by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Toyota Motor Corp ::: Lexus LF-LC Concept
NEVER did cotton to the LF-A’s looks. For $380K, you would have thought that Lexus’ exotic halo would have more to say visually. That some aspect in its architecture would stand out from the pack and become instantly recognizable like, say, an Audi R8 with its contrasting “blades” that drop from graceful C-Pillars. Due to bow next week in Detroit, the Lexus LF-LC 2+2 Hybrid Concept seems to have solved Lexus’ exotic image problem.
Apparently, Lexus is using the LF-LC concept to herald a bold new direction in the company’s design scheme; a shakeup of the so-called “L-finesse” styling plan ushered in six years ago. With bold Korean upstarts like Kia and Hyundai threatening to pull the same trick on the luxury market that Lexus did in ’89, Lexus had to liven things up to be noticed.
So with a purposefully low stance, a long hood, modest profile wedge, and silky panels that just seem to flow – there’s a real elegance present to LF-LC that seems to recall works from Maseratis and Ferraris past. As a GT, that’s success right there.
But where the concept shines brightly new is in how the designers crafted the front fascia.
The headlamps are three LEDs housed into what appears to be an R-shaped aperture. They’re set off by a bit of metallic trim that swoops like cursive penmanship from an artist’s hand. The “R”, we’ll call it, points to a wedge shaped “spindle grille” that juts out horizontally before flowing unobstructed down to the car’s lip.
Is it wholly originally? Not entirely, no. But it is expressive and unique to Lexus and trends boldly exotic. It’s quite appealing, all told.
Were the LF-LC to enter the market alongside the LF-A, you’d probably see LF-A sales drop to nil and current owners opting to swap out for the new car. So far, Lexus has said that the LF-LC’s design cues will be echoed in the next GS sedan.
I’ll bet we’ll also find them in LF-A version 2.0.