Singapore - Coming from a series of BMW Ms and AMGs, a two-day whirlwind affair with the LC500 Coupe some years ago planted the seed for a Lexus F model at some point in my car ownership journey, which is why I'm currently driving the GS F. It isn't hard to see why, as Lexus had set a standard that can match, if not surpass, the 'competition'.
(Click HERE to read about my 500 Smiles when the LC 500 Coupe visited my garage some years ago)
In the arms race to chase outright power and 0-100km/h timings, many brands have lost the plot. Lexus never seemed to see the point in chasing bare numbers and thus, never got into the fight. It has no place in the numbers game and doesn’t need to show-off the power it produces, nor the lap times it can achieve.
(As a brand, Toyota can trace its sportscar roots back to 1965... click HERE to read about the LC 500 Convertible and the Sports 800)
In its quest to create a discreet driving machine for discerning petrolheads, Lexus has hit all the right notes by focusing on the important factors.
Build quality is very good for a car at this price point, and it beats some of the other players in this segment. Simple things like window switches feel solid, and the hinges of the glovebox and convertible switch cover feel perfect.
The soft-touch leather is great for everyday operation. Also, the use of exposed Allen-head screws to hold down panels demonstrates Lexus isn’t shy to show-off hardware when needed. Needless to say, fit and finish is top-notch.
But on to the real meat of the matter: that glorious nat-asp V8 and the tune it sings via the intake.... there is no doubt the Yamaha harmonics are pitch-perfect, with the music best appreciated in the Sports and Sports + driving modes.
In the LC 500 convertible, our fancies are further tickled by the strident V8 with the soft-top down. The slickly-engineered movement of the top mechanism actuates in perfect motion, and it'll operate at speeds of up to 50km/h.
Throw out everything you think you know about the traditional 'soft touch' of Lexus as you enter the LC500.
The LC500 Convertible's aggressive angle of attack clearly targets the drivers who like to drive fast on the edge of the traction circle, and are happy to push the car to its limits of adhesion as it takes out chunks of rubber with surgical precision. The LC is the knife you'll bring to a gunfight...!
The choice of weapons in any fight is critical, and the LC is one you will not regret picking. Agile, responsive and quick to the draw: this is just the tip of the ice-berg as far as its abilities go. It is a new world we live in, and traditional methods of warcraft must be left behind.
Although one can sense the difference in terms of agility in the convertible versus the absolutely brilliant LC500 Coupe Track Pack we drove two years back, it is evident the basic DNA is still strong in the handling department.
Pick a line and you can carve it out with little to worry about. The chassis feels spot-on powering through sweepers, as it exits each turn with a thirst for more.
You don't need a reason to pick the LC500. It comes from a house full of traditions and expectations, but has now carved out a niche for itself – a samurai sword's edge that has taken decades to hone in the brand's quest for incisive driving engagement.
The LC500 is about the journey it takes you on: it will bring you a sensation of speed that isn’t measured by pace, but via the sensory delivery of its immense depths of power to the driver.
And this is the journey that really matters to petrolheads...
PHOTOS Zotiq Visuals