New Model News

2021 Lexus LC Convertible adds top down elegance to flagship model lineup

The front of the LC Convertible is very similar to the front of the LC Coupe.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible isn't just a "crop-topped replica" of the LC Coupe. While they look like near-identical twins, the two models are much more fraternal once you get below the skin.

Lexus's list of equipment changes is rather long and includes a new torsion box at the rear, as well as a new suspension tower brace and V-brace. Structural braces have been relocated and the A- and B-pillars have additional gusseting. Laser Screw Welding and the use of high-tensile-strength steel through the structure also aids in chassis reinforcement.

2021 Lexus LC Convertible The convertible top is housed in its own compartment as to not interfere with trunk space.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Lexus has set about making the LC Convertible a more comfortable drive than the LC. It begins with the suspension, which has been tuned to take into account the subtle changes in weight and structure from the LC Coupe to the LC Convertible. The car's adaptive variable suspension, now relocated to the lower side of the shock absorber body, is designed to adapt to the changing roadway delivering 650 different levels of damping force.

The LC 500 Convertible rides on standard 20-inch cast alloy wheels. Models with 20- and 21-inch forged wheels are available. It features run-flat tires and has no spare.

The car's soft-top design allows it to open and close at speeds up to 31 mpg. It takes 15 seconds to open and 16 to close. The top folds rearward into its own compartment without intruding into the cabin or the already-small confines of the trunk. An animated display on the driver's information screen shows the progress of opening and closing. The control for the system reside just behind the infotainment system track pad in its own compartment alongside power window controls.

2021 Lexus LC Convertible Convertible switches are housed in their own compartment in the center console.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The roof's structural mechanisms are made of magnesium and aluminum to assure strength and lightweight properties. Its four-layer material design includes three layers of fabric and one layer of sound-absorbing material works to retain the traditional LC roofline.

The LC 500 Convertible top is offered in two colors: Black and Sand. Exterior paint options include Ultra White, Smoky Granite Mica, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow, Nori Green Pearl, and Nightfall Mica. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red, and Toasted Caramel. Some color choices result in an extra $595 charge.

The top-down option is made more palatable thanks to the integrated Lexus Climate Concierge system with upper body heating. This system manages the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters, and steering wheel heater. The HVAC system is even optimized to send warm or cold air to the back of the driver's hands when gripping the steering wheel.

2021 Lexus LC Convertible A climate control system allows heat and air conditioning to flow onto the neck of the driver.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

A number of active and passive noise canceling technologies and design choices are employed to make conversation easy in the model.

Like the Lexus LC Coupe, the LC Convertible is powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that produces 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. It has a zero to 60 mph time of 4.6 seconds and an electronically limited maximum track speed of 168 mph.

Lexus equips every LC Convertible with a 10.3-inch infotainment screen that comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility along with a number of apps.

The Lexus Enform App allows various mobile functionalists when you step out of the vehicle.

2021 Lexus LC Convertible The model comes with the same driver's area controls as the LC Coupe.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The new 2021 LC Convertible will come standard with Lexus Safety System+. This includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Intelligent High Beams. Also like the LC 500 coupe, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert come standard.

The model goes on sale later this year. A limited number of first edition models will be among the first off the line.

Pricing will be announced soon.

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Refreshed luxury crossover

2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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