Lexus LF-CC one of two new coupes

2 Dec, 2012 1:07pm Tom Phillips

Lexus could build two new coupes, as part of its design-focussed future

The Lexus LF-CC will become a production reality, with the BMW 4 Series-rivalling coupe set to hit the road in 2015.

Talking to journalists at the Los Angeles Motor Show, a senior Lexus engineer confirmed that the show marked the end of his project to develop the all-new IS saloon, which will make its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2013.

He added that he will begin work on the IS Coupe in 2013. The car is expected to draw its style from the LF-CC. However, it’s likely that the IS Coupe will use a traditional petrol drivetrain, rather than the hybrid setup of the concept. This will be offered in the IS saloon in place of a diesel engine.

But while the CC is “extremely likely” to be built, according to a source, the larger LF-LC could also make production, thanks to the overwhelmingly positive reaction it received when it debuted at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year.

Unlike the LF-CC, which was designed at Lexus’s HQ in Japan, the LF-LC was designed at its Calty facility in California, which has a record of designing concepts which are fast-tracked into reality based on public approval.

Talking to Auto Express at a tour of the Calty facility after the LA Show, Calty boss Kevin Hunter talked about the FJ Concept designed there, that was shown at the 2003 Chicago Motor Show.

Despite only being planned as a concept car, thanks to massive public approval, the FJ Cruiser made production in three years, as its radical design could be applied to existing Land Cruiser hardware.

The same is possible for the LF-LC. Both the latest GS and new IS are built on the same platform, with the smaller LF-CC Coupe using the same platform again, but with the length of the smaller IS coupled with the wider track of the larger GS.

With the design and hardware already in existence, a larger version is surely possible, given how positive the public reaction has been.

Not only did the LF-LC concept win the best concept award at Detroit, a second version of the concept - painted Opal Blue instead of the red of the first concept - was built to ensure that demand for the car’s presence at other motor shows could be met.

Hunter also confirmed to us that Lexus’ HQ in Japan has already received letters from US dealers asking for a production version of the 500bhp luxury GS coupe to be built.

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Wow.....Lexus are now 'design-focussed'. What the hell have they done previously? Stuff in the dark? And yet another 'wannabe' [in someone's eyes] rival for BMW. I think not. The 4 series will be a completely pointless car, desperately searching for yet another mystical BMW non-existent niche. BMW will hate this car big time, as a ringer in profile to the existing 3 coupe. I regret Lexus have taken to buggaring around with apparently approved abbreviations. Surely CC stood for Coupe Convertible, which in fact Lexus do. Dont they know, BMW is the lord and master of abbreviations, acronyms, and silly names, and re-write the bible at will. Even as a concept this car looks totally contrived. The marque went down the gurgler for me when they lumbered the look of their range with that monstrous ugly gaping maw on the front, and commentators gasped and went "oh no!" when Audi redesigned their grille. Its curious to see the Lexus designers in their 'extended' phase. They have gone mad with great wide wheel arch extensions, the front of this, and the rear of the LF-LC. It also seems in being unable to come up with a beautiful body shape, they are trying to compensate [and fool us] with 'over-design'. We've had over-engineering, now we have over-designing. All hail Lexus. The car certainly doesnt need a turbine of air to the front brakes, so why are those intakes so massive? Its not even passe 'form before function'. And the rear lights are bling Jap style. Those silver 'star bursts' ruin the rear panels of the car......for my money. Oh btw, has the FJ Cruiser sold in 'massive' numbers, following its 'massive' public approval?? Hope the Calif. Studio isnt holding that up as evidence of their abilities. Its a pig, looks pig ugly, and commercially for the $$'s is only petrol. Designed for just one most inappropriate use, suburbia. The masses would freak if they discovered the horrifying death causing statistics associated with exactly this type of vehicle, and its brethren bigger-brick brothers, and not restricted to the conscience-less Toyota. A car company without morals gets my big vote of disdain. I mostly liked Lexus though, till they moronically stuck their badge on the biggest heaviest brick Toyota make....none other than the 2 tonne PLUS leviathan called the Land-bruiser.