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Video: 2024 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review: Nothing Else Like It

08:26 min
By Cars.com Editors
June 20, 2024

About the video

West Coast Bureau Chief Conner Golden snagged some seat time in a gorgeous 2024 LC 500 Convertible in Copper Crest paint, giving us a chance to see if Lexus’ fabulous grand tourer remains the same experience we’ve loved all these years.

Transcript

Let's start this with a strong statement. I believe the 2024 Lexus LC500 is the most underrated car you can buy today.
I know we're starting hot, but seven years into production, there still seems to be some clear confusion as suggest to what this two door is. Is it a sports car? Is it a grand tour? Well, I definitely think it's more of the latter, but I also think the best way to approach it is as an Aston Martin by way of Lexus. Look, either way we know it's hot, it's loud, and it's, well, it's also slightly refreshed for 2024. Let's get into it. Here's a second hot take. I don't think the LC is what we would all consider to be a traditionally beautiful car. It's unbelievably striking to look at for sure, and it's gonna pop in any environment you cruise through. But it's all a bit weird, isn't it? I mean, notice how broadsided it is, the gaping spindle grill and just how the rear end is pinched and a little bit upward swept. It's all so unconventional, it locks your gaze because it's unlike any car you've ever seen before. It's so unabashedly original and distinctly Japanese that it borders on a masterwork. It's such an intricate design. The details, well, they're gonna make you dizzy. From one angle, it's swoopy and soft, but from another, it's angular and hard edged stuff sticks out at a seemingly odd angle, but you know, it all combines into one spectacular shape. Ultimately, it manages that super tricky balance of aggression and elegance, and it's wonderful. All that can definitely be said about the cockpit, but I do think that this skews more towards luxury and comfort than the exterior. I think this cabin is best described as sculptural with all these dramatically diving surfaces and loads of stylistic touches that lend this such a sense of occasion that you just don't get on other cars. This is how you match the odd beauty of the LC500's exterior. It is really dramatic, but you know, it's also fairly simple. If you're at all familiar with past Lcs, 2024 is arguably the best year to buy as it finally bids farewell to that horrible touch pad infotainment interface for a familiar 12.3 inch display that is finally a touchscreen. But thankfully, they did keep that uber cool dynamic digital driver display that I just can't stop playing with, and those slightly goofy moat selector stalks, jutting out of the shroud. Good stuff. But you remember when I mentioned Aston Martin? I think Lexus was peeking a little bit too closely at Aston's notes when it designed the LC. I noticed a number of rather unLexus like quirks inside and out of the LC. I ran into a bit of a wonky glitch with the keyless entry. I could never get the seat memory controls to work. There's really nowhere to put stuff inside here. I'm running into a bit of a headroom issue and I really can't see too much out the back. Ah, but you can fix those last two complaints in about 15 seconds by dropping the top. But first you have to find those roof controls, which I struggled with initially, where what do you think they are in here? Any guesses? Maybe up that... Wrong. They are right here under this oddly place door and just hit this toggle and in just 15 seconds all of my headroom problems go out the window or roof. And this just gives you better access to my favorite bit of the LC, that is the beautiful five liter naturally aspirated V8 that y'all know and love from past LCs and Lexus F products. And thank goodness it remains untouched for the new model year with the same 471 horsepower and 398 pounds feet of torque sent only to the rear wheels through a 10 speed automatic transmission. This is simply one of the best sounding cars ever, yes, ever. Just like that unconventionally gorgeous styling that Yamaha tune V8 doesn't sound American, nor does it sound European. It's its own delicious thing with incredible vibrato and strangely metallic overtones. And at any speed, it sounds unbelievable, but you're not gonna be able to hear it unless we go for a drive, so let's get outta here. (car engine revs) So I know I said earlier that there is still seven years on some confusion regarding if this is a sports car, is this a grand tourer? If you approach this like you approach the old and amazing LFA supercar, you're gonna be sorely disappointed. This is fully a grand tourer. Now, it's a sporting grand tourer. It's plenty capable, but it does still drive like a fast, very comfortable, very luxurious Lexus. But that being said, the very definition of a grand tourer dictates that this must be able to handle some curves and some canyon roads when the situation arises. It's all about balancing performance and comfort, which this does wonderfully. So while the steering is quick and pretty precise, it's also pretty light and there's not nearly as much feel as you'd get in something like, yeah, I don't know, a Porsche 911 or you know, like an Aston Martin vantage. And on paper, there is tons of power. I mean, 471 horsepower, that's a lot by anybody's standards and got plenty of torque. But those who have driven this beautiful five liter V8 in one of its many Lexus applications will know that it's pretty peaky. So power and torque comes rather high in the rev range compared to a lot of other American V8s and European V8s, especially since it's naturally aspirated. That means the physical sensation of acceleration is probably not gonna blow you away, especially if you are familiar with other high performance vehicles kind of in this price range. But none of this matters because it sounds unbelievable. It looks unbelievable. You feel like a billion dollars driving down the road. This is so much more about the experience and the theater and well, the style of driving than it is about numbers because... (car engine revs loudly) Ugh. Oh, beautiful. So again, you're not gonna get as much of the granular feel as dedicated sports cars, but it's more than capable enough if you do, you know, oh, I don't know, find yourself on the Monaco Riviera or you know, on some beautiful Malibu roads or out on some Wisconsin country roads. So if you do slow down and treat this more as an experience, you get to really enjoy the fine details of the LCs interior, including these beautiful magnesium shift paddles that control a 10 speed automatic. And again, in keeping with the theme, the 10 speed is not the smoothest when you are really hammering it, but if you kind of leave it to its own devices and understand it for what it is, perfectly acceptable and is rather smooth when you're just cruising around. Those who are familiar with the previous iterations of the LC and or older Lexus's, LX, will know what I'm talking about when I say how horrible that touch pad interface was. Thank goodness for the touchscreen. I mean, beggars can't be choosers, but I found that Lexus's new infotainment system is not exactly the most in depth, but it is a million times better than the old system. And so I really do think if you've been holding out for an LC, 2024 and beyond is the one to get. God, I just love the LC so much and I promise I'm not hamming it up. I'm not exaggerating. Every time I learn that I get to drive an LC, I get excited because this is an irreplaceable experience and I just hope they keep making this thing for a million more years. Man, this thing looks so good after seven years of production and I desperately hope we have another seven years left in the hopper because there is simply nothing else like it. If you want to know more about the 2024 Lexus LC 500, you gotta go to cars.com/news.

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