A sneak peek at the upcoming Lexus LC Convertible

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Manny De Los Reyes
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of wheels.ph as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

In a lively Zoom gathering with the media, top executives of Lexus shared this week insights on how new ways of mobility will play a big role in helping consumers adapt to the “new normal.”

Despite taking a big sales hit due to the pandemic, the automotive industry is still expected to play a major role in boosting the economy and driving the nation forward. And because of the pandemic-induced quarantine, the demand for digital transformation will become more pressing for a lot of businesses.

On that note, Lexus gave a sneak peek of car launches in the new normal. That includes the upcoming arrival of the spectacular LC 500 Convertible in the Philippine market, revealed via teaser videos and images.

The LC Convertible is the top-down version of the marque’s flagship LC Coupe. It retains superb aerodynamic performance and optimal weight distribution, incorporating functional beauty into the design. The soft top creates a unique, dynamic profile. Compared to the LC Coupe, the line of the rear trunk lid has been lifted and widened to create a dynamic side view and emphasize the low and wide stance.

The LC Convertible ensures that it retains a beautiful silhouette when the top is lowered, through its power-folding mechanism that stores the top under an integrated tonneau cover. The designers incorporated a beltline that kicks up at the end of the doors, giving the vehicle a profile that is characterized by a body that wraps around the cabin, creating a tight and clean appearance.

The weather- and sound-absorbing 4-layer soft top has been designed to retain the flowing roofline of the coupe, without the supporting frame visible through the fabric. Furthermore, the fabric of the roof has been carefully selected and manufactured to ensure optimal tension and no wrinkling, with improved sound insulation.

When opening and closing the soft top, the movement is carefully controlled especially at the beginning and end to yield a sense of quality and safety for the driver. The movement of the top and the tonneau cover has been precisely synched to achieve an elegant and natural movement, while enabling full opening in just 15 seconds (and full closing in 16 seconds).

The roof can be opened or closed while the vehicle is traveling at up to 50 km/h, and an animation display within the instrument gauges allows the driver to easily monitor the top’s operation progress.

The body structure of the LC Convertible was specially designed to achieve a rigidity level that supports the Lexus driving signature equal to the Coupe, while offering both beautiful styling and sufficient luggage space.

The interior features details such as gradating quilting and perforation pattern on the upper portion of the seats, as well as the “L” logo embossed on the back of headrests.

The strategic placement and shape of the rear suspension tower brace significantly enhances the car’s structural rigidity. The brace is composed of lightweight diecast aluminum to minimize added weight, and a Performance Damper custom-designed by Yamahais adopted for high-quality ride comfort. Other braces are located under the body, and materials such as magnesium and aluminum are used to achieve both high rigidity and light weight. The result is dynamic performance of the highest order.

The naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, mated to the DirectShift-10 automatic transmission promises linear yet strong acceleration. Power output is tuned to driving conditions (and the driver’s mood), with smooth acceleration during normal commuting, and near-supercar-like acceleration when pedal is put to the metal.

To make the LC Convertible’s V8 more enjoyable when the top is down, a sound generator transmits sensual engine intake sounds through the dash panel, while an exhaust valve enhances the powerful engine’s sound.

To create a space that is conducive to feeling the excitement of open-air driving without hindering conversation in the car, the LC CV focused on aerodynamics such as the beltline and rear molding. Apart from the transparent polycarbonate wind deflector, wind flow inside the car is suppressed and excellent quietness is achieved.

Interior quietness is a hallmark of Lexus, and the cabin of the LC Convertible stimulates the senses with emotional engine sounds. Active Noise Control (ANC), combined with sound insulation and absorption techniques, suppresses unwanted noises and unpleasant sound frequencies.

The audio system faithfully reproduces the original sounds of each instrument, vocals, and recording environment. Additionally, the acoustic design automatically changes with the top up or down.

The Lexus Climate Concierge is used to automatically control air conditioning, seat heaters, neck heaters, and steering wheel heater, all while considering whether the top is up or down. This makes the LC Convertible’s cabin comfortable for its passengers regardless of the temperature outside.

The new LC 500 Convertible is scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of the year with a projected price of just under P10 million.

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