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Lexus LC500 Convertible 2021: Gentleman Without Hat

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The spectacle is charming. In the Frontenac Club’s backyard, a building that housed the first Bank of Montreal outside Quebec in the country recently transformed into a boutique hotel, light snow is falling on the parked vehicles. Heavy flakes give the whole city a festive air. Now is the time for me to hit the road with the Lexus LC500 … convertible.

I hear the sarcastic comments from here: a convertible, with a soft top, in winter, is a sacrilege. Nay, dare I answer. First, the Lexus LC500 has all the qualities of a large roadster, no matter the conditions. And secondly, because it was the Lexus representatives themselves who insisted, going so far as to be bold enough to ask me to ride the top down and my hair, icy, I thought, blowing in the wind.

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A Stylish Look

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Photo: Marc Bouchard | Gentologie

The true gentleman relies on looks as much as on quality. When it comes to the LC500, whatever its version, the word allure takes on a whole new meaning. In fact, it’s so stylish that an all-silver hardtop version looks more like a prototype than a production car. And in a good way!

The convertible version is no exception to this rule. The long, streamlined bonnet, tapered tail end, and aerodynamic roofline have a massive width in a car, giving it presence and personality.

The exceptionally well-finished interior picks up where the exterior left off. It’s refined; if it weren’t for the loathsome touchpad that allows control of the multimedia system (probably the world’s worst invention, IMHO), it would all be easy and intuitive. Even the wheel to change the driving modes, housed at the center console’s top, is surprising at first glance but quickly becomes part of the driving routine.

Lexus LC500 Convertible: Convertible, for Real

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Photo: Marc Bouchard | Gentologie

It only takes 15 seconds to remove the soft top of the LC500 convertible. And 16 to put it back in place, all of which can run up to 50 kilometres an hour—a real charm for anyone like me who loves to ride with their hair in the wind. I admit, some passers-by in the small towns surrounding Kingston, Ontario, seemed to be astonished when they saw this super roofless racing car pass through their snowy streets. Either they were dazzled by the driver (thank you very much) or overwhelmed by my stentorian voice, me taking the opportunity to deploy the audio system vigorously and accompanying him with my finest vocals.

The truth is, even with the roof down, I was able to remove my coat on the way. The smart car has a concierge mode that sets the temperature for you. Here, it activates the ventilation at the foot or the back, starts or stops the steering wheel and the heated seats, and gently sends a small warm wind to your neck thanks to a cleverly inserted air vent just at the bottom of the headrest. The reality is, even without a roof, the Lexus LC500 Convertible 2021 is just as comfortable. I admit, however, that I did not take the test in the worst winter temperatures.

Power and Drive

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Photo: Marc Bouchard | Gentologie

But such a vehicle would be nothing without a minimum of power. The word minimum here is a no-brainer, as the LC500 convertible features a 471 horsepower 5.0-litre V8 engine, which unleashes its power smoothly but firmly. Transmitted to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission, this impressive cavalry pushes the car with surprising speed despite its weight.

It would be a lie to say that it is as agile as a sports sedan. Its weight and its long-wheelbase handicap it. But the steering is more precise than expected, and the numerous onboard driver assistance and traction control systems allow for astonishing dynamic behaviour. If it hadn’t been for the pavement made slippery by a light layer of snow, the hike might have been even more athletic.

It must be said that adaptive suspensions contribute to comfort and precision. The frame is reinforced in strategic places to counter the stiffness problem of a convertible that plays its role to perfection.

Another important detail, Lexus engineers have focused as much on comfort as on sound. Wind noise in the cabin was first minimized to make it more pleasant. But the engine has been fitted with a device that maximizes engine noise. A simple, quick acceleration then allows you to feel all the vibration of driving pleasure. It was the only time during the hike that my singing stopped.

Sleek, refined, and proven capable of going all year round, the Lexus LC500 Convertible is unmistakably one of the most spectacular convertibles on the road. One look, and it’s love, guaranteed!

It’s a favourite for Summer as well as it is one of the Five Cars for a Memorable Summer by Marc Bouchard

To learn more visit the Lexus website right here

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Marc Bouchard is an experienced journalist, member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. For more than two decades, it has tested more than a hundred vehicles annually and traveled the world in search of unique tests or to attend major auto shows. We find him on television on the show "Virage", a classic of its kind. He contributes to more than a dozen radio stations each week, and also writes in various newspapers. Gentologie is therefore added to his list of achievements.

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