Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • Non-turbocharged 5.0-litre V8 is a gem
  • Requires plenty of revs to get the best from it
  • Wonderfully analogue-feeling

The 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that the LC Convertible hides under its long bonnet is rather old-fashioned. It’s naturally-aspirated, which means it’s unencumbered by a turbocharger or a supercharger. As a result, it’s not quite as powerful as some rivals are for its size (though with 464hp on tap it’s hardly slow) but it makes up for it with its character.

The purity of a naturally-aspirated engine means it responds to changes in the accelerator pedal with lightning precision. It also means that the engine’s power is to be found at the top of the rev range – in this case, peak performance doesn’t arrive until 7,100rpm.

That encourages you to rev the LC to the max between gearchanges, rather than some rivals where you’d be changing up just as the turbocharger begins to spool down.

It sounds utterly fantastic, too. Though the exhaust system includes its share of clever valves and pipes, Lexus hasn’t fitted a ‘loud’ button like you’d find on an AMG Mercedes. That means the engine’s never obnoxious under normal conditions, and you really have to be going some to make it howl.

Performance is impressive, with 0-62mph dealt with in five seconds flat and a top speed of 168 miles per hour.

There’s only one transmission on offer, too. It’s a ten-speed automatic, and it’s very well-suited to the LC’s V8. When driving gently, it’s reassuringly unobtrusive, slushing the gears together in a relaxing way. When you put your foot down it becomes far more sharp, holding on to each gear for long enough to let the engine hit its peak before clicking the next ratio into place almost imperceptibly.

Our only complaint is that when you’re taking manual control, ten ratios are rather a lot, and you’ll be using the steering wheel-mounted paddles to flip up and down ratios like a mad thing trying to ensure you’re in the correct gear.

Handling

  • Lexus LC errs on the side of comfort
  • But still handles like a dream
  • Keen steering and considerable agility for such a big car

The Lexus LC Convertible isn’t meant to be thrown around like a hot hatchback, but there’s still a degree of poise and urgency to the way it handles that means it deals with corners better than a car this size and weight has a right to.

The LC Convertible is at its best on sweeping A-roads rather than tight, tricky B-roads though. For starters, it’s quite a large car, and Lexus hasn’t been able to squeeze in the rear-wheel steering that the coupe benefits from to make it feel as though it’s shrinking around you.

There’s also rather a lot of power going to the rear wheels, and the LC proves a little tail-happy on damp surfaces.

However the light, fluent steering and communicative front end mean it’s a joy to hustle along on a nice road, and you might find your commute takes the long way home more often than not.