This feels like a good-news story to me as we near the end of 2011. Toyota/Lexus who seemingly abandoned the sports car segment, first with the Supra in 2002 followed by the MR2 in 2007, are back and to use an old cliché, “this time they’re serious.”
The £330,000 Lexus LFA led the way in 2010, now followed by the more affordable 2.0-litre Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ coupes, due out in 2012.
Would it be too much to expect a successor to the Porsche-rivalling Toyota Supra, a decade after it was discontinued? Apparently not. But as you can see, it looks like being marketed under the Lexus brand name (makes sense given the success of the LFA) and it’s likely to receive a very clever new hybrid powertrain (which also makes sense given that Toyota/Lexus are the largest and most successful producer of hybrid vehicles in the world).
We got our first glimpse of the LF-LC 2+2 sport coupe less than 10 days ago, followed by another glimpse of its interior last week, but last night US-based Road & Track magazine inadvertently leaked the front cover of its next issue, featuring an undisguised picture of the (so far) ‘secret’ new Lexus concept, so now we can show the official pictures a fortnight or so before it’s due to debut at the Detroit motor show.
The design concept was created by Calty, the company’s design studio in Newport Beach, California, and will officially unveiled at the North American International Auto Show on January 9, 2012.
Lexus has crafted the LF-LC from a clean sheet of paper, combining high technology and organic shapes to achieve a distinctive, futuristic look and yet fit within its current model range.
Sharing many of the design cues from the LFA, the LF-LC looks almost production ready, save for the usual task of fitting road-legal wing mirrors and headlights. ‘Design concepts’ usually feature blacked-out windows, because the interior tends to be the last aesthetic to be signed off, but you’ll notice Lexus have made no attempt to deny us such a viewpoint.
As is usual with such a new model, Lexus will be looking to gauge public reaction before confirming its production, so make sure you play your part in reassuring Lexus that there are enough people ready and willing to buy it. With any luck, we might even see it on our roads in 2013.