Lexus LF-LC Concept Redefines the Image of a Luxury Sports Coupe
January 09, 2012
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Lexus’ embrace of a new driver-centric design philosophy, initiated with the popular CT 200h and advanced with the bold new GS sedan, took a dramatic step forward today with the unveiling of the LF-LC concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The hybrid 2+2 coupe is the work of the Calty design studio based in Newport Beach, Calif. Their mission was to create a coupe with emotive, avant-garde beauty and unequalled technology that, in production trim, would still be within the reach of premium buyers.
“Our entire studio worked to develop this beautiful interpretation of Lexus originality,” says Calty President Kevin Hunter. “The LF-LC concept embodies our vision of what a premium sports coupe could be.”
The exterior lines convey Lexus’ new design language in no uncertain terms. For example, its spindle grille—the signature design element of the new Lexus—is framed by a deep aluminum surround and its mesh pattern is a 3D sculpture form. From the front of the vehicle working back, sumptuous curves blend smoothly into dynamic angles, creating an inviting display of lines, shadows and corners. Then, in back, the tail lamps are inspired by the look of a jet afterburner at take-off, using inner lighting to create a remarkable sense of depth. The L-shape of the integrated tail and fog lamps leads the viewer’s eye down to the powerful Lexus quad exhaust.
From the side, the LF-LC concept creates a powerful, dynamic silhouette that is unmistakably that of a driver’s car. On top, a glass roof features a lightweight, cantilevered pillar with a glass-to-glass juncture inspired by modern architecture. Overall, the greenhouse design enhances driver visibility while adding to the sleek lines of the car.
Inside, the focus is clearly on the driver. Note the deeply scooped side panels and high, curved center console that surround the driver. Controls are within easy reach, aided by multi-level meters that layer analog and LCD technologies. For example, twin 12.3-inch LCD screens offer touchscreen control of navigation and other systems. Touch-screen surfaces on each door operate the windows, seat adjustments and personal entertainment settings.
The interior’s cool tech ambience is warmed with smooth leather and suede surfaces, trimmed in brushed metal and wood. Even the leather stitching emphasizes organic movement throughout the cabin. A lightweight racing-style steering wheel contributes to the theme.
The front-engine, rear-wheel drive LF-LC features Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive, delivering both driving performance and fuel efficiency.
“This thought-provoking design exercise is a stunning expression of creativity,” says Templin. “Combined with a next-generation hybrid powertrain, this concept promises a rewarding driving experience that is also kinder to the environment.”
By Dan Miller