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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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Lexus took a different approach to launch the new IS.


Lexus knows how to make a good V8. The LC 500, RC F, and even older cars like the SC 400 all feature a buttery, powerful Lexus V8. The IS sports sedan never has been given the V8 treatment, but that's about to change for the 2022 model year. The automaker is jamming a big V8 in the space normally occupied by a four- or six-cylinder engine to create the 2022 IS 500 F Sport. The automaker's new marketing campaign for the car takes a slightly different approach than the "big red bow" commercials it usually makes, starting with a short documentary called "License to Thrill."

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport 14 drivers competed for a chance to be one of the first IS 500 F Sport owners.Lexus

The IS 500 F Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that makes 472 horsepower. It's the most powerful Lexus IS ever, so it's not surprising that the automaker chose to highlight its performance in its launch marketing campaign.

The documentary follows 14 auto enthusiasts who participated in a driving event for a chance to own (buy) one of five early cars. Drivers were taken to the Apex Motor Club in Arizona, where they received tips from Lexus IMSA drivers Townsend Bell, Jack Hawksworth, and Aaron Telitz before hitting the track in an IS 500 F Sport. Each driver had an opportunity to set the best lap times in the car. Top lap times earned a chance to be one of the first to purchase the car, but Lexus also gave away one IS 500 to an unexacting participant.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Lexus gave away one of the cars.Lexus

The IS 500 launch will include other events that involve artists and content producers. Pro driver JR Hildebrand will drive the car for a MotorTrend special, while 100 Thieves and Garagisme will create publications and video content involving the car.

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Electric vehicles

Three new EVs we can't wait to see

The F-150 Lightning is just one of several new EVs we'll see soon.


With all the crazy news coming out of the auto industry this year, it'd be easy to believe that the rollout of new models is slowing to a snail's pace. The pandemic and ongoing microchip shortage have slowed vehicle production, to be sure, but they haven't put the brakes on automakers' push to roll out exciting new electric vehicles. In the next few months alone, we'll see several new electric trucks, cars, and SUVs hit the market, some of which will break new ground and help define their segments. We're on board with this trend 100 percent, and to help you get excited, we've rounded up a few of our favorites.

Here are the three upcoming electric vehicles we're most excited to see.

Ford F-150 Lightning

One of the world's best-selling and most popular vehicles is going electric. The Ford F-150 Lightning is set to arrive in 2022 with a fully electric powertrain, forward-looking technology, and a familiar style that will make any truck lover feel at home. We don't have full details on the truck, but Ford has shared some awe-inspiring performance numbers. The Lightning will offer around 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which should push the truck to 60 mph from a standstill in just four seconds. Payload capacity comes in at up to 2,000 pounds, and towing will reach 10,000 pounds for specific configurations.

Ford F-150 Lightning The Lightning will offer impressive capability in a familiar package.Ford

The Lightning's starting price will come in under $40,000, but don't get your hopes up about actually buying one for that amount. Ford says the entry-level Lightning is a commercial truck that will be a stripped-down work-ready vehicle, which likely means features like vinyl seats and far fewer of the desirable tech goodies that you'll want. To get the truck you and your family will want to drive, you'll need to spring for the XLT model, which starts just shy of $53,000. That's quite a bit more, but it is still a somewhat reasonable price to pay for what will surely be a capable electric pickup.

Mercedes-Benz EQS

The S-Class is a unique model in Mercedes-Benz's lineup. The car typically showcases the automaker's latest technologies and design techniques and offers a glimpse of the features that eventually trickle down to the rest of Mercedes' vehicles. Soon, we'll see the EQS, a fully electric flagship sedan that paves the way for the brand's other electrified offerings. The car will have a range of well over 400 miles on a charge, up to 516 horsepower, rear-axle steering, and breathtaking technology.

Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS will usher in a new electric era at Mercedes.Mercedes-Benz

The EQS is expected to land sometime late in 2021 and will carry a price tag that matches its premium brand name and top-notch feature set. Pricing for the "entry-level" EQS 450+ will come in at around $100,000, while the top EQS 580 4MATIC will land well north of that number. Remember, though, that Mercedes offers a long list of ultra-desirable options for its cars, so you'll likely shell out more than the base price to get the features you want.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq name is nothing new, but the way it will be seen in the automaker's lineup will change significantly going forward. Rather than being a model name within the Hyundai catalog, Ioniq will split off and become its own sub-brand, covering a line of electric vehicles of all types. The Ioniq 5 is the first such vehicle and will be offered in single- or dual-motor configurations that generate 225 or 320 horsepower. The car's futuristic design is attractive and features a pixelated look for the front-end, lighting features, and rear. Inside, the vehicle is clean but comforting and offers the features buyers expect in a family crossover.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 The Ioniq 5 is the first in what will be an entire line of new EVs from Hyundai.Hyundai

The Ioniq 5 should go on sale in late 2021 and is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

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