World's most beautiful convertible? Lexus reckons their new LC hits the spot

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• Lexus reckons its created the world's most beautiful convertible.

• The Japanese luxury carmaker's new LC will be launched in the second quarter of 2021.

• Delve into what a styling perspective from Chief Designer Tadao Mori and Chief Engineer Yasushi Muto.

It's a bold claim to make. Lexus says its new LC Convertible is the the world's most beautiful convertible. But what goes into producing it? 

For the team behind the new LC , achieving that dream called for much more than merely swapping the LC Coupe's fixed roof with a soft-top. There are strong family ties between the two unique LC models.

Lexus LC Convertible
Lexus LC Convertible

Still, according to Chief Designer Tadao Mori and Chief Engineer Yasushi Muto, it's the details under the skin that count the most, as they provide insights into the LC Convertible design process. The LC Convertible will launch mid-year, the latest for the South African market.

"Our biggest challenge was always how we would keep the trunk line low while still allowing room for load space and stowing the roof," says Mori.

"With other carmakers, you'll often see a high rear line, but we wanted to make this the most beautiful convertible, keeping the best lines whether the roof is up or down. We're proud of how we have kept the top of the rear wings so low, keeping the feeling of a low centre of gravity."

Lexus LC Convertible
LC Chief Engineer Yasushi Muto.

Achieving this was no simple task. It meant the roof had to be folded into what seemed an impossibly small space behind the rear seats.

"To make this possible, every bend in the roof had to be a different size, so we had to engineer a complex and unique mechanism," Muto explains. It's the first soft-top that Lexus has made, and the team worked in close collaboration with specialist supplier Magna in Austria to achieve the perfect results.

Lexus LC Convertible
Lexus LC Convertible

In addition to the smart, compact roof design, Lexus' outstanding quality is also evident in how the LC Convertible's roof opens and closes. "When you operate the roof, one will notice that there's a pause at the beginning and end of the sequence, with faster movement in between," says Muto. 

"This is intentional, it's a way of communicating elegance in moving parts that has been part of the Lexus DNA right from the start with the first-generation LS sedan."

Lexus LC Convertible
Lexus LC Chief Designer Tadao Mori

"The balance itself isn't difficult to understand – we call it functional beauty – but achieving it was tough," says Muto.

"For example, we had to add bracing to keep the body rigid, but also needed to keep space to stow the roof. We developed a new rear suspension brace made of aluminium that gives good rigidity and compact. It's designed also helped us keep the car's beautiful silhouette."

Both Mori and Muto profess a love of top-down driving (Mori drove a classic MG sports car for more than a decade), and they gush about the unique sense of freedom it gives and a connection with the natural world.

Asked about his favourite aspect of the new car, Muto responds: "When I'm on a winding road, and I press the accelerator or the brake, so the car downshifts, I love the sound of the engine – it's direct and exciting and unique to a naturally aspirated V8. I also love the view from the rear of the car. You can see just how the interior design merges with the exterior to make a wonderful thing."

Lexus LC Convertible
Lexus LC Convertible

For Mori, the joy is in the details: "For example, the button to open and close the roof is hidden in a palm rest like a little gem. It's not on the show; it's a special control that nobody else can see. The seats, too, are sports-level quality, covered in leather with a special perforation that's not just functional, but also creates a beautiful pattern and high-quality feel."

The LC 500 Convertible boasts a naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 engine producing 351kW and 540Nm mated to the DirectShift-10 automatic transmission. 

Lexus LC Convertible
Lexus LC Convertible

Lexus will introduce the LC 500 Convertible during this year to SA with pricing and a full specification to be shared nearer to the date of the launch. 

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