Lexus’ LC Convertible ‘Concept’ Is More Like a Halo in Waiting

Late final year, Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz suggested a automaker, after holding batch of a inventory, might cut some struggling product from a store shelves. It now seems on a verge of adding a new one.

Bound for a Detroit debut, a company’s Lexus LC Convertible Concept is not a way-out siren dream denounced by an automaker anticipating to beget hum with an inch-deep square of vaporware. Instead, it is simply a division’s high-zoot LC coupe, sans roof. And all of a diction surrounding a automobile screams that prolongation is scarcely unavoidable — so prolonged as a open responds favorably.

Toyota says a drop-top Lexus suggests a “future direction” of a flagship car, providing a minute list of specifications to underscore what a judgment has to offer (length grows by four-tenths of an inch, and that’s about it). An concomitant video superimposes phrases like “Too absolute to ignore” over charming angles of a vehicle’s physique and innards. Yes, a undeveloped back chair remains.

The company’s intentions aren’t subtle. Toyota even goes as distant as job it an “aspirational halo vehicle,” all though cheering that it wants buyers meddlesome in a high-end drop-top that doesn’t accost from Germany.

Available in LC 500 and LC 500h hybrid form, a LC line starts during $93,225 (after delivery) for a coupe braggadocio 471 horsepower from a 5.0-liter V8, with energy routed to a back wheels by a 10-speed involuntary transmission. Springing for a hybrid drops horsepower and raises a price. Entry cost for a hybrid’s 354 hp and peculiar multi-stage tranny is $97,735, and it’s easy to see a automobile LC retailing for over $100k to start.

While Lentz’s Nov comments hinted during a product cull, his difference can be interpreted as Toyota seeking to put additional bid behind certain models. “We are holding a tough demeanour during all of a segments that we contest in to make certain we are competing in essential segments and that products we sell have vital value,” Lentz said.

As a high-tech, cost flagship, a LC has vital value. It’s a company’s usually grand tourer and, in this form, it would be a company’s usually convertible.

Lexus needs a new reason for buyers to check out, and maybe slip into, a slinky two-door. Despite going on sale in early 2017, final year’s sales fell 20 percent next that of a first, truncated year on a market. Lexus changed 1,979 LCs in 2018 compared to 2017’s 2,487, and December’s sales uncover a 48 percent year-over-year decline. Is a LC in trouble? That depends on a brand’s expectations for a model, though descending sales and a coming of this “concept” points to restlessness among association brass.

If a automaker doesn’t built this convertible, one wonders what that means for a model’s future.

[Image: Toyota]

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