WORLD PREMIERE OF THE
LEXUS LF-CC CONCEPT CAR
AT THE 2012 PARIS MOTOR SHOW
• LF-CC displays the latest evolution of the L-finesse design language and
signature spindle grille, to be reflected in future Lexus D-Segment
• Announces the market launch of a mid-size coupe in the near future
• Features a new 2.5 litre full hybrid powertrain with class-leading CO2
emissions, which will be introduced soon in the Lexus model range
Following the unveiling of Lexus’ award-winning hybrid 2+2 sports coupe
concept, the LF-LC at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show and its European debut
at the Geneva Motor Show, a new, mid-sized coupe concept, the LF-CC
makes its World Premiere at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
The more compact, rear-wheel drive, full hybrid LF-CC already integrates
various design cues from the LF-LC; a first illustration of how concept cars
are truly influencing future Lexus models and, in this instance, future DSegment derivatives.
Announcing the launch of a premium mid-sized coupe in the more accessible
D-segment in the near future, the LF-CC reinforces Lexus’ commitment to
create more engaging, inspirational vehicles through attractive design, a
superior driving experience and advanced technologies.
The LF-CC showcases the latest evolution of the company’s unique L-finesse
design language, with the boldest yet interpretation of the signature Lexus
‘spindle’ grille. Framed by the bonnet lip, deep lower spoiler and powerfully
projecting front fender tips, the grille mesh is encased in a deep, metal-finish
surround and takes on a pronounced, 3D form.
A unique, 3 LED-projector headlamp design is housed in the narrow gap
between the lower and upper fender surfaces, without a conventional, onepiece cover. Independent Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are fully integrated into the upper bumper surface to complete this unique new design.
The broad lower fenders are aerodynamically sculpted to manage the flow of
air to the engine bay and front brakes, whilst reinforcing the powerful,
dynamic road presence of the new Lexus signature frontal design.
In profile, the powerful convex curve of the bonnet flows seamlessly through
a steeply raked windscreen into a roofline which deliberately peaks towards
the rear of the cabin to emphasise the traction available from the vehicle’s
rear-wheel drive powertrain.
The bodywork is stretched tight between the front and rear fenders, and the
rear fender is less pronounced than that of the front, reinforcing the
concentration of vehicle weight over the driven wheels for maximum traction.
Further developing a design form initiated on the LF-LC concept and the
high-performance LFA, the sharply sculpted form of an airflow regulating fin
flows from underneath the side of the car and upwards through the rear
wheel arch. This aerodynamic detail is designed to increase downforce over
the driven wheels, further improving traction.
The airflow regulating fin merges with the falling roofline in a pronounced
rear spoiler integrated within the boot lid, seamlessly fusing design and
aerodynamic elements to give the vehicle its distinctive, coupe proportions.
To the rear, the full width bumper flows into the rear wheel arches to
emphasise the LF-CC’s broad, powerful stance. Lexus-characteristic Lshaped combination lamps feature a layered, strongly three-dimensional design, and the lower, concave bumper section incorporates a full width
spoiler to further enhance rear-wheel drive traction. The rear stop lamp is
nicely integrated into the shark antenna.
The LF-CC is finished in a new, ‘Fluid Titanium’ exterior colour, a metallic
finish with exceptionally high brilliance which combines sharp, bright
highlighting with dark shaded surfaces to reinforce the powerful forms of the
bodywork’s sculpted surfaces.
The LF-CC’s interior hints at the progressive luxury of a future Lexus model
cabin layout, and represents a further development of the company’s HMI
(Human Machine Interface) design philosophy.
The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper, Display Zone,
with a multi-display screen located at an ideal distance for at-a-glance
viewing, and a lower, Operation Zone, which allows access to the uniquely
designed shift lever and an innovative touch tracer display for remote
This clear division of zones creates a unique fusion of an airy, spacious cabin
and a sporting cockpit which places the emphasis on a snug, highly focused
driving environment. All functional driving components are consolidated in
the driver’s seat surroundings, combining outstanding ergonomics with
advanced HMI technologies.
The driver benefits from a low, highly focused driving position with a
sporting, wide grip steering wheel, optimum pedal placement and highvisibility instrument dials. The touch tracer display for remote system
control is located directly behind the shift lever for maximum comfort and
ease of operation.
Coordinating with the ‘Fluid Titanium’ exterior colour, the seats, door panels
and instrument binnacle hood are trimmed in a warm, elegant amber leather
finish. The extensive use of metallic finishes and soft touch materials
throughout reinforces the premium quality of the environment. The contrast
between the exterior and interior colour schemes gives the car an elegant
yet simultaneously sporting image.
ALL-NEW 2.5 LITRE FULL HYBRID POWERTRAIN
Representing a new Lexus powertrain for future production, the LF-CC is
equipped with an all-new, highly efficient, 2.5 litre full hybrid powertrain
delivering a combination of the engaging performance appropriate to a
sporting, D-segment coupe and class-leading CO2
emissions targeted at
around 100 g/km.
This Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain features an all-new, ultra-smooth running,
2.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine mated to a compact, high-output, watercooled permanent magnet electric motor.
In addition to the petrol engine and electric motor, the LF-CC hybrid drive
system further comprises a generator, a high-performance battery, a power
split device which, via planetary reduction gears, combines and re-allocates
power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to
operational requirements, and a compact power control unit to govern the
high speed interaction of the system components.
Adapted specifically for the hybrid powertrain, the all-new 2.5 litre, DOHC, 4-
cylinder petrol engine benefits from several technical improvements. It
adopts the Atkinson cycle and D-4S direct injection technology to optimise
both the power and fuel-efficiency benefits of Lexus Hybrid Drive.
Lexus will introduce this new hybrid powertrain into its model range in the
LEXUS AT THE 2012 PARIS MOTOR SHOW
Besides the world premiere of the new LF-CC, Lexus will also display the allnew LS 600h F SPORT in Western European premiere. The new LS flagship sedan reflects the bolder Lexus exterior and interior design direction, and
brings enhanced driving dynamics, world-leading refinement, luxury and
innovative advanced technology.
Introduced by Paul Van der Burgh, Director Lexus Europe, the Lexus Press
Conference will be held at 8.45 AM CET on September 27 (hall 4, stand
[B]This Is IS: Paris Show Concept Previews Next-Gen Coupe/Sedan/B]
Now that's what we call a spindle! The Lexus LF-CC concept is the most radical take yet on the brand's new corporate face, and while many of its most expressive design cues won't make it onto any Lexus production car, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what this concept will eventually become.
Ahead of the LF-CC's public disrobing at the 2012 Paris auto show, Motor Trend had an opportunity to talk turkey with its key designers. There's no coyness as to what it's all about. It previews a new compact coupe, and by extension a sedan. "It's near-future D-segment premium," says exterior designer Hideaki Iida. So does this concept preview next year's new IS, we ask? "You can guess that," he nods.
Iida sweeps his arm over the car, showing the proportions, the long hood, and short overhang characteristic of a rear-drive car. The roof appears to gain depth as your eye moves rearward, flowing into a broad D-pillar above the rear fenders. "I wanted a strong volume in that region," Iida says, "to give [visual] traction to the rear wheel."
The concept's powertrain is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder bolstered by a take on the Toyota/Lexus hybrid system that's been developed as more of a power/torque booster. It's planned for a production intro soon. The engine is said to be all-new (we're not sure how an existing engine can be all-new, but OK), and like other Toyota and Lexus hybrid engines, it runs on the Atkinson cycle for best economy at mid revs. Performance and efficiency gains come from the addition of a direct-injection system.
Unlike other Lexus hybrids, the body design doesn't aim to make explicit the hybrid powertrain or fuel-economy potential. "We used to show the cars were hybrid, but now this is more emotional and sporty," says Lexus Design group manager Takeshi Tanabe. The long nose will also house gasoline engines, which at present consist of a version of the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four (IS 250), 3.5-liter V-6 (IS 350), and the 5.0-liter V-8 in the IS F in the U.S. This would be the first IS hybrid.
Tanabe explains, "In the past, Lexus was about reliability, quality, comfort, and silence. We still have that, but we are adding emotion through the design to attract younger buyers. From now, from the new GS and this CC Concept, we're adding excitement."
As for rivals in this segment, he openly talks about the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class. "We have to challenge them." Those cars work as distinctively German designs that have over the generations set what has become a global template. Tanabe acknowledges his car has to fit the market while not being a copycat. "In category and price, it has competition. But it's a Lexus." And being a Lexus means an interpretation of Japanese design onto the Euro template. "It uses contrasts between the J factor and the Euro factor."
