What is it?
Lexus has refreshed the LC ‘concept car made real’ for 2020 and is now offering its Porsche 911 Cabrio rival with a folding canvas roof, which is expected to prove more popular than the elegant fixed-head.
The basic 2+2 layout is the same as that of the coupé introduced in 2017, with a naturally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 putting out an unchanged 457bhp driving the rear wheels alone. The less powerful 3.5-litre V6 hybrid motor available in the coupe won't be making an appearance here. We know from prior experience that the big, titanium-valved V8 is as soulful as they come, but recently the hybrid has proved more popular.
In the case of Sport+ specification tested here (add £5850 to the £90,775 base price of the V8), Lexus fits a Torsen rear differential to aid the Michelin Super Sport tyres, which replace the unloved old run-flats but are wrapped around the same unmissable 21in forged alloys. Basic models forego the LSD and use brake-based torque-vectoring instead, as well as wearing 20in wheels.
The Sport+ pack also brings neck-warmers integrated into the heavily bolstered seats, but what the coupe gets in Sport+ trim that the convertible doesn't – because of the space required for the roof when stowed away – is rear-wheel steering.
Downstream of the engine, the torque-converter transmission still has no fewer than 10 speeds – which still feels like at least two too many – but the multi-link suspension has been lightened with more generous use of aluminium.
Lexus has also increased the stroke of the front damper units in an attempt to relieve some of the brittleness of original coupé although, equally, a stiffer rear anti-roll bar is used to improve turn-in response. Further tweaks have been made to the brake setup and the variable EPAS.