Update: This post has been updated with live images.
With rumors circling for nearly a year, Lexus finally chops the top off of its LC grand tourer to create the new LC Convertible Concept debuting at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The automaker doesn't officially admit that a production version is on the way, but the announcement says the vehicle points to the "future direction" for the lineup, suggesting something like this open-roofed machine could arrive at dealers at some point.
Gallery: Lexus LC Convertible concept
Until your eye reaches the roof, the LC Convertible Concept is identical to the existing coupe. The droptop looks elegant with its roof stowed away, especially thanks to the steeply raked windshield. Slicing off the top, forces Lexus' designers to create a new rear deck for the machine. There are extremely subtle nacelles behind the seats, and the central part of the tail is flat but angular cuts make it taper down to the fenders.
Look at the LC:
The cut lines in the back show where the roof would hide, but there isn't a top to deploy at the moment. "It’s just an open top concept at this point, so there’s no roof yet," Lexus spokesperson Ed Hellwig told Motor1.com. The space looks large enough fit a soft top, though.
On the inside, the concept features a mix of white leather seats and a black dashboard. Yellow stitching adds a little color to the cabin.
Lexus doesn't offer powertrain details, but there doesn't appear to be anything preventing either the existing 5.0-liter V8 or the hybrid 3.5-liter V6 from being available as a convertible. The power roof mechanism would add some weight to the car that would likely take a little away from the coupe's acceleration and fuel economy.
Also in Detroit, Lexus will unveil the RC F Track Edition as a more hardcore version of its already sporty coupe.
Lexus LC Convertible Concept Makes World Debut in Detroit
• Open top concept suggests future direction of LC flagship
• Dynamic design positions LC concept as a halo for the rest of the brand
DETROIT, MI – January 11, 2019 – Lexus shocked the automotive world in Detroit three years ago with the debut of the LC coupe. It was a testament to the brand’s new sense of creative ambition, but it was only just the beginning. Since then, the Lexus design team has been exploring the brand’s evolution and the latest result of those explorations will make its debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show with the world premiere of the Lexus LC Convertible Concept.
An open-air roadster that is an artful reflection of the LC coupe, the design goal of the Convertible Concept was the expression of “ultimate beauty”. From the rake of the windshield to the smooth contours of the rear decklid that houses the convertible top, every line on the LC Convertible concept was drawn to evoke an emotional response. A stunning design from every angle, the LC Convertible concept stands as an aspirational halo vehicle for the entire Lexus lineup.
“This concept takes the unmistakable design of the LC coupe and reimagines it as a future convertible,” said Tadao Mori, Chief Designer of the LC Convertible concept. “It blends all the best aspects of the original coupe with the dynamic design of an open-air convertible.”
Long, low and lean, the LC Convertible concept retains the athletic proportions of the LC coupe. It’s a shape that evolved naturally from the original LC design, yet still manages to stand on its own with a unique identity. It blends uniquely Japanese aesthetics with the promise of sensory satisfaction that only a convertible can provide.
In addition to the visual appeal of the exterior sheetmetal, the LC Convertible concept attracts drivers and passengers alike with an allure of a cabin that caters to every need. From the comfort of its tailored seats to the feel of every switch and button, everything about this LC is designed to make even the most common trip feel like an occasion. Crisp white leather trim abounds while yellow accent stitching adds a pop of color without distracting from the subtle elegance of the overall design.
More than just a grand tourer, the strong exterior lines of the LC Convertible concept reinforce its performance pedigree. Its short overhangs, 22-inch wheels and wide stance are all reminders of this car’s performance potential.
“A production version of this concept would be exhilarating in many different ways. You would see its dynamic lines as you approach, hear its engine when you started it up and feel everything around you once on the road. It would engage the senses in a way that is unique and exciting every time you got behind the wheel,” said Mori-san.
Lexus LC Convertible concept specifications