"Nice concept," I say to Lexus's European boss Alain Uyttenhoven. "The LF-SA is definitely going to be my main line of questioning during this interview slot."

"In which case," he interjects, "you are about to be sorely disappointed. Let me say it now, and clear: we are not committed to making this car." It turns out that I was not Uyttenhoven's first interview of the day at the Geneva motor show - and some colleagues from the continent had tried hard to write the controversial Lexus city car concept into the product plan, at around 2017.

Not a chance, says the man in charge - although intriguingly, he stops short of saying that Lexus isn't at least curious about the idea of building a small car. "We show the car today," Uyttenhoven tells me, "and we will get reactions. We hope they are positive reactions. And then we will start to study."