Never mind the cryptograph name or the Dark Knight interior: This Lexus concept previews the company’s next IS. A compact, rear-wheel-drive sedan and coupe should be the perfect vehicle to demonstrate CEO Akio Toyoda’s promise to build more engaging, sporty products. That ethos is evident even in the big GS and Lexus’s glorified Camry, the ES, and applied to a proper sports sedan, Lexus finally could be cooking with gasoline—and batteries.
Lexus’s chief of design, Takeshi Tanabe, says that the LF-CC represents a “new era” of Lexus design and products. (The name stands for Lexus Future Coupe Concept.) The styling still is in the family of the L-Finesse design language that molded the GS, the ES, and the refreshed LS, but we’re seeing an evolution with this car. Tanabe-san told us that the LF-CC is meant to show major contrasts: The grille—in now-signature spindle shape—is enormous and bold, as are air intakes big enough to swallow seagulls. But the headlights are uncovered slivers of LEDs and integrated door handles look like delicate slices of chrome. Tanabe-san is especially proud of the rising line on the car’s sides, shaping rear-wheel air intakes and traveling up the rear fender to wispy red taillights.
There are loads of slick details, too. Many aren’t suitable for production cars, making them a sort of self-abuse for designers, to borrow a Victorian euphemism. The triangular side mirrors are gorgeous, while packing the CHMSL into the shark antenna on the roof is just plain cool. Crystal spheres amplify the LED headlights—these actually appear, under covers, on the refreshed LS—instead of parabolic mirrors. Like the cartoonist Al Hirschfeld, who hid his daughter’s initials in every sketch, Lexus’s designers scattered the L logo in the LF-CC’s taillights and nearly every curve and kink.
Thanks to: Car and Driver