Future Models - Lexus 2013 LF-LC
Detroit show: Leak prompts Lexus to reveal LF-LC
SLeak: This image of the Lexus LF-LC was leaked by US magazine Road & Track on its YouTube channel, forcing Lexus to reveal more information about its concept ahead of its January Detroit debut.
Hybrid LF-LC coupe concept confirmed by Lexus after image, name leaked in US
22 December 2011
THE drip-feed of teaser images planned by Lexus for its coupe concept to be unveiled at the Detroit motor show next month has been scuppered by a leak, which reveals a front three-quarter view of the car and its name, LF-LC.
US website Autoblog uncovered the leak on the YouTube channel of Road & Track magazine, which was using the video-sharing site to promote its iPad application.
Lexus responded to the leak by confirming the name and issuing a side-on shot of the car, showing short overhangs, a bonnet long enough to rival a Jaguar, large vents ahead of the rear wheels reminiscent of the LFA supercar and hybrid badging – confirming it has a petrol-electric drivetrain.
However, the dramatically-styled concept's sleek proportions can be seen better in leaked image that also provided the first full view of its exaggerated version of the ‘spindle’ grille first seen on the LF-Gh concept that quickly morphed into the production GS sedan.
Lexus says the concept takes the styling direction that debuted on the GS one step further and “blends both high technology and organic shapes to connect the driver to the machine”.
From top: Lexus LF-LC exterior detail, Lexus LF-LC interior, Toyota NS4 concept, Lexus LF-C concept, Lexus GS340 F-Sport, Lexus SC430.
After the leak, Road & Track issued a statement saying it was always its intent to honour the embargos and terms set by sources.
“Our exclusive preview of the Lexus LF-LC was intended to go on sale at newsstands January 3,” it said.
“Unfortunately, a promo video featuring our February issue unintentionally went live Tuesday evening, revealing images of the new LF-LC. We have since removed the video and regret the error.”
Lexus also released a statement: “The LF-LC is a stunning car, just like the magazine's cover states, and we were hoping to keep it under wraps for a while longer.
“We are pleased to see such an enthusiastic reaction to this concept, which represents Lexus’ new design direction.”
The brand will not comment on whether the concept heralds a replacement for the unloved SC430 coupe-convertible that sold slowly in Australia between 2001 and 2010.
If anything, the concept, styled by Lexus’ Calty design studio in California, looks like a potential rival to the BMW 6 Series and a spiritual successor to the Soarer coupe, which was only available in Australia as a grey import.
It is unlikely that the concept is based on Toyota’s upcoming Subaru-based 86 coupe, but it could form the basis of a mooted replacement for the Toyota Supra, which underpinned the aforementioned Lexus Soarer.
Whether the concept rides on an existing Lexus platform is unclear, but the Japanese luxury brand says the LF-CH was “crafted from a clean sheet of paper at the request of Lexus headquarters in Japan”, which could point to the existence of an all-new sportscar platform.
Toyota and Lexus generally use the naming of their concepts to signify where in their range a concept would fit were it to enter production. In the case of Lexus concepts, the LF stands for Lexus Future.
With this in mind, the second L in LF-LC is consistent with overseas reports that Lexus plans to produce a coupe-convertible based on a shortened version of the next-generation LS platform.
In 2005, the brand unveiled a technology-packed coupe-convertible concept named LF-C and based on a large rear-drive platform. The production car never materialised.
As GoAuto has reported, an initial teaser image revealed the LF-LC’s projector-like headlight clusters, blade-style daytime running lights and wheelarches tightly wrapped around chromed 21-inch alloy wheels.
The second photo confirmed the concept to be a luxurious pillarless 2+2 interior showing a radical new interior design direction for Lexus, featuring stitched leather on the centre console, doors and instrument panel and what appears to be crushed velvet door trims.
The dashboard, is dominated by a large central monitor, while a small, thick-rimmed sports steering features large gearshift paddles.
The latest official image also reveals a panoramic class roof, large rear windscreen and almost seamless side windows – which should combine to lend the car an airy interior ambience.