Lexus LF-CC concept

  • 02-Oct-2012 02:10 EDT

A deeply sculpted grille and a low, sleek roofline underscore the desire to move Lexus style into more emotional territory after a focus on understatement, said Lexus head of design Yo Hiruta. (Dan Carney)

Lexus used the 2012 Paris Motor Show to debut a new D-segment-sized coupe featuring a hybrid-electric drivetrain with a 2.5-L I4 gas engine mated to a high-output, water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor of unspecified output.

The gas engine is an Atkinson cycle design for hybrid use with direct fuel injection. It is arranged longitudinally to drive the rear wheels in sport sedan fashion.

Certainly the exterior styling will create the expectation of sporting capability. While the company’s L-finesse design language has been conservative, the goal with the LF-CC is to move that style forward, said Lexus head of design, Yo Hiruta.

“L-finesse has been understated,” he said. “I wanted the LF-CC to emphasize the emotional characteristics. I was looking to a bolder style.”

He achieved that with a large grille and a sleek profile. The grille mesh is wrapped by a deep metal finish bezel for a strong three-dimensional character. It is flanked by three-LED projector headlights.

“Especially from the side view you can see the cabin motion,” Hiruta said.

The more dramatic proportions and details of the concept car give less consideration to practical production factors because this is a concept car. But the LF-CC’s elements will soon find their way into production models, and Hiruta aims to see some of the more difficult-to-produce aspects make the cut for production models.

“As a designer, I only want to produce something that looks good,” he said. “But we have to discuss manufacturability. In the past there was more emphasis on design being easy to produce. Now there is more emphasis on style.”

Alas, the neatly combined antenna and center stop light feature on the LF-CC may be too ambitious, he conceded. “Production-wise, it would be very difficult,” Hiruta said.

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