Lexus and the Pursuit of…American Muscle?

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How an iconic muscle car inspired F Sport’s ‘very sexy’ and ‘edgy’ style.

Much like its German counterparts, Lexus has added a bit of flare to the iconic brand’s model lineup with performance-focused variations. The F Sport models are now renowned for increased performance, unique styling and perhaps most for that polarizing spindle grille. According to its designer, the new Lexus F Sport is also “very emotional, very sexy.” We couldn’t agree more.

Not to break form with previous F Sport models, the new Lexus LS F is a beefed up version of the standard car, sporting a bigger, more aggressive front end, extra power and plenty of other performance goodies, as well as an “edgy” look, thanks to Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the LS.

In a recent interview at the New York International Auto Show, Asahi took some time to point out his favorite aspects of the new Lexus F Sport.

“I love the whole car,” Asahi tells The Street. “But if I had to choose one thing, it would be the design. It’s a sedan that looks like a coupe. The exterior styling, it’s very emotional, very sexy, but it has a lot of presence, a very strong presence and a strong structure.”

After praising the best attributes of our favorite brand of car, somewhere along the way, Asahi is asked what cars gave him the inspiration to create such an outright performance vehicle, leading to a perhaps unexpected response: the Chevrolet C3 Corvette.


‘[The LS is] a sedan that looks like a coupe. The exterior styling, it’s very emotional,
very sexy, but it has a very strong presence and a strong structure.’


That’s right, Asahi claims an unapologetic love affair with the C3, noting its sharp lines and distinct performance. Overall, he said that the C3 was one of the single biggest design inspirations for the new LS. Taking cues from the C3, the LS also demonstrates powerful body lines and the overall coupe-derived shape.

Also part of the package is what Asahi calls the “bad guy” personality — inspiration coming from a desire to make the car stand out, not just as a flagship, but as a sports car.

“We didn’t want to go with a standardized image of a flagship model,” he tells The Street. “We tried to give it a little bit of an edgy character, that sort of bad guy image that we put into the headlights. It’s a twist. It’s supposed to be just a little bit bad.”

When asked whether or not he owned or ever considered owning a Corvette, Asahi explained that they are not available in Japan. However, coming into contact with one in New York felt just as special.

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