Lexus goes radical

Last updated 06:15 03/11/2012
The Lexus LF-LC luxury hybrid sports car concept.
The Lexus LF-LC luxury hybrid sports car concept.

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Lexus plans to shed its conservative image and establish the brand as a leader in design.

The manufacturer is a consistently strong performer in quality surveys, but has a restrained reputation among premium brands.

Edward Lee, the man who shaped the brand's LF-LC concept, says the car is an indication of where Lexus wanted to take its look, and said customers were ready to accept radical designs.

''We're moving to more emotional expressive and design because we recognise that our customers are becoming more confident about the choices they're making for designs - designs that really appeal to their personal tastes,'' Lee says.

''We want to be original and we want to be emotionally attracting customers to our products.''

The stylish coupe has been a hit with showgoers, though it is not set for production.

It is more likely that design cues from the LF-LC will drip down to a new generation of sexy Lexuses.

Lee said the car's edgy ''J-Factor'', or Japanese-inspired design cues, kept the brand moving in the right direction.

''It was our lofty goal, a big challenge, to make a design where people see instinctively that it is beautiful,'' he says.

''That's what people need to see, not only in car design, but from Lexus.''

Lexus had just one car at the Sydney motor show in October, a svelte concept coupe that has little in common with the brand's regular offerings.

The well-proportioned LF-LC coupe is a world away from the machines that currently grace Lexus showrooms, with its LFA supercar standing as the lone exception.

Lee shaped the LF-LC from Toyota's Calty design studio in California, where their design brief was to create an edgy coupe far removed from the marque's discontinued SC430 convertible coupe.

Wis intention was to shape a show-stopper.

''Our main goal from the beginning was very simple, a car that people see and go 'wow', because that's what the market needs,'' he said.

''That is exactly was the LF-LC was about, it was our goal.''

-Fairfax News Australia

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