LEXUS LC CONVERTIBLE CATCHES THE WIND FOR COMPLETE COMFORT
- LC Convertible provides perfect cabin comfort, top up or top down
- Open-air control and Lexus Climate Concierge maintain an ideal cabin temperature
- Aerodynamic features include a wind deflector to prevent buffeting
- Optional mesh wind screen reduces airflow intrusion at higher speeds
A wind-in-the-hair feeling is one of the great pleasures of driving a convertible. It sounds like a simple concept, but Lexus has gone to exceptional lengths to ensure that when the roof is lowered on the new LC Convertible, cabin comfort isn’t compromised. That’s true whether you are enjoying a sun-soaked coastal drive, or the twists and turns of a snowy Alpine pass.
Lexus’s goal was to prevent cold air chilling the lower body, while managing the temperature and airflow around the head and shoulders, so driver and passenger can enjoy a refreshing breeze without feeling cold or buffeted.
The cabin environment is completely different when the roof is lowered, so precise adjustments have been made to the air conditioning system to take the changes into account and maintain the right temperature. An open air control automatically detects if the roof is up or down and adapts air-con performance accordingly. When the top is stowed, factors such as the amount of sunlight, the outside temperature and the vehicle’s speed are all taken into account to calculate the appropriate air-con temperature and airflow.
Adjustable heaters are built into the headrests, directing air directly onto the neck, so occupants feel warm straight away. The system is designed to suit people of different heights and works automatically or with manual control, with three heat settings.
Lexus Climate Concierge
Lexus’s intelligent Climate Concierge system has been adapted specifically for the convertible so that it co-ordinates control of the automatic air conditioning, the seat and neck heaters and the heated steering wheel in achieving ideal heat and ventilation levels throughout the cabin. It recognises when the passenger seat is unoccupied, adjusting performance to focus on the area around the driver.
True to Lexus’s omotenashi seamless comfort and hospitality principles, the air conditioning’s airflow has been slightly increased to add warmth in key areas, such as the back of the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.
Lexus designers also looked at how the car’s aerodynamic details could play a part in keeping the cabin calm and comfortable.
After researching how air flows over the car when the roof is down, they created a belt line along the side of the car that kicks up at the rear edge of the doors to meet the surface of the boot lid – which itself was set at an ideal height. This detail makes for a smoother airflow that doesn’t buffet the car’s occupants.
There is also a transparent wind deflector behind the rear seats – fitted as standard – which suppresses unwelcome airflow and keeps things quiet enough in the cabin to hold a conversation, when driving at speeds up to around 35mph. It may be a small feature, but it reduces airflow around the occupants’ faces by about 20 per cent.
For a more comfortable ride when travelling at higher speeds, customers can fit an optional wind screen. This again reduces airflow around the head (by about 67 per cent at 60mph). The mesh unit sits neatly behind the rear seats and can remain in place when the roof is raised. Many different mesh patterns were tested before the best-performing design was chosen. Special attention was also paid to the screen’s appearance, so that it blends perfectly with the convertible’s luxurious interior.