Updated with press release: DETROIT, Mich., Jan. 9, 2012 – Lexus today unveiled a new design concept for a hybrid 2+2 sport coupe at the North American International Auto Show. Showcasing the future design direction for Lexus with an emphasis on a driver-focused vehicle, the LF-LC concept will be at the Lexus display through January 22.
“The concept we’re showing here in Detroit continues the Lexus design revolution started with the CT and GS,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The concept hybrid 2+2 liberates the idea of a sport coupe and pushes the boundaries of performance, style and technology.”
Challenged by the Lexus Center in Japan to come up with a design for a future hybrid sport coupe concept, the company’s Calty design studio in Newport Beach, Calif., sought to advance the redefinition of Lexus with emotive, avant-garde beauty and advanced technology, yet remain within reach for premium buyers.
“Our entire studio worked to develop this beautiful interpretation of Lexus originality,” said Kevin Hunter, president of Calty. “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. Sumptuous curves blend smoothly into dynamic angles, creating an inviting display of lines, shadows and corners.
Framed by a deep aluminum surround, the mesh pattern of the spindle grille takes 3D sculpture form, and functional air intakes in the bottom corners of the grille show the fusion of distinctive style and engineering functionality.
Daytime running lights are shaped like an “L” while the vertical fog lamps utilize a fading dot matrix pattern to suggest a sense of movement.
The profile of the LF-LC creates a powerful, dynamic silhouette that is unmistakably that of a serious driver’s car. The lines of the vehicle emphasize direction and motion.
The concept car’s glass roof features a lightweight, cantilevered pillar with a glass-to-glass juncture inspired by modern architecture. A rising, kick-up window graphic and polished aluminum trim are unexpected elements. Overall, the greenhouse design enhances driver visibility while adding to the sleek lines of the car.
The dynamic cabin lines are carried through to the rear deck, sculpturally integrating the spindle grille theme to echo the front of the vehicle while creating a unique sense of width. The tail lamps, inspired by the look of a jet afterburner at take-off, use inner lighting to create a remarkable sense of depth. The rear is also fitted with fog lamps, repeating the fading dot matrix pattern of the front fog lamps. Visually, the integrated tail and fog lamps repeat the “L” shape and lead the viewer’s eye down to the powerful Lexus quad exhaust.
The interior of the LF-LC concept vehicle contrasts the cool ambience of advanced technology with soft textures and organic shapes to create a driver-focused synergy of form and function. The cockpit expresses a feeling of both openness and security. The driver is enveloped by deeply scooped side panels and a high, curved console. The effect is to focus the driver zone on the controls and on the road.
Based on Lexus’ commitment to creating an intuitive driving experience, the LF-LC incorporates a remote touch-screen device that allows the driver to comfortably operate controls without shifting position or altering line-of-sight.
Twin 12.3-inch LCD screens provide information and navigation display. Inputs come from a touch-screen control board piercing the swept center console. Used to control the audio system, climate controls and navigation, the interface features a pop-up touch-screen keyboard for more complex entries. Similar touch-screen surfaces on each door operate the windows, mirrors, seat adjustments and personal entertainment settings.
Set directly in front of the driver, multi-level meters layer analog and LCD technologies. The bottom layer displays temperature, fuel and the background for the Eco meter. The middle layer is the tachometer mechanical center ring. The topmost layer provides indicators for the tachometer, speedometer and Eco meter.
Surfaces throughout the cabin are presented 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 interior. The racing style steering wheel is also a lightweight design and contains integrated controls and start button. Beautiful stitch details emphasize organic movement throughout the interior.
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,” said Templin. “Combined with a next-generation hybrid powertrain, this concept promises a rewarding driving experience that is also kinder to the environment.”
Here’s more images of Lexus’ hybrid coupe – the Lexus LF-LC Concept. The car will be officially unveiled on January 9th, 2012 at the Detroit Auto Show. “Only a few written attributes were given as criteria: avant-garde beauty, originality, driving joy and unequaled technology,” says Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda.