The popularity of the dramatic Lexus LF-LC concept has significantly boosted its chances of making production, Autocar has learned.
Senior bosses at Lexus parent firm Toyota insisted at the LF-LC’s Detroit show unveiling in January that the hybrid 2+2 coupé was strictly a concept. But an emphatically positive reception — including winning the public’s ‘best in show’ award at Detroit — has led to management discussions over “how we can do it” in production.
Speaking to Autocar after the LF-LC’s successful European debut at the Geneva show earlier this month, Lexus product planning chief Karl Schlicht rated the LF-LC’s chances of making production as 50/50.
“A decision has not been taken,” he said. “But we’re now up to a 50 per cent chance from a zero per cent one. Every top Toyota Motor Company manager is aware of the great reception it has received and now we’re talking about how we can do it and fit it into the product plan.”
Schlicht, who becomes Toyota and Lexus Europe’s product planning chief from 1 April, said if the proposal for such a dramatic Lexus production car had been presented to Toyota management without the concept, they’d have dismissed it. Instead, the Calty Design Centre in California was “let loose” in creating a concept, its only brief being that it had to be a 2+2 coupé.
“The only parameter was size. We wanted the designers to create excitement,” he said. “We’d never get it built from a product planning point of view on paper, but people have seen the concept and fallen in love with it. Dealers have gone crazy for it as well.”