With the Detroit motor show now underway, Lexus has officially taken the wraps off its LF-LC hybrid sports coupé concept. You’ll remember they sort of already did that just before Christmas, but now we’re seeing the car from all angles.
Funny thing is, though, at this stage there’s no confirmation of what is powering this sleek and aggressive creation. In fact, specific mention of the drivetrain is saved for the last paragraph of the company’s press release: “The front-engine, rear-wheel drive LF-LC features Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive, delivering both driving performance and fuel efficiency.”
Forget the performance aspect for now and interpret this car as a visual palette for future Lexus styling.
Karl Schlicht, General Manager, Lexus Product and Marketing Planning Division in North America, explains, “We are in the middle of the biggest change in Lexus’s history, inspired by a new generation of distinctive design.
“With its striking looks, this concept hybrid 2+2 hints at the design cues that are coming in a wave of new Lexus models over the next two years.”
Well, we can’t say we’re looking forward to seeing more cars with that pinched-in face, but aside from that this concept looks pretty good. The interior is a little fussy, perhaps, but that should tone down by the time production models are signed off.
Lexus presents LF-LC hybrid sports coupé concept at Detroit motor show
- LF-LC 2+2 sports coupe debuts at Detroit motor show (NAIAS)
- Created by Calty studio in California to explore future of Lexus design
- Exterior displays dynamic shapes, detailing and extensive use of glass
- Interior high technology features balanced by organic shapes and materials
Lexus today unveiled a new design concept for a hybrid 2+2 sport coupe at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, a driver-focused vehicle that displays a possible future design direction for the premium manufacturer.
Introducing the concept, Karl Schlicht, General Manager, Lexus Product and Marketing Planning Division in North America, said: “We are in the middle of the biggest change in Lexus’s history, inspired by a new generation of distinctive design.
“The new GS embodies this with its sculpted spindle grille as our symbol of change. And now, the next chapter of Lexus evolves with this coupe design concept. With its striking looks, this concept hybrid 2+2 hints at the design cues that are coming in a wave of new Lexus models over the next two years.”
Challenged by Lexus in Japan to design the future hybrid sport coupe concept, the Calty design studio in Newport Beach, California, sought to move the definition of Lexus design forward with avant-garde beauty and advanced technology, whilst still keeping the brand within reach of the majority of premium buyers.
Kevin Hunter, Calty President, said: “Our entire studio worked to develop this interpretation of Lexus originality. The LF-LC concept embodies our vision of what a premium sport coupe could be.”
The LF-LC displays the new Lexus design language in its bold interpretation of the signature Lexus spindle grille and rear architecture. Curves blend smoothly into dynamic angles, creating an engaging interplay of lines, shadows and corners.
Framed by a deep aluminium surround, the mesh pattern of the spindle grille takes on a 3D form, while functional air intakes in the bottom corners of the grille demonstrate a fusion of distinctive style and engineering functionality.
The daytime running lights are L-shaped and the vertical fog lamps have a fading dot matrix pattern that suggests movement. In profile the LF-LC has a powerful silhouette, while overall the lines of the vehicle emphasise direction and motion.
The concept car’s glass roof has a lightweight, cantilevered pillar with a glass-to-glass juncture inspired by modern architecture. Distinctive elements include a kick-up window graphic and polished aluminum trim. The greenhouse design improves visibility for the driver as well as adding to the sleek lines of the car.
The dynamic cabin lines are carried through to the rear deck, integrating the spindle grille theme to echo the front of the vehicle and creating a sense of width. The tail lamps, use inner lighting to give a strong sense of depth, and the rear fog lamps repeat the fading dot matrix pattern of those at the front. The integrated tail and fog lamps repeat the “L” shape and lead the eye down to the quad exhaust design.
The interior of the LF-LC contrasts the cool ambience of advanced technology with soft textures and organic shapes. The design is driver-focused and neatly brings together form and function in a coherent whole. The cockpit is designed to feel both open and secure. The driver is surrounded by deeply scooped side panels and a high, curved console, which create a focus on the controls and the road ahead.
True to Lexus’s commitment to making driving an intuitive experience, the LF-LC features a remote touch-screen system that allows the driver to operate controls without shifting position or altering line-of-sight.
Twin 12.3-inch LCD screens provide information and navigation displays. A touch-screen in the centre console is used to control the audio system, climate controls and navigation, with a pop-up touch-screen keyboard for more complex commands. Similar touch-screen surfaces on each door are used to operate the windows, mirrors, seat positions and personal entertainment settings.
Multi-level meters set directly in front of the driver layer analogue and LCD technologies. The bottom layer displays temperature, fuel and the background for the Eco meter; the middle layer is the tachometer’s mechanical ring; and the topmost layer provides indicators for the tachometer, speedometer and Eco meter.
Surfaces throughout the cabin are finished in a combination of smooth leather and suede, with brushed metal trim and wood accents. The lightweight, race-inspired front seats are formed of multiple layers and repeat the interlacing curves that define the cabin’s styling. The racing-style steering wheel has a lightweight design and contains integrated controls and a start button.
The front-engine, rear-wheel drive LF-LC features Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive, delivering both driving performance and fuel efficiency.