The Art of the Concept

To prep for the upcoming Lexus concept car, we revisit the LF-CC—one of Lexus’ many bridges to the future

09/03/2013—It’s almost time for Lexus to unveil its next hybrid concept at the 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt this September. That means that it is the perfect time to take a quick look at Lexus’ current concept thinking up to this point: the Lexus LF-CC.

As Lexus fans will recall, the main pillars of the LF-CC, which made its long-awaited world premiere last year at the International Motor Show in Paris, are “design,” “driving pleasure” and “state-of-the-art hybrid technology.”

2014 Lexus LF-CC

The LF-CC’s bodywork is its most striking asset—thanks to the experience and expertise the Lexus Design Division accumulated since introducing its L-finesse philosophy more than ten years ago. L-finesse, coined from the brand’s core values of “leading-edge” and “finesse,” is a self-imposed design concept to which Lexus has always aspired. Over time, the designers have honed the concept, improving it each time they develop a new concept or production model.

“We went back to basics to restudy and develop our visual language, thereby setting this vehicle far and away from its rivals in terms of exterior styling,” says Takeshi Tanabe, project manager of the Lexus Design Division.

The spindle grille makes its presence known on this vehicle with its distinct, standout profile. Strong, sculptural lines originating from the grille run from the surface of the hood to the rear while the large front fenders are aerodynamically shaped to guide the flow of oncoming air to the engine and front brakes. Completing this distinctive look are the headlights inserted in the narrow gap between the upper and lower fender surfaces. This system is made of three independent LED-projector lights, each with its own heat sink and cover, sharpening the frontal expression of the vehicle and contributing to the LF-CC’s already dynamic appearance.

The bodywork on the side is also impressive. The distinctive lines rise upward from beneath the body via the rear fenders and move toward the back before seamlessly merging into the trunk lid and spoiler. Thanks to the uniquely sculptured roof treatment, the car has a distinctive coupe profile. It is easy to imagine thrusting the LF-CC to top speed in no time at all.

“The modeling experts applied the finishing touches to the 1/1 clay model to ensure the perfect exterior styling of the vehicle,” Tanabe says, reflecting on the careful creation process in which the human touch is always integral.

The rear-wheel drive LF-CC is powered by a combination of the all-new 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine and a compact magnet electric motor. This cutting-edge hybrid power train emits an industry-leading 100 g/km of C02. It also benefits from a power split device that combines and reallocates power from the engine, electric motor and generator-depending on operational requirements.

In the past, Lexus enjoyed great success with the SC, a luxury sports coupe known as the “Jewel of Lexus,” because of its elegant appearance and sporty steering. Since its removal from the lineup in 2010, there has been demand for a new style of coupe in Lexus’ portfolio. The LF-CC, or at least a production version of the vehicle, would definitely be an intriguing contender.

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Vehicle shown is a concept and may feature optional or unavailable features.