Detroit show: Lexus unveils sexiest hybrid ever

LF-LC concept combines sensational performance with high style

By Gavin Conway on January 10, 2012 3:57 PM

At one end of the hybrid scale, you’ve got the worthy but ditchwater-dull contenders such as the ubiquitous Toyota Prius. Travel about a million miles to the other end of the scale and you’ll end up with this, the gorgeous LF-LC concept with Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive.

Lexus took the wraps off the hybrid LF-LC 2+2 sport coupe at the Detroit Auto Show this week. The company’s released very little technical detail about the concept, but close examination of its dashboard reveals a fairly conventional hybrid set-up ala Prius. There’s no word if the LF-LC will use a plug-in hybrid set-up, which allows much longer pure-electric range – with Porsche going into production with its thrilling 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid, it might be worth a punt for Lexus.

Lexus also says the LF-LC is meant to provide clues as to the future of Lexus’s design direction – you can already see family resemblance between the nose of the concept and production models such as the CT 200h hybrid. The big coupe also bears a strong resemblance to the Lexus LF-A, a 200mph hypercar that you can buy today (if you have a spare £330,000 kicking around).

And these days, no self-respecting concept would dare turn up without some whizzy, futuristic infotainment features. Here, the LF-LC features a remote touch-screen system that allows the driver to operate controls without shifting position or altering his line-of-sight. There are also two 12.3-inch LCD screens for info and nav as well as touch-screen control for audio, climate and even the windows and mirrors. It’s all very high-tech, but the interior still bows to the GT tradition of wood & leather finish.

There’s no word on whether the LF-LC will become a production reality, but we wouldn’t bet against it, especially now that the discontinued SC430 coupe/convertible has left a hole in the Lexus range for a large coupe.