Chief among the 2019 Detroit Auto Show’s best concept cars was the Lexus LC500 Convertible Concept, which won EyeOn Design’s Excellence in Exterior Lighting Award. Their extreme, out-of-the-box design and the likelihood of them making it to production, as is, put Lexus’s lighting above the rest.
There was only a handful of concept cars on display at this year’s show, but what it lacked in numbers it made up for in quality. Standouts from the show are Nissan’s sport sedan IMs Concept and Infiniti’s QX Inspiration Concept, which, to its credit won Best Concept Car of the show overall. Both of which were acting as a collection of what could trickle down to each respecting manufacturer’s lineup.
But, as eye-catching as they may be, concept cars, in general, tend to be design studies, a chance for manufacturers’ designers and clay shapers to let loose their imaginations and showcase an extreme version of what the future might hold. They’re usually nothing more than a tease. Every once in a while, though, manufacturers unveil concepts so close to what a production car can be, it’s impossible not to assume that’s what you’ll see on the road — as is the case with the LC 500 Convertible Concept and its striking headlights.
The Lexus LC500 Convertible Concept — despite having “Concept” in its name — is going to production as is, which makes it earning the Design Excellence in Exterior Lighting Award miles more relevant than the others. Rather unsurprisingly, you shouldn’t expect what Nissan or Infiniti put on display to look anything like what gets put into production.
Under the skin, the show model LC500 Convertible was just that, a show model — it didn’t have a working roof or a running engine. The headlights, on the other hand, are an evolution of the lamps found on the very real and very much running 2017 LC500 Coupe.
The Convertible Concept, as a whole, achieves the rare victory of designing a convertible while still retaining the dramatic attractiveness of the coupe version. Something that’s easier said than done and a task marque like Porsche struggled to do with the new 911 and GM has with the Corvette in the past. The Lexus’s radical lighting paired with the crowd-favorite coupe design language bodes very well for the drop top halo car hitting roads soon.