed with class-leading technology and boasts a beautifully crafted interior making it an exceptionally desirable 2+2 convertible. Factor in that blistering performance and its relative uniqueness and this car could well become a much sought after collector’s model in future years.

By Maxine Ashford
Aug 24, 2023

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