Lexus LF-CC concept has BRZ DNA

Unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the Lexus LF-CC Concept is a stunning design executed on familiar bones. Lexus is using the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S /Toyota FT-86 as a platform for their next sporty hybrid coupe. This is no mere one-off concept, the Lexus LF-CC Concept is a lavish reflection of a sports-coupe currently in development.

Nice nose eh? Well, don’t expect the production version to look as sexy. Toyota has a habit of neutering the sexiness of its concept vehicles when they finally become reality. Bummer.

The Fast Lane Car was present at the Scion FR-S launch in Las Vegas, NV and had an opportunity to talk to a few members of the design team. I asked one if the platform was going to be used in something other than the BRZ. He smiled and said, “There’s a lot of potential in this platform.” He then went on to indicate that Toyota was looking at many possibilities. Granted – that’s all pretty vague, but it forced me to keep my eyes peeled for other platform possibilities.

Recently, a rumor has started that the FT-86/BRZ/FR-S platform had enough flexibility to not only house an all-wheel drive layout, it could handle a four door setup as well. This led to speculation that this would be the platform for the next generation WRX. Still, nothing was said about Lexus using it.

Wait! What did I tell you about growing too attached to the sexy nose!? Toyota will water it down. It should still look good, just nowhere near as daring.

What you see here is a fairly good approximation of what’s in store. The Lexus LF-CC Concept is primed for public consumption. Keep in mind, Lexus/Toyota has a tendency to heavily water down the production version of their concepts. That’s a shame when you see how alluring and seductive these designs can be.

Regarding the power-plant, Lexus says, “The LF-CC is equipped with a new 2.5-litre full hybrid powertrain that is destined for use in future production models, and which delivers combination of sporting performance suitable for a mid-size coupe and low emissions, targeted below 100g/km. Lexus expects the powertrain