LA Auto Show 2019

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible heading to dealerships in time for summer

Lexus is adding a convertible variant of its flagship sports coupe to its lineup for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Summer is waiting. Lexus has debuted the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible in Los Angeles, signaling the realization of a model that first debuted as a concept nearly a year ago.

This isn't just a topless LC 500. With the LC 500 convertible, engineers wanted to improve the car's chassis rigidity while adding and relocating key structural braces that would allow for the top to be off. At the same time, the company wanted to ensure that the car didn't lose its superb handling or balance, which was a careful equation to get right as the car's weight changed.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible On the outside, the 2021 LC 500 Convertible looks nearly identical to the LC 500, except for its soft top.Photo courtesy of Lexus

The result is a car with a die-cast aluminum suspension brace, performance dampener, and an un-sprung weight reduction in the front. Lexus says that the changes give the rear-wheel drive car the desired effect.

Each LC 500 Convertible has a 5.0-liter V8 engine under the hood that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and achieves 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque.

The convertible features a four-layer soft top that includes a tonneau covering for when it is retracted, allowing the cabin to appear completely open front to rear. The roof can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph. It takes just 15 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close. Lexus will sell the LC 500 Convertible with either a black or beige roof.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Lexus will offer the LC 500 Convertible with a black or beige roof.Photo courtesy of Lexus

The car's spoiler has been broadened over the LC 500 hard top design and the car's center is integrated into the trunk lid. On the LC 500 the brake light is in the rear windshield. A wind screen is available. Active noise control is standard.

Lexus will sell the car in the buyer's choice of 10 paint jobs: Ultra White, Smoky Granite, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow, and Nightfall Mica. A black, Circuit Red, or Toasted Caramel interior is available depending on paint choice.

Each LC 500 Convertible comes with automatic climate control that works to keep the cabin temperature stable whether the top is up or down. Lexus Climate Concierge and Upper Body Heating work in sync to manage the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater to ensure the cabin is at the ideal temperature. Lexus says that the HVAC system has been optimized to send warm or cold air to the back of the driver's hands when gripping the steering wheel.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible The car's interior contains the same modern design as the LC 500.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Lexus is equipping the model with the same 10.3-inch infotainment screen that's in the LC 500. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, as are Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration.

Each new Lexus LC 500 Convertible will come standard with Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+). This suite of safety and driver assistance technology includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with active lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, and high beam assist. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are also standard. Lexus Enform Safety Connect is complementary for the first 10 years of ownership.

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Lexus has made the car more rigid, allowing for the cabin's sight lines to be uninterrupted front to rear.Photo courtesy of Lexus

The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Inspiration Series show at the Los Angeles Auto Show is a limited edition offering. Just 100 will be made of the unique model with a Structural Blue paint job, white semi-aniline leather interior trim, unique blue top, gray headlamp garnishes, side intake garnishes, and taillamp garnishes. It comes standard with 21-inch wheels. Pricing is not yet available.

Pricing for the special edition and more traditional variants has yet to be released. The 2020 Lexus LC 500 starts at $92,950 and it's likely that the convertible variant will be priced higher to start.

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The Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition pays homage to vintage aircraft.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

In the aftermath of World War I, company founder Ettore Bugatti showcased the first three vehicles made by the company that bore his name. They were race cars and Bugatti found itself at the pinnacle of the sport very quickly.

By 1930, the company would begin its relationship with the aerospace industry, first with the Bugatti 100P, which never actually flew due to World War II, but served as the inspiration for a number of patents that are filed by the company. The plane went into storage as the Second World War kicked off and Mr. Bugatti would never again work on it during his lifetime.

Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition

Photo courtesy of Bugatti

Bugatti is honoring its racing and aviation past with a new series of Chiron Sport models dubbed "Les Légendes du Ciel". The drivers who piloted the Bugattis to success in the early 1900s were often time multitalented with resumes declaring them flying aces, daredevils, and technically skilled pilots.

"Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo 'Meo' Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air," says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. "It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them."

Each of the new models features a special, matte gray "Gris Serpent" paint job, which is inspired by the exterior color of aircrafts from the 1920s. The color extends front to rear with high-contrast, which gloss stripe running up the center. The front wings are adorned with the "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo. The "Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge" tricolor decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fiber.

At the front is Bugatti's traditional horseshoe radiator grille, finished in gloss black. The grille mesh is made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminum, and constructed in a dynamic pattern that that is repeated on the car's leather seats. Entry lights project the edition logo on the ground at entry while "Les Légendes du Ciel" logo on the middle console inlays.

Bugatti has covered the engine with black exposed carbon fiber with contrasting white lettering. The material continues at the back where black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel dominate.

The car's interior is almost entirely upholstered in leather. The leather's light brown color was chosen to be reminiscent of the natural leather in early aircrafts. On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13.

The new Bugatti Chiron Sport "Les Légendes du Ciel" edition is limited to 20 vehicles. Every model is independently numbered and costs $3.5 million.

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Three Bugatti Divos have been delivered to U.S. customers.

Photo courtesy of Bugatti Beverly Hills

Three Bugatti customers on the West Coast have started 2021 off on a better note than the rest of us. Bugatti of Beverly Hills was recently able to deliver three of the four Bugatti Divo supercars that have been commissioned through the dealership to their new owners.

Each of the models has been customized to deliver the high-performance, exclusive drive and ride experience required by its commissioner. Ahead of their delivery, the three Divos took to the track together completing laps at The Thermal Club in Palm Desert, California.

The Divo itself is a unique Bugatti even before customization. It rides on new architecture that features more air inlets than other Bugatti models and a wide front spoiler that works to provide optimal air supply and aid with downforce. The car looks lower and longer than other Bugattis due to its slimmer side line. At the front of the grille is the traditional, 159-gram Bugatti emblem.

U.S.-bound Bugatti Divos

Photo country of Bugatti Beverly Hills

Each model is powered by a 8.0-liter W16 engine that achieves 1500 horsepower. That engine can propel the car up to its 236 mph top speed.

Bugatti's Atelier in Molsheim is charged with the creation of each Divo. The first deliveries of the hyper sports cars took place in August 2020. By the end of the first months of 2021, all Divos will have been delivered to their new homes.

"To see these spectacular automobile works of art go from a piece of paper to sitting here in front of me is a phenomenal feeling," says Tim O'Hara, General Manager Bugatti Beverly Hills. "It was a very involved and lengthy process that demanded our best skills and expertise. To deliver 4 of only 40 to be built in the world and see the project through fruition is deeply gratifying."

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