Time is a unit by which all things are measured. But for something so tangible, it is also invisible and cannot be touched.
Despite this, time is something we all want more of, but ultimately cannot have.
We cannot stop time, but we have had moments in life when time seemed to have stood still. Think of when your first love initially confessed that she loves you. Or, the moment following a near-death experience.
And it is this surreal feeling that the Lexus LC500 Convertible is capable of delivering.
DESIGNED TO DRAW GLANCES
It is hard to take your eyes off the LC500 Convertible.
Low, wide and swoopy, this topless machine has the stance of an exotic supercar. It looks the part, too, with taut lines that make it look muscular. Sharp and piercing headlights and tail-lights add to its aggressive character.
Inside, the LC500 is a delight to the senses. The cabin is awash in sumptuous leather and tight stitching. Your fingertips are presented with nicely weighted controls. The overall feel is sporty and cossetting.
It is not perfect, though. The stalks for the sport mode and traction control look like the instrument panel’s “ears”. The infotainment system is old and I also dislike the annoyingly tricky trackpad.
That said, you will forget about anything irksome the moment you thumb the starter button and hear the Lexus LC500 Convertible’s engine roar to life.
LEXUS LC500 CONVERTIBLE: AURAL PLEASURE
Right when the motor awakens is when you realise that this car has pierced your heart and left a scar.
The V8’s lusty growl makes the hair on your neck and arms stand. Your ears are flooded with a melody that can put you into a trance. Then you exhale after realising that you’ve been holding your breath.
Beneath that bonnet is a siren in the form of a naturally aspirated 5-litre V8 – a type of engine that is becoming extinct. Most manufacturers have downsized their big motors or turbocharged them in the name of reducing emissions. Well, not Lexus. At least not yet.
A naturally aspirated powerplant draws enthusiasts like a moth to a flame. Their linearity is what we crave. A turbocharged motor may have superior performance, but it still needs to be tuned to have that linearity.
This 5-litre unit, paired to a 10-speed automatic, delivers 470hp and 540Nm – figures that won’t raise eyebrows these days. Even the Lexus LC500 Convertible’s zero to 100km/h time of 4.7 seconds seems relatively slow.
But if figures don’t concern you, then you are truly in for a treat.
Find an empty stretch of road and pin the accelerator to the floor. The mighty motor willingly spins to its 7100rpm redline while emitting gloriously throaty noises.
With the top down (it can be opened or closed within 15 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h), the LC500’s wailing is more prominent, with every note – now unfiltered – reaching your welcoming ears.
A CRUISER AND A BRUISER
With its ground-hugging stance, the Lexus LC500 Convertible is right at home on twisty tarmac. Its nose eagerly searches for apexes, while the quick steering and well-tuned suspension work in tandem to neatly slice through bends.
Again, it’s not quite perfect. The 10-speed auto, seamless as it is, is overkill – eight forward ratios would have been fine.
Over poorer surfaces, some of the bumpiness does reach your bottom. And going faster creates stronger draughts, which eventually drown out the V8’s song.
So, you go slower with the roof open and faster when it is closed. Ideally, you want to go faster with the top down and while still basking in the motor’s concerto. But I suppose one cannot always have it all.
Besides, you do not buy a Lexus LC500 Convertible just because of its looks (there are cars that look better) or performance (there are sports cars that go even faster).
You buy one because every drive in it may not be just an experience. It could be a surreal moment, fleetingly suspended in time for you to savour, before disappearing forever.
The memory of it and the hope that it could happen again leaves you pining for more. Now, that is the LC500 Convertible’s real song of seduction.
Lexus LC500 Convertible 5.0 (A)
ENGINE 4969cc, 32-valves, V8
MAX POWER 470hp (351kW) at 7100rpm
MAX TORQUE 540Nm at 4800rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 231hp per tonne
GEARBOX 10-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 4.7 seconds
TOP SPEED 270km/h
CONSUMPTION 7.9km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE From $572,800 (after $20k VES surcharge)
AGENT Lexus Singapore