Lexus LF-C2 Concept shows polarizing looks are here to stayWed, 19 Nov 2014 19:39:00 EST
Well, that's one question answered. When Lexus released the first teaser for its LF-C2 Concept, we figured it'd be one of two things – either it'd be a convertible based on the LF-LC Concept car or it'd be a thinly veiled concept version of the RC Convertible. Turns out, it's kind of both.
The LF-LC styling straddles the wilder, concepty looks of the LF-LC and the still wild, but more grounded, looks of the RC. That doesn't mean it's not a polarizing piece of design, with Lexus styling trademarks like the dominating spindle grille and separate LED running lights. Lexus' knife-edge cuts and folds in the bodywork have been toned down relative to past concepts, but the overall look here, particularly in the rear fenders, is rather busy.
"The LF-C2 concept shows what's in store for our brand's future design direction," Lexus boss Jeff Bracken said. "This concept shows consumers around the world Lexus' devotion to emotional designs as well as our passion for an exceptional driving experience."
While it may be a four-seat convertible like the IS Convertible, the C2 differs in a big way, deleting any semblance of a roof mechanism. That's right, it's open air, all the time. That allows us to easily peak into a cabin that looks more like the interior of a production Lexus than a concept car. It's a nice piece of design that previews Lexus interior stylings, particularly with the dual-screen center stack. The decision to cover nearly every surface in shades of gray and white leather makes for a clean, stylish place interior, as well.
While Lexus doesn't give any indication of the production intent for the LF-C2 – meaning we don't know for certain whether a version of it will supplant the IS Convertible – the brand is unequivocal in its plans for the concept's styling language. How do you feel about that? Do you think the LF-C2's looks will do well when translated to a production car? Take a look at the gallery of live images, give the press release a read and then let us know what you think in Comments.
Lexus LF-C2 Concept Dazzles at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show With World Premiere of 2+2 Roadster
Open Air Luxury GT Concept Explores The Lexus Brand's Design Themes
November 19, 2014
LOS ANGELES - Nov. 19, 2014 - Beautiful sunshine, warm weather, and winding roads are the perfect complements to the Lexus LF-C2 concept that made its global debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show today. The LF-C2 concept is a design study in the form of a 2+2 roadster and explores key styling themes involved in the Lexus brand's future, bolder styling direction. The LF-C2 is also a luxury Grand Touring concept inspired by the brand's passion for driving.
"The LF-C2 concept shows what's in store for our brand's future design direction," said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "This concept shows consumers around the world Lexus' devotion to emotional designs as well as our passion for an exceptional driving experience."
The LF-C2 concept involves a highly styled 2+2 layout, and is derived from a pure and simple sports coupe idea. Its open-air design allows the driver and passengers to feel the wind through their hair, while enjoying the car's performance characteristics on their favorite twisty road. As a roadster concept, the LF-C2 concept does not have any kind of top covering the cabin.
The exterior styling of the LF-C2 was influenced by the way various surface shapes interact with different types of light. Designers created edges, planes and curvature that would allow the LF-C2 to exude a different character when seen from different angles and under different lighting conditions. This objective when combined with Lexus' layered paint process results in a striking and progressive interpretation of an open top luxury GT.
The brilliant, golden yellow is produced by a multi-layer paint process. The first coat is a primer, followed by silver, a clear coat, then the yellow that reflects off the silver to give the brilliant luster. A final top coat is then applied.
"We've been instinctively drawn to and inspired by those things that capture the beauty of light," said Yasuo Kajino, chief designer LF-C2, Lexus Design Division. "When you put something in the right light, people see it in a way they never have before."
The front fascia of the LF-C2 is highlighted by a more experimental expression of Lexus' signature spindle-shaped grille. The concept's grille features a refined braided mesh theme that exemplifies Lexus' high level of craftsmanship and changes its appearance when viewed from different angles and lighting conditions. It sits between triangle-shaped LED headlights, a signature element of Lexus sports cars, and stylish indicator lamps that initiate the character line of the LF-C2. The character line sweeps through the car's arrow-shaped body and ends at the abbreviated rear deck. Vents in the front bumper send cool air to the brakes as well as help manage airflow through the body to help keep the front end stable at high speed.
The LF-C2's profile shows a swooping line from the car's front bumper fin to the steeply-angled A-pillar. Small vents in the side sills direct air to the rear brakes and out the fin-like rear diffusers. The rear end of the LF-C2 is highlighted by Lexus L-shaped taillight bulbs, an exhaust system with chrome-covered quad exhaust tips, and an expressive new rear diffuser design. The concept's impactful stance is planted by five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels.
Step inside, and the LF-C2 treats its occupants to a luxurious and spacious cabin that flawlessly matches the sporty elegance of the exterior. The exterior extends into the cabin as the center console originates from the rear deck and runs down the length of the cabin all the way to the dashboard. The dashboard design is presents functional simplicity with an attractive-yet-straightforward instrument cluster, a central video monitor controlled by a Remote Touchpad on the center console and a classically-styled analog clock placed between the central air vents. The thick leather-wrapped steering wheel implies that this is a driver's car, as do the form-fitting seats.
The LF-C2's interior designers opted to instill a balanced atmosphere of power and simplicity that harmonizes with our primary senses. White-and-gray leather surfaces are soft to the touch while LED lights that run along the length of the interior below the windows. The inviting cabin of the LF-C2 blends the open-air excitement that results from an eye-catching roadster blended with a heavy dose of Lexus luxury.
Length 4,715 mm 185.6 inches
Width 1,840 mm 72.4 inches
Height 1,385 mm 54.5 inches
By Brandon Turkus
See also: Lexus RC configurator comes alive, priced from $42,790*, Lexus LF-C2 Concept teased ahead of LA Auto Show debut, Lexus RC media event in Japan canceled over lack of interest.