While some might see that contrast as a conflict, Lexus doesn't. Lexus calls its design language L-Finesse, and it's all about contrasts. Uninterrupted surfaces are set against sharp detailing. Acute angles highlight smooth curves. Surprisingly placid areas are juxtaposed with areas of busy detailing. It's not too far-fetched to say this goes beyond automotive styling to reflect Japanese culture and the Tokyo aesthetic. While it values peacefulness, tranquility, and Zen tradition, if you turn your eyes the other way they'll be assailed by busy graphics and the hectic bleeps and flashing lights of high-tech buzz.
When walking MT around the car, the designers start at the front, pointing out (not that we'd have missed it) the bold iteration of the new Lexus spindle grille. It's gapingly big, and edged in polished chrome. Its effect is magnified because almost every line and shape all the way back to the windshield either begins at, or echoes, a facet of the grille.
On either side of the lower part of the grille are curtains that deflect airflow into brake cooling ducts, though we're struggling to see why a 2.5-liter hybrid would need this much cooling. We expect those ducts will be toned down and the grille partially blanked off to reduce aero drag in a production car.
Contrasting with the plain surface of the hood and the comparatively unornamented (if bold) graphics of the grille and front bumper are the jewel-like headlamp clusters. Each side has a bank of three multi-LED circular main lamps, each with little tower-shaped markers below, and a swoosh lamp forming the DRL and blinker. Distinctively, the main lamps sit in individual metal plinths that are finned to act as heat sinks. Tanabe admits parts of this cluster aren't production feasible yet. "Sometimes we get inspired by engineering, but here we hope we've inspired the engineers."
The car wears the requisite, concept-style 20-inch wheels, with 245/35 tires at the front and 285/30 behind. No wonder the stance is good, but you've got to hope it doesn't look puny when we see a production version on, say, 17s. The wheels themselves have a beautiful design:
Each satin-finished spoke weaves between the halves of one of the bifurcated polished spokes. Again, while they're too difficult for current production, Iito says one day a three-dimensional printing apparatus may be able to achieve the effect.
Along the sides, we again see exceptionally calm surfacing in the door, but below that in the rocker is a deep channel, its upward flick continuing in the cutline of the rear bumper. That cutline is interesting: Lexus usually strives to get the gaps between panels reduced to the absolute minimum. Instead, this one carries emphasis, broadening out to give a gap -- almost a wound -- through which we see the taillamp emerge. That lamp cluster carries a characteristic swooshing L motif, like the rear of the side window, the air vents in the hood, the door mirror surround and many other parts.
Just as the taillamp seems to emerge through a gap in the bodywork, in the cabin we see air vents breaking through the leather of the dash. The center stack is made almost entirely of display screens, one of them a touch controller replacing the leather pad Lexus currently uses. The HVAC display looks like concept-car glitz, but at least the main gauge cluster is similar to what's in the LF-A, so there's hope we'll see something like that on the road version.
The LF-CC has given us an appetite for the showroom car. Lexus was a byword for bland inoffensiveness, but not anymore. This LF-CC, the even more future-oriented LF-LC concept at the 2012 Detroit show, the new GS, and the LFA all show the direction of travel. "Maybe some will like this car; maybe some won't," says Tanabe. "I don't want to say we'll offend people who don't like it, but I do want to be distinctive."
This is the closest Lexus has shown that they are going to make an SC300/400 successor. It looks good. The LF-LC is closer in proportion the the old Soarer/SC but it looks like that will be another car entirely.
The only thing this car needs is a trim level with a turbocharged V6 or turbocharged four cylinder, Torsen limited-slip diff (like the IS-F and Soarers of the 1990's) and a 6-speed manual transmission option.
Then it will be more than an expensive pretty coupe that doesn't go or engage the driver.
The 285mm rear tires and 245mm front tires of this concept car should be telling that performance beyond the 2.5L Atkinson engine is in the works. That is unless Lexus isn't taking this seriously and just thought they would look good regardless of their function.
1993 SC300 5-speed NA | Built R154 | Gixxer_Drew Susp. 600/325 | TT: brakes FR, rims, rear sway, seats | Koyo rad | 4.272 TT Torsen LSD | USDM 2JZGTE in progress
That's definitley the new IS, love the look, it looks very expressive in every angle. Hopefully they put a proper engine in that beast thats befitting of it's looks. ISF Big power, big torque = to make the Germans sweat a little bit Perhaps a limited production option manual transmission would be a treat.