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by Tim Beissmann

The Lexus LF-LC may have been leaked and teased more than any other vehicle in the lead-up to the 2012 Detroit motor show, but that hasn’t taken any shine off today’s official unveiling of the striking sports car concept.

Lexus says the LF-LC 2+2 luxury sports coupe concept gives a glimpse of the brand’s future exterior styling, interior design and powertrain technology.

Lexus is keeping the full specifications of the LF-LC’s hybrid drivetrain under wraps for now. So far, we know the sleek concept is front-engined and rear-wheel drive, and Lexus says its engineers were committed to creating a “driver-focused experience”.

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President of Lexus’s Californian design studio Kevin Hunter says the LF-LC was an intensive, all-hands-on-deck creation.

“Our entire studio worked to develop this beautiful interpretation of Lexus originality,” Hunter said. “The LF-LC concept embodies our vision of what a premium sport coupe could be.”

The concept evolves and exaggerates the company’s ‘L finesse’ design language to new levels. Gentle curves and dynamic angles blend together smoothly in an alluring expression of lines, corners and shadows.

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The distinctive spindle grille – first seen on the LF-Gh concept, which previewed the upcoming Lexus GS production car – is the focal point of the exterior. The three-dimensional silver mesh grille seamlessly integrates the lower air intakes, enhancing the concept’s aerodynamic and cooling performance, along with its muscular appearance.

The L-shaped daytime running lights and vertical fog lights give the LF-LC a sense of movement, which flows along the sides to the deep sculpted intakes and onwards to the rear. The spindle theme continues at the back on the rear deck, and the L-shapes are carried over to the taillight and fog lamp design. Lexus says the tail lamps are inspired by a jet afterburner.

The lightweight panoramic glass roof features an elegant glass-to-glass junction and opens up the interior.

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Lexus’s designers sought to create an “intuitive driving experience” within the cabin. Twin LCD screens (both measuring more than one foot diagonally from corner to corner) fill the instrument cluster and the top of the centre console, delivering the driver vital vehicle and navigation information. The two are controlled by a touchscreen pad at the base of the centre console, which has a simple interface for common commands and a pop-up keyboard for more complex entries.

The cabin itself is finished in a combination of leathers, suede, wood grain trim and brushed metal highlights.

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The seats and steering wheel are both lightweight and race-inspired, with the wheel incorporating the engine start button.

While the Lexus LF-LC undoubtedly previews a number of design and technology elements destined for future production cars, at this stage it is unclear if the concept will evolve into a production model in its own right. Many have suggested the LF-LC could preview a spiritual successor to the Lexus SC coupe of the 1990s.




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