Beneath the blue skin, the LF-LC Blue combines advanced technologies and materials with organic design, giving an insight into the future of lightweight, hybrid-powered sportscars. Despite no official confirmation one way or another, the close-to-production-spec of the LF-LC Blue suggests the sporty Lexus coupe may become a production reality in the near future.
Derived from Lexus' project LFA, the LF-LC leverages extensive in-house experience in marrying carbon fibre and aluminium alloy materials to achieve a light body mass. The result is an extremely taut body that responds quickly and crisply to driver inputs
Lexus say this composite construction provides the perfect platform for the next-generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system. Dubbed 'Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive', the system features a powerful and efficient Atkinson cycle combustion engine, which is mated to an advanced battery pack.
The high-energy battery pack is designed to deliver greater power from a smaller battery than those currently used in Lexus' range of hybrid vehicles. Combined, the LF-LC Blue concept's petrol/electric hybrid powertrain develops 372kW (500hp) - the most of any Lexus hybrid.
Lexus Australia's Tony Cramb said that LF-LC Blue is a demonstration of what the future may hold for sports cars.
"The LF-LC is absolutely stunning. Its good looks mask some very exciting design and engineering innovations that will influence Lexus vehicles in the future," said Mr Cramb.
"LF-LC is part concept, part reality: the concept hints at what's to come from Lexus, while the reality has us actively studying how we can engineer and build a vehicle like this in the future."
The concept's distinctive front end features sculpted 'L' shaped daytime running lights, vertical fog lamps and a fading dot matrix pattern to convey a sense of movement. Continuing the sense of motion, the LF-LC's profile is commanded by deeply sculpted air intakes behind the doors. A wrap-around glass roof provides a panoramic view to the outside world and features a lightweight, cantilevered pillar with a glass-to-glass junction that Lexus says is inspired by modern architecture.
LF-LC's lines are carried through to the rear deck, sculpturally integrating the 'spindle grille' theme to complement the front of the vehicle. Tail lamps are inspired by a jet aeroplane afterburner, and use inner lighting effects to create depth. The rear is also fitted with fog lamps, repeating the fading dot matrix pattern of the front fog lamps, and a Lexus quad exhaust.
Befitting its concept status, the LF-LC Blue's interior is crammed with high-tech features, but marries that with soft textures and organic shapes, trimmed in leather, suede, brushed metal and timber, with white and brown tones prominent.
Race-inspired front seats are formed of multiple layers and repeat the interlacing curves that define the cabin interior. The driver is enveloped by deep side panels and a high, curved console. The effect is to focus the driver zone on the controls and on the road. The racing-style steering wheel is clad in lightweight carbon fibre and contains integrated controls and a start button.
A remote touch-screen device allows the driver to comfortably operate controls without shifting position or altering their line of sight. Twin 12.3-inch LCD screens provide information and navigation display. Inputs come from a touch-screen control board piercing the swept centre console. The same interface is used to control the audio system, climate controls and navigation, and features a pop-up touch-screen keyboard for more complex entries.
In front of the driver, multi-level meters layer analogue and LCD technologies. The bottom layer displays temperature, fuel and the background for the Eco meter. The middle layer is the tachometer mechanical centre ring. The topmost layer provides indicators for the tachometer, speedometer and Eco meter.
LEXUS LF-LC BLUE SPECIFICATIONS
Next-generation Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive
Atkinson Cycle Combustion Engine
Next-generation High Output Battery
372kW (500hp) Combined system output
4630mm (182.3 inches)
1950mm (76.8 inches)
1270mm (50.0 inches)
2800 mm (110.0 inches)
Held at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, the 2012 Australian International Motor Show is open daily at 10am from October 19 to 28.