Always moving things forward, Lexus unveiled the new LF-C2 Luxury Roadster Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a hint to a future direction in Lexus luxury.
The new Lexus LF-C2 concept is a 2+2 roadster design study that Lexus US Group Vice President and General Manager, Jeff Bracken, sees as a glimpse into the future for Lexus: “This concept shows consumers around the world Lexus’s devotion to emotional designs and its passion for an exceptional driving experience.”
The initial idea for the concept is pretty simple - a pure sports coupe – but Lexus then have added in a highly styled 2+2 layout with no roof or cabin covering at all in an effort to give both driver and passenger the best top-down driving experience (but not really designed for the British weather!)
And then the designers got to work on the whole thing.
Based around a concept of the interaction between different types of light and differing surface shapes, the exterior styling was put together with the designers creating edges, planes and curves to let the LF-C2 project a different character when viewed from different angles and in different lighting conditions – essentially making it many cars in one. And you can’t help but be impressed by the striking appearance of the car topped off with a multi-layer approach to colour, culminating in a progressive interpretation of an open-top luxury GT.
The multi-layering results in the show car’s golden yellow finish having started with a primer coat followed by silver, a clear coat, then a yellow which reflects off the silver to create a brilliant lustre – and then a top coat is put on to finish it all off.
Yasuo Kajino, LF-C2’s Chief Designer, said: “We’ve been instinctively drawn to and inspired by those things that capture the beauty of light. When you put something in the right light, people see it in a way they never have before.”
Moving away from initial impressions topped off with that magnificent colouring and colour process, we can look closer at what else makes up the exterior of the Lexus LF-C2 concept.
There is an experimental rendering of Lexus’s signature spindle grille design that uses a braided mesh effect which, like the car itself, changes appearance when viewed from different angles and in different light. The grille sits happily between the triangular LED headlights and indicator lights that help to create the impression of an arrow shape right through to the car’s abbreviated tail section – and we know how fast and sleek an arrow is.
The car’s profile continues with a sweeping line from the front bumper fin to the steeply angled A-pillar with the rear end’s L-shaped tail lights, chrome-tipped quad exhaust pipes and pronounced new rear diffuser design completing the image.
And then there’s the five-spoke 20” alloy wheels...
Inside the LF-C2 you’ll find just what you expected when it comes to luxury; and probably a little bit more too.
The cabin is spacious and luxurious, with the exterior styling extending itself right into the cabin with the centre console originating from the rear deck in a line that runs the length of the cabin to the dashboard. On the dashboard, the simplicity is continued with functional ease with an attractive but straightforward instrument cluster, a central video monitor controlled by a Remote Touchpad and a classic analogue clock set between the central air vents.
Comfort is evident with the thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel and form-fitting seats all in a balanced atmosphere of power and simplicity that connects with the primary senses: white and grey leather surfaces are soft to the touch, and LED lights run the length of the interior below the window line.
The Lexus LF-C2 is certainly a car to be envied if owned. I can guarantee a queue if ever the concept becomes reality, but I hope it comes with an umbrella.