Al-Futtaim Automotive, the exclusive distributor of Lexus in the UAE, has launched the first-ever 2021 LC 500 Convertible in the UAE. Revealed last night at an exclusive preview event, the all-new Lexus LC Convertible made its UAE debut, opening possibilities for flagship performance. Hosted at the Lexus Showroom in Dubai Festival City, the event was attended by Lexus customers, media personnel and social figures, as well as Al-Futtaim Automotive senior officials including Paul Willis, President – Al-Futtaim Automotive, Vincent Wijnen, Senior Managing Director, UAE – Al-Futtaim Automotive and Carlos Montenegro, Managing Director, Fleet & Leasing – Al-Futtaim Automotive.
Expanding upon the flagship performance of its Coupe counterpart, the first-ever LC 500 Convertible broadens the LC family with a stunning, eye-catching design and its own luxurious handling characteristics designed to take top-down driving to the next level. Considerable driving evaluation and analysis went into crafting unique driving qualities that give the vehicle its own athletic identity to offer impressive performance that remains true to its convertible design.
Unveiling the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible, Paul Willis, President of Al-Futtaim Automotive said: “We are thrilled to make the iconic 2021 LC Convertible available to our customers in the UAE. Lexus has always been a leader of unique automotive design and outstanding performance; and with the launch of all-new LC Convertible, the brand is presenting a halo model which represents a future chapter of the Lexus brand – a journey we are proud to be part of. Al-Futtaim Automotive enjoys a strong partnership with Lexus that goes back more than 30 years during which the brand proved to win the heart of Emirati customers who now account over 80 percent of our Lexus customer database in the UAE.”
The LC 500 Convertible may be based in part on the LC 500 coupe, but it is no mere crop-topped replica. Featuring a meticulously designed, lightweight soft top, the LC 500 Convertible maintains the same sleek silhouette as its coupe counterpart. Priced at AED 465,000, the new LC 500 Convertible will be available in the UAE in 11 exterior colour options. Limited to 100 units worldwide, only one exclusive LC 500 Convertible in a special edition colour – structural blue with marina white interior, will be available at Al-Futtaim Lexus in the UAE; it will be priced at AED 495,000.
Exterior – the most passionate expression of the Lexus brand
The eye-catching Convertible of the 2021 LC 500 displays a unique mesh grille that spreads across the front of the car. Chrome-plated moldings along the edges echo the lines of a traditional Japanese sword. One of the most stunning aspects of the LC 500 Convertible is its unique light signature at night. The taillamps are inspired by the glow of a jet’s afterburners while the ultra-compact, triple-projector LED headlamps are not only striking, they’re half the size of conventional headlamps.
Enhancing structural rigidity was high on the list of objectives. Engineers went to work crafting an all-new torsion box at the rear, which, when paired with a new suspension tower brace and V-brace, help provide enhanced rigidity, handling stability and linear responsiveness. Chassis rigidity is further enhanced with the relocation of various structural braces, which includes additional gusseting at the bottom of both the A and B pillars. Laser Screw Welding and the use of high-tensile-strength steel through the structure also aids in chassis reinforcement.
The LC 500 Convertible comes standard with large-diameter 21-inch forged wheels. Run-flat tires are employed at all four corners to eliminate the need for a spare tire, which, in turn, allows engineers to shorten the rear overhang and save additional weight by foregoing a spare.
The LC 500 Convertible is available in 11 exterior paint options, including White Nova, Dark Gray, Sonic Silver, Sonic Titanium, Blazing Carnelian, Graphite Black, Radiant Red, Naples Yellow, Terrane Khaki and Deep Blue.
Cream of the Crop Top
The LC Convertible’s soft-top design allowed engineers to focus on accentuating the sleek lines of the convertible without significant intrusions to the boot and cabin space that can come with a heavier, bulkier hard top. It features an innovative folding mechanism that includes a tonneau cover for when it is stored. The coupe’s curves are accentuated with the silhouette of the convertible in a way that only Japanese design can imbue. Even the smooth roof movement is inspired by the three-step movement of Japanese calligraphy: ink brush to paper; movement to the right; the stopping of the ink brush.
The roof can be opened or closed at speeds up to 50 km/h. One of the most impressive aspects is the time it takes: 15 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close, depending upon environmental factors. Once closed, a tonneau covers the roof storage space to provide a weather-resistant seal from the elements. The rear profile of the LC Convertible boot is accentuated with a “kicked up” design that lifts its profile slightly, while the surface of the spoiler is laterally broadened to emphasise the low, wide stance of the car. The center brake light is now integrated into the boot lid.
Premium magnesium and aluminum components are adopted for the roof links and support structure to provide both a reduction in weight and a design with a low center of gravity. The roof material itself was carefully selected and manufactured to help ensure optimal tension, to minimise wrinkling and improve sound insulation. The four-layer soft top, which includes three layers of fabric and one layer of sound-absorbing material, is designed to retain the flowing roofline of the coupe without the supporting frame visible through the fabric.
A hydraulic system is responsible for opening and closing the convertible’s roof in an elegant, seamless motion. The system features an electromagnetic valve to control the hydraulic pressure generated by the hydraulic pump to extend or contract cylinders for the tension bow, main roof and the tonneau cover. Three times the number of typical durability tests were conducted to ensure reliability and quietness of operation.
There’s no question that the purr and roar of the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 elicits an intoxicating note that beckons the driver to depress the throttle and bring the Lexus LC 500 Convertible’s engine to life. The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive LC Convertible shares the same direct-injected V8 powerplant as the LC Coupe. Coupled with a Direct-Shift 10-speed automatic transmission, the engine is rated to produce 471 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 540 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. The LC Convertible posts an impressive 0-100 km/h time of 4.7 seconds, and its maximum track speed is electronically limited to 270 km/h.
Careful attention was given to the LC Convertible’s suspension, which is tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the coupe and convertible. From its dampers and coils, to its bushings and the unique Yamaha Performance damper placed transversely at the rear, the Convertible’s specially-designed components are designed to help ensure comfortable, yet sharp, road-going performance. A reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke, and weight is also reduced in the rear with the use of lightweight die-cast aluminum for the construction of the suspension tower brace.
The tuning of the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is optimised to complement the convertible as well. The AVS system continually adjusts damping control in response to driving operation and road surface conditions, with the ability to adjust to an impressive 650 different levels of damping force. The AVS system has also been relocated compared to the previous model year coupe, as it no longer resides at the top of the absorber and is now mounted to the lower side of the shock absorber body below the spring.
Updated Multimedia for 2021
Engineers took care to ensure the driving experience is ideal for all occupants, as the cabin is designed to reduce wind noise thanks to the unique shape of the beltline and rear molding to help suppress wind from entering. A standard transparent polycarbonate wind deflector helps restrict unwanted air from entering the cabin during low-speed travel, such as driving in the city, while the standard windscreen provides improved cabin experience during high-speed travel, such as freeway driving, for comfortable conversing with the top down. Active Noise Control (ANC) combines sound insulation and absorption techniques to help suppress unwanted harshness from entering the cabin.
The LC 500 Convertible features an impressive 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display that provides immediate, simultaneous access to 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, climate controls and various systems. Even the sound system is fine-tuned specifically for the convertible with an EQ that adjusts based on the driving environment whether the top is open or closed. It is equipped with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatibility, allowing Android and iPhone users to seamlessly cast their device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display.
The roof of the LC Convertible can be opened or closed at speeds up to 50 km/h. An animated display on the instrumentation panel shows the top’s progress, and it also provide warning messages to confirm the status of the soft top roof. The power window controls have been linked to the movement of the roof as well, allowing the ability to switch to open air freedom with the single push of a button. Regardless of the weather, the LC 500 Convertible is designed with an HVAC system that adjusts the temperature whether the top is raised or lowered.
Depending upon the exterior colour chosen, the LC 500 Convertible is available in three interior colours: Black, Flare Red and Ocher, and the soft roof top comes in two colours: Black and Sand.
The Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) comes standard on the LC 500 Convertible. LSS+ features Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist (LKA). Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection is standard and includes features such as Frontal Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Pedestrian Detection. All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is also included, as is Intelligent High Beam that will default to high-beam mode when the road ahead is clear but will temporarily switch to low beams when headlamps or taillamps are detected. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Side Mirrors with BSM Indicator is standard on the LC500 Convertible
There are important safety features specific to convertible, though, such as the active roll bars that are designed to deploy upward when a rollover is detected. When not deployed, these roll bars are hidden from view to retain the convertible’s exquisite silhouette when the top is down.
Complying with the UAE’s laws, the new LC 500 will also be the first Lexus model in the UAE to boast the Emergency Call (eCall) System.