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by Adam Lynton
The in-demand concept is now being seriously considered as a future production model.
Upon unveiling the LF-LC Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in January, it was fairly clear Lexus had absolutely no intention of ever building the car. It was simply a design study that was meant to demonstrate what future Lexus models may look like. However, after receiving hugely positive media feedback as well as the people's choice "best in show" award, discussions of 'how we can do it' in production have been had at management level according to Autocar.
In a sign that good things may come, Lexus product planning chief Karl Schlicht has rated the LF-LC's chances of making production as 50/50. "A decision has not been taken," he said. "But we're now up to a 50 per cent chance from a zero per cent one. Every top Toyota Motor Company manager is aware of the great reception it has received and now we're talking about how we can do it and fit it into the product plan." Schlicht said that the Calty Design Center in California had a brief to create a 2+2 coupe concept, without thinking that it may one day hit production.
"The only parameter was size. We wanted the designers to create excitement," he said. "We'd never get it built from a product planning point of view on paper, but people have seen the concept and fallen in love with it. Dealers have gone crazy for it as well." So Lexus finds itself in the position of building a car without having to first establish demand, and if the LF-LC gets approved for production Lexus will have the challenge of delivering a car that offers 'green-but-entertaining' motoring at a price significantly more accessible than that of the LFA supercar.