The Lexus LF-C not only signals an entirely new direction in styling for the luxury Japanese brand, it is said to provide a hint of the design of the next-generation IS 300.

The Lexus LF-C sports coupé not only signals an entirely new direction in styling for the luxury Japanese brand, it is said to provide a pointer to the design of the next-generation IS 300.


CARtoday.com reported last month that Lexus would reveal a large sports coupé at the New York Show and here it is - the LF-C, fitted with a high-output V8 engine. It “combines “performance, versatility and innovative luxury in a sleek package,” the company says.


"The LF-C expands the current IS 300 sports saloon (which was launched in South Africa earlier this year) into a new category previously not addressed in the Lexus lineup," said Lexus Group vice president Denny Clements. "The LF-C concept is designed to target an extremely young, affluent buyer”.


The LF-C is Lexus’ third new concept design within a year and features a four-position retractable hardtop. The hardtop’s design allows the car to transform itself at the touch of a button from a coupé to a convertible, to a targa or to a speedster.


Built on a rear-wheel drive platform, the LF-C has drive-by-wire steering and a front-mounted V8 engine mated with a six-speed sequential automatic transmission. The LF-C is only slightly longer overall than the current IS 300, but sits about 50 mm lower and is nearly 127 mm wider than its tin-topped sibling.


The car’s broad stance and short overhangs strike an aggressive pose - quite reminiscent of another metal folding roof candidate, the new Mercedes-Benz SLK, some might say - and the Lexus provides space for four adult passengers.


"We used a combination of convex and concave surfaces to control the balance of light and shadow on the car, which creates this contrast of sharp lines within the sculpted exterior surfaces," said Kevin Hunter, vice president of Calty Design.


Calty used long, integrated lines to simplify the overall form of the LF-C. The distinctive roof rail tapers as it moves forward from the rear, mimicking the sculpted theme of the main body. The main body shape tapers from front to rear and is then wrapped and interlocked by the rear bumper.


Inside, there are a F1-inspired gearshift and steering whee,l with the gauges stacked along the steering column axis. Displays and controls are hidden beneath a transparent console surface that is multi-layered, which creates a sophisticated, high-tech look and feel. The console is flanked by arched, wing-like instrument panels situated low in front of the driver and passengers.