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Review: Thinking outside the box in the 2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible


Let’s stop our hyperkinetic lives for a second.

Let’s shut off the mobile phone and close the laptop. Let’s power down the tablet and turn off the television.

Let’s ignore the political extremists who populate both sides of the aisle along with talentless, self-absorbed “celebrities.” Let’s ponder what makes us happy and consider what truly matters — not pixels, pols or pabulum. Life is about experiences, about spending time with yourself, your family and your friends.

Time to stop, take a deep breath, turn on our playlists and dance.

Now look outside the window. Is the weather getting nicer? Is winter relinquishing its icy grip? Think about it. Wouldn’t a grand touring convertible be really nice to help you unwind? Like maybe a 2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

What? You don’t have one? Could it be because you blew the same amount of money on a boxy pickup or SUV? You’re not alone. Our passion for SUVs mirrors that of our lives, trapped in a box of our own choosing.

It’s crazy, but we’re spending more money than ever buying SUVs, even though the vast majority of owners don’t need one. Ill proportioned and awkwardly styled, they are allegedly more functional than sedans, coupes and sports cars. But where’s the extra functionality?

Sedans have just as much traction in foul weather. And no one wants to sit in the third row of an SUV any more than airline passengers want to sit in the back of the plane. And the extra cargo space?  What are you really using it for? To haul your extra sorrows that emanate from driving a big, bumbling box?

Time for an intervention. Time for a time out. Time to climb behind the wheel of something fabulous to help us chill.

May I suggest the 2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible? It’s the perfect vehicle for those who think outside the box. A little more than two years after its arrival, this is a car that’s still capable of turning heads. Its horizontality a contrast to the extreme verticality of SUVs, which have all the sex appeal of a chrome-bedazzled garden shed on 22s.

The Lexus LC 500 Convertible is its contrarian counterpart.

Its top goes down so you can always commune with nature, not just run over it with your 4x4. It’s supremely comfortable and roomy, yet cozy; feeling as if it was tailored specifically for you and lavishly finished in the finest materials. There’s room for two up front and theoretically two in back. But the rear seat is better suited as a padded parcel shelf; this baby has a mere 3.4 cubic feet of trunk space.

Not practical enough for you? Buy a Lexus LS instead — but you’ll be missing out.

Find your favorite quiet road, put down the power top and winds — it takes 15 seconds and can be actuated at up to 31 mph — and your stress gives way to pleasure as fresh air and warm rays envelop you. Its 5.0-liter V-8, rated at 417 horsepower and 398 foot-pounds of torque, mates to a 10-speed automatic transmission. EPA-rated at 18 mpg in combined driving, and requiring 91 octane fuel, it emits a mesmerizing growl, one that quiets down when you require a more civilized comportment from your car.

The LC 500 ($101,000 as tested) is no sports car, but there are plenty of those. This is something rarer and more exclusive: a grand touring car of the first order. For those not interested in Nürburgring lap times, you’ll find the LC 500’s 4.6 second 0-60 mph time fast enough. Now, Lexus did change the steering and suspension somewhat for 2022 to improves its athleticism, but it doesn’t come at the expense of this car’s quintessential GT character.

That said, it would be nice to have less road and tire noise with the roof shut. And once it's closed, you’ll find huge blind spots as well, so take care when changing lanes. (Actually, this makes for a good case to never put the top up.)

But perhaps the biggest disappointment is the $1,220 Mark Levinson sound system, which lacks the mid-range punch we expect of an optional audio system. And the fiddly infotainment controls desperately need redesigned; I suggest the new system used in the far less expensive Lexus NX.

None of this is a deal breaker, for the 2022 LC 500 convertible is an alluring piece of rolling Japanese sculpture. It’s a grand touring car that relishes artistry over pragmatism, preferring the grand statement of creativity to the dreary certainty of rationality.

Yes, it’s time to think outside the box.