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Lexus gives LF-LC the green light

True blue: A version of the LF-LC concept, called the LF-LC Blue and featuring the next generation of the Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive system, was shown at the Australian International Motor Show in 2012.

Lexus confirms it will build the LF-LC coupe as a production car


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21 Jul 2014

LEXUS is expected to soon have another hero car in its line-up, with the head of the luxury brand’s European division confirming the LF-LC coupe has received a green light for production.

Expected sometime in 2016 as part of plans to roll out a new Lexus-badged model every year for the next six years, the production form of the swept and sculpted 2+2 coupe is expected to look very similar to the concept version that made its international debut in 2012.

Lexus Europe vice-president Alain Uyttenhoven confirmed to British motoring magazine Autocar that the LF-LC had earned a production slot as an attention-grabbing halo replacement for the V10-engined LFA supercar.

However, while the high-cost, $700,000 LFA was produced in very limited numbers, former Lexus new product and marketing planning division general manager Karl Schlicht told GoAuto at the reveal of the 2+2 coupe in Detroit that the LF-LC was expected to price below the US market rate for the Porsche 911 Turbo – meaning it could sell in some markets for between $US100,000 and $US130,000.

Mr Schlict also suggested a “mid-decade” launch of any production car spinning off the LF-LC concept would be the “best case” for the vehicle.

“We’re looking for a sport 2+2 GT, not an LFA supercar,” Mr Schlicht said.

“It would be front-engined, rear drive. We’re targeting, in terms of horsepower, 500hp (386kW) V8 as a base,” he said.

However, Lexus is also believed to be considering a hybrid version of the coupe, again shown as the LF-LC Blue in concept form at the 2012 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney – the last time the show was ever held before organisers pulled the pin on the event in response to lagging interest from car-makers.

The luxury brand, owned by Japanese car-making giant Toyota, has not revealed many details of the hybrid version, but at the concept car’s launch it was expected to become the most powerful Lexus-badged hybrid ever developed, producing 327kW of power from its next-generation petrol-electric hybrid system.

Lexus Europe vice-president Alain Uyttenhoven told Autocar that the production version of the LF-LC would not be a big-volume vehicle for Lexus, but would bring “huge emotion” to the brand.

If the production version of the LF-LC follows the concept car closely, expect a low, swept glass-roofed design featuring design elements such as jet engine afterburner-style tail-lights, quad exhausts and the now-trademark spindle grille.

Inside, the LF-LC Blue featured lightweight bucket seats, and a similarly lightweight steering wheel with an integrated start button mounted on it.

“Every year there will be a new model for Lexus, either a volume car like the NX or a model to boost brand image,” Mr Uyttenhoven said.

Lexus will launch its NX compact crossover SUV in Australia either late this year or early in 2015.

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