Finding this year’s “Most Memorable Drive” was tougher than expected.
You see, while it is easy to find the fastest or best-handling car, “memorable” is subjective. Speed is easily measured and handling can be described. But how does one define “memorable”? After all, a bad car can be just as unforgettable as a great one.
It took a while to reach consensus, as each of the eight contributors had a different nominee. Contenders in this category included the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S, Morgan Plus 4 and Audi RS7 Sportback. Even the Kia Carnival “grand utility vehicle” was mentioned.
But when all the nominees were revealed and the panel was asked to vote, an unexpected winner emerged.
The Lexus LC500 Convertible is neither the quickest or best-handling roadster of 2021. In fact, there’s even scuttle-shake when it’s driven over woolly surfaces.
So, what makes it so compelling? Well, in an age when turbocharging is the norm and electrification is gaining ground at an even quicker pace, the LC500 has the kind of engine enthusiasts love: a naturally aspirated and free-revving V8.
Its song lights up our eyes and whispers sweet nothings into our ears. The melodious burbles tug at our heartstrings. At full tilt, it blares its crescendo into our eardrums, sends our heads spinning and pulses racing. The ecstasy delivered by this type of engine will soon disappear.
The latter point is what makes the LC500 Convertible difficult to ignore.
Knowing that internal combustion engines are being phased out, and realising that this could be one of the last times that Lexus – or any other manufacturer for that matter – creates an “analogue” car that is as soul-stirring as this, makes you hanker after one. We will probably continue pining for it long after it has gone.