Most people know that Lexus is the “luxury” brand of Japanese automaker Toyota. And if you happen to be a fan of Lexus, you are also familiar with the Lexus line of hybrids, which include the CT hatchback, HS sedan, and variants of the GS mid-size sport sedan, the LS luxury sedan, and RX compact SUV. It’s safe to say, however, that the brand’s watchers have never seen a Lexus hybrid like the LF-LC 2+2.
Lexus pulled the sheets off their brand new concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and, in short, it’s a dazzler. The concept, which was designed by the Lexus Calty design studio in Newport Beach, California, looks a lot more like the automaker’s $375,000 LFA supercar than its more conventional sedans.
Lexus hasn’t revealed many details about the car’s powertrain other than saying that it is front-engined and rear-wheel drive, “delivering both driving performance and fuel efficiency”. Lexus has installed their Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive system into the concept. The system is a tuned, more powerful, performance version of the ubiquitous Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive which is used in everything from the Toyota Prius to the Nissan Altima hybrid.
And, we know yes, even though this has a souped up version of the same hybrid system, this car definitely does NOT look like a Prius. My, oh, my.
Lexus says they are using their hot new concept to hint at both the company’s design and performance direction, which they hope will attract customers looking for sportier, sexier models. According to Lexus exec Karl Schlicht, “We are in the middle of the biggest change in Lexus’s history, inspired by a new generation of distinctive design… 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.”
The new concept features L-shaped daytime running lights and vertical fog lamps that have a fading, dot matrix pattern that Lexus hopes suggest movement when paired with the car’s curves, “which blend smoothly into dynamic angles, creating an engaging interplay of lines, shadows and corners.”
The car has a glass roof, polished aluminum trim and a cockpit that fully involves the driver by using a curved console, twin 12.3-inch LCD touch screens as well as touch-screens on each door to operate the windows, mirrors, seat positions and personal entertainment settings. And here’s where the influence of the LFA supercar really shows: The new concept features lightweight, race-inspired seats and a racing steering wheel that includes a start button and other controls.
Lexus has not hinted at whether or not the concept will ever see the light of day, but we can hope.