Lexus LC Convertible to debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed
We can't wait to see the production version of this rakish convertible run up Lord March's famous hill.
Chris PaukertFormer executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015.
Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
The Lexus LC is already one of the most arrestingly attractive cars on the road today, and it's about to get even more "look-at-me" fabulous. Roadshow has learned that the Japanese automaker will reveal a production droptop version of the Lexus LC Convertible Concept at the UK's upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed in early July.
The Lexus LC Convertible Concept, shown here, was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January. While officials hinted at the time that they'd like to see a production version, the company has remained publicly noncommittal. According to multiple Lexus sources, tuning on the production version is not yet final, but the stunning GT convertible will be ready for dealerships soon.
Lexus LC Convertible Concept is all but ready for production
Those same sources would not confirm whether the car will be fitted with a power folding soft top or a folding hard top. However, it would be surprising if the lid were anything other than a fabric roof, if only because the concept's tight rear packaging probably necessitates it. Cramming a complex, heavy hard top into a well behind the seats would likely force some unpleasant changes to the rear fenders, as well as curb the car's already limited luggage space.
The LC500 Convertible is expected to look almost exactly like the concept car seen here. It's also likely to stay a four-seat proposition, at least in the strictest sense of the word. The show car's rear "plus-two" seating offers almost zero no legroom and a bolt-upright posture. In other words, the rear seats in most LC convertibles will likely function exclusively as upholstered parcel shelves for expensive handbags.
Today's 2019 Lexus LC 500 coupe starts at $92,300 (plus $1,025 for delivery), and it's fair to assume that when the convertible version arrives -- likely wearing a 2020 model year designation -- it'll command thousands of dollars more than its hard-hatted sibling.
We expect to see the same 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine under the hood of the roadster. In coupe guise, that engine develops 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, which Lexus says is good for 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph. With the requisite convertible-top mechanism and a predictable phalanx of frame reinforcements, the Lexus LC Convertible will no doubt be somewhat heavier and see its performance figures slip slightly.
It remains unclear if Lexus will also offer a convertible version of the LC 500h (shown above), the hybrid derivative that we recently reviewed on Roadshow. If it does, it'll be one of the only gas-electric convertible models offered anywhere, at any price.
The new 2020 Lexus LC Convertible will square off in rare air against droptop variants of the new BMW 8-Series and the aging Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.
This year's installment of the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from July 4 to July 7. The classic car extravaganza is an appropriate place for the launch of the new LC Convertible, because despite its focus on historic racing, Goodwood has also become a popular place for automakers to reveal new high-end models.