Detroit 2012: Lexus’ LF-LC Concept Shows its (Distinctive) Face

Love it or hate it, that hourglass-shaped grille from the new Lexus GS isn’t going away anytime soon. At least, not if you’re to believe the LF-LC Concept, which debuted yesterday at the Detroit Auto Show and predicts the future of the Lexus design language.

The car is nothing if not distinctive: Lexus said at a Monday morning press conference that it was a clean-sheet design, one that was drawn from the beginning to “elicit an emotional response.” Lexus should sure hope those emotions are positive: certain elements of the car will soon trickle to the automaker’s production models.

The car starts with the now-familiar hexagonal grille, which forms a wave shape as opposed to the GS’ flat front. The headlights have a three-beam high-intensity setup, and the LED running lights sit behind two translucent panels--shaped like opposing Lexus letter Ls.

The car will have an FR setup--front engine, rear-wheel drive--and use the company’s Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive.

Inside, the distinctive looks continue: the seats on the concept are beige suede with wave-patterned stitching, and the center stack divides the front two seats and features a helix motif. The interior tech is predictably trick: the car has twin 12.3-inch LCD screens (one for the speed and multi-function indicator, the other for infotainment), and features no fewer than three touchscreens. Two of those are for the window switches: slide your finger slowly down the panel and the windows fall slowly, slide your finger up quickly and the window follows.

There’s no knowing if the LF-LC will ever see production--Lexus hasn’t announced plans, although the deat of the SC in 2010 did leave a sports coupe-sized hole in the Lexus product lineup. Whether or not the LF-LC makes it to showrooms, parts of it will: Lexus announced Monday that 2012 will be the year of the product blitz: it will release or update nine models this year, and a brief teaser shot predicts that every single one will carry the LF-LC’s new grille. Lexus, it would seem, has a new corporate face, and it wants you to take a good look at it this year.

For more on the Lexus LF-LC, check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our Detroit Show homepage.

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