A Winter Road Trip Adventure In The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

car on road at sunrise
The luxury 2021 Lexus LC 500 Photo credit Shawn Zapalac

‘Yes We Did Drive the LC 500 Convertible In Winter Weather, & It Was a Blast’

By Rita Cook and Shawn Zapalac

We drove the 2021 Lexus LC500 recently and as soon as we got behind the wheel the LC was begging for the road. Just a little note here – the LC means Luxury Coupe, we assign the LC to mean “Low Center” too.

This luxury machine certainly needed more than the cul-de-sac stretches and over-busy highways Dallas had to offer. So as the new year approached, we took to the open road from Texas to New Mexico to Colorado.

We left Dallas on New Year’s Eve testing not only performance, but luxury of the LC – with an eye toward adventure, of course.

Indeed, there had been little opportunity to test the performance of the Lexus LC and we wanted to try out the 5.0 liter, V-8 engine with 471 horsepower. The 2021 Lexus LC 500 also has a 10-speed sport direct shift automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters. We tested what the LC could do under the hood and on the open stretches, when passing, we actually got her up to 190 mph without even realizing it.

Beauty, Performance and Lexus Luxury

Notice we called this Lexus a “she.” We had to, she was so beautiful. And even more to the point, the little coupe rode with the comfort of a much larger luxury car and the conveniences one would expect of a Lexus.

As night fell on us, temperatures dropped and New Year’s Eve approached, about two hours west of Fort Worth we hit one of the nastiest ice storms we’ve seen in awhile. The sleet and ice coated the rural two-lane highways quickly. Not ideal conditions for driving an $113,000 automobile, but the car felt solid and recovered quickly from the icy roads. With the roads as bad as they were, we felt fortunate to be in a machine that could handle it better than most on the road that night.

Also worth mentioning, the comfort of a heated steering wheel and headrests were greatly appreciated navigating the treacherous conditions. Even so, as the conditions deteriorated the nearest hotel seemed the best place to stop until morning, even if it was not our final New Year’s Eve destination.

Built For Performance

With morning there came melting ice so we got on the road early heading toward the New Mexico and Colorado roads where the 2021 Lexus LC 500 could thrive. Sport S+ mode is the way to drive the mountain roads and was one of our favorite features on the car. The paddle shifters were fun as well, but we would venture to say for many it would be hard to out shift Sport S+ mode.

Accelerating in Sport S+ the shifts are taken to within 500 rpm of redline before moving to the next gear, which creates an exhilarating experience. Turning and cornering through the mountain roads was effortless and smooth with no body roll or moving around in the seats. In fact, the seats hold you comfortably in place and the cockpit was designed where nothing was more than a short reach away. This is where LC came to mean low center for me, as it became a truly enjoyable experience while feeling safe.

2021 Lexus LC in the snow
Photo by Shawn Zapalac

Navigating The Colorado Roads With The Top Down

Clear, cool, Colorado weather made driving the convertible with the top down a must too, even if only for short periods since the temperatures were near freezing. The completely automated convertible top was so easy to use and so fast that taking the top down for a few minutes at a time was as easy as rolling the windows up and down. With the top down and the heated seats turned up, it was a great way to enjoy the mountains of Colorado.

Do take notice however, the back seats lack the room and comfort of the front seats. We also found it convenient to load the back seat with the top down if possible. With this being the first year of the LC 500 Convertible the only question we have is why didn’t Lexus do this sooner?

Fast, Fun, Powerful

Another side to this car we found was the Eco mode when stretching fuel between towns on the way home. But don’t let Eco mode fool you. There is still more power in Eco than a lot of cars have in sport. And the obvious side to the car is the good looks. No matter where we went in the 2021 Lexus LC 500 we were noticed, and in some small towns we felt like a celebrity.

This coupe certainly does not skimp on luxury, but the performance was where it came into its own. It is the kind of vehicle that you like more each time you drive it. Town or track, it should fit nicely into any lifestyle. Even better, the miles per gallon are 15 in the city and on the highway 25 miles, so now we can’t wait to drive another one of these beauties when the sun comes out and weather warms up – we have our sunglasses ready!