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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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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The material Jaguar Land Rover is adding to its vehicle interiors is called Econyl.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

As automaker work toward more sustainable business practices, Jaguar Land Rover is working with Econyl nylon to develop high-quality interiors made from ocean and landfill waste. The automaker promises that next-generation Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature floor mats and trims made with Econyl fiber from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean– known as 'ghost nets'.

Econyl nylon was created by Aquafil. It's already been sued in the high-end fashion, sportswear, and luxury watch industries to create handbags, backpacks, swimwear, and watch straps. In one year, the company recycles as much as 40,000 tons of waste, making it in to the nylon. For every 10,000 tonnes of Econyl raw material produced, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and 65,100 tons of carbon emissions equivalent are avoided.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Jaguar Land Rover has committed to including more sustainable materials in its interiors.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Turning to sustainable materials isn't a new idea. For years Ford has been incorporating all manner of materials into its vehicles including tomatoes, soy, and coffee chaff from McDonald's. General Motors recently showcased a breakdown of how recycled materials are used inside their automobiles.

Bentley's facility in Crewe, England is collecting rainwater for use in its office building allowing the company to not have to draw from the local water system.

Each year automakers release their sustainability report, which champions all the ways that the company is moving forward in its resources conservation plans. This year's GM report sets forth numerous goals. Among them, by 2030, 50 percent of the parts used in General Motors vehicles will be made with sustainable materials. Additionally, GM's Spring Hill plant in Tennessee will run solely on solar power by 2022.

FCA made big strides in 2019. Their 2020 sustainability report touted their 40 percent reduction in water use and 27 percent carbon footprint reduction per vehicle.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

This week Polestar announced that its Precept concept vehicle is headed into production. When the Precept debuted a few months ago, the company bragged about its sustainable interior.

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