Lexus unveils LF-LC hybrid, a concept sport coupe

AP News
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Posted: Jan 09, 2012 4:14 PM
Lexus unveils LF-LC hybrid, a concept sport coupe

Lexus unveiled a sleek, powerful concept sport coupe Monday that the luxury brand said offers a look at how its future offerings might be designed.

The two-door, four-seat LF-LC hybrid, which features an expansive glass roof, was displayed for the first time at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It features tail lamps inspired by the look of jet airplane afterburners.

"We wanted this to be a gorgeous car, but we also wanted everything to be functional with a focus on the driver," said Lexus general manager Mark Templin.

The LF-LC is packed with technology, including a touch-screen device in the center console that allows the driver to control some of the vehicle's systems as well as two 12.3-inch LCD display screens. Touch-screen surfaces on each door operate windows, mirrors and seats.

The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. said there are currently no plans to produce the LF-LC.

The car illustrates what Templin said is the latest phase for Lexus, which is aiming for "emotional and inspirational" vehicles. This year it plans nine new or updated vehicles and three F Sport models. As part of that, Lexus plans to release new versions of the midsize GS sedan early this year.

"From the GS forward, all our products will have more distinctive designs, more engaging driving dynamics, even better fuel economy and more advanced electronics," Templin said.

Here's what's new:

POWER: Lexus expects the LF-LC would kick out more than 500 horsepower.

SPEED and MILEAGE: Those technical details weren't released.

LOOKS: A definite head-turner, the LF-LC's glass roof and flowing lines set it apart. There's no mistaking the luxury look and feel as well as its powerful appearance.

CHEERS: It's a beautiful machine, even at rest. It surrounds the driver in the latest technology, and raises the possibility that future Lexus models will draw on the distinctive design.

JEERS: A car like the LF-LC likely would be a pricey addition to the Lexus collection. The rear seating, which sets it apart from the traditional sportscar, looks to be a tight fit.