Lexus LF-CC concept

Lexus will show a thinly disguised version of next year’s all-new 3 Series challenger at the Paris Motor Show – and is signalling its emboldened intent by showcasing the first-ever coupe variant.

The LF-CC concept previews the IS coupe and demonstrates a further evolution of Lexus’ L-finesse design language. This should see it gain one of the most dramatic front ends in the junior executive sector, if the concept’s spindle grille is any measure.

Lexus designers are starting to have fun
Lexus designers are starting to have fun
It’s a striking car, with a classic fastback-style (370Z-style?) coupe rear and some taut, nicely stretched surfaces throughout. Particularly notable is the huge bonnet area, free from fuss, a characteristic that’s carried through elsewhere: it makes for a powerful side profile, with muscular wheelarches and strong shoulders. Even that huge spindle grille is confidently minimised, meaning the busiest area of the car is the rear. As with the clever headlights, rear lights are deeply integrated into the feature lines of the LF-CC. 

The firm hasn’t shown us the interior yet, but again reckons it demonstrates future design thinking. This splits the dash into upper ‘Display Zone’ and lower ‘Operation Zone’, it tells us. Hopefully, the new-design touch tracer display for remote control of vehicle systems will be less infuriating to use than the current mouse-style controller.

A more encouraging sign of intent is Lexus’ claim that it will be a sporting, driver-focused cockpit, one that’s “snug and focused”. We’ll find out at Paris.

More encouraging still is Lexus’ confirmation that it will retain a rear-wheel drive platform. This is believed to be an evolution of the new GS chassis: it will, in turn, share the new full hybrid powertrain Lexus is debuting beneath the LS-CC concept.

Sculpted, rear-wheel drive, 65mpg...hmm
Sculpted, rear-wheel drive, 65mpg...hmm
It’s quite some setup. Using a 2.5-litre V6 petrol mated to a high-output electric motor, Lexus is targeting sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and thus average economy of around 65mpg. The engine runs the Atkinson cycle and features direct fuel injection, while the hybrid setup also has a power-split device and a compact power control unit. There’s no word yet on whether the “high-performance” battery is lithium ion.

Expect next year’s IS saloon to be a more sober derivative of this car, but don’t rule out a coupe variant taking the concept’s looks pretty faithfully to production (eradicating the current, woeful IS-C coupe-convertible in the process). Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is determined Lexus will stop drifting and focus its attack on BMW and Audi. If variants of this can sharpen its attack on the 3 Series, 4 Series, A4 and A5, he may just be on to something.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (66) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Dave Hedgehog 23 Sep 2012

    i like it a lot

  • calibrax 23 Sep 2012

    dele said:
    That front profile is blowing my head apart trying to figure out what its meant to look like
    Mitsubishi Lancer?

  • Verde 23 Sep 2012

    Bland. And the only thing that keeps it from extra-bland is the tarted up show-car features like extra-large wheels/tires that never appear on the production car. Lexus makes very comfortable and amazingly dependable transportation appliances. They are absolutely not for car enthusiasts. Well, except for that limited production 10-cylinder sports car - that took them 10 years to decide to build. By the time it was released, with the ridiculous price and car trading limitations, it was old news.

  • cmoose 21 Sep 2012

    robm3 said:
    Sigh, haven't you guys learnt anything yet, this is a LEXUS concept therefore:

    Concept looks like this:

    Reality looks like this:

    Yes. And no.

    The are two kinds of "concepts". One like you posted which is pure show car. The other kind takes an upcoming production car and tweaks a few details for drama. Maybe some impractical wing mirrors, big wheels, different bumper covers and grilles that needn't be practical or allow for sufficient cooling, a fancy interior, etc.

    Here is the BMW 6 Series Concept, which is just the production car with a few tweaks:

    Usually it's pretty obvious from looking at things like door shuts and glass houses whether the core of a concept car is production based. With this Lexus not sure. Perhaps might become apparent with some shots from the show floor.

  • boardtweet 21 Sep 2012

    Is it me or does the rear look rather similar to the Honda Accord (the shape before the current one)?!

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