Lexus is poised to join the growing ranks of car makers looking to challenge the £120,000 Porsche 911 Turbo when it launches a production version of the Lexus LF-LC Hybrid Sports Coupé concept before the end of 2016.
The 2+2 sports coupé is likely to revive the SC badge, although it is expected to be a far more focused sports car than the model that previously used the name until production ended in 2010.
The European boss of Lexus, Alain Uyttenhoven, said: “It is true that we are evaluating this car as a potential halo car, to take on the role of the Lexus LFA supercar in a more affordable way. The LFA was an incredible project; it showed what we could do and it brought all sorts of positives to Lexus.
“One of our key priorities is to make Lexus a more emotional brand, and the appeal of this kind of car in the range is clear to us.”
The V10-powered, carbonfibre-bodied LFA cost from just under £350,000. A total of 500 were made, including faster, more focused Nürburgring special editions.
The new Lexus SC would be front-engined and rear-wheel drive, powered by a V8 engine and an electric motor. The power target is reported to be at least 480bhp.
The LF-LC concept, first shown in 2012, featured several driver-orientated details that are expected to reach production, including lightweight, race-inspired front seats and a racing-style steering wheel containing integrated controls including a start button.
It also featured a remote touchscreen system that allowed the driver to operate controls without shifting their position or altering their line of sight. Twin 12.3-inch LCD screens provide information and navigation displays.
It is not clear whether the production car will use a shortened version of the next-generation LS or GS’s platform, or whether a new platform would be developed specifically for the car.
Separately, sister firm Toyota is reportedly developing a significantly cheaper hybrid sports car with BMW. It has already been previewed as the two-seat Toyota FT-1, which was designed by the same US-based CALTY design studio as the LF-LC concept.
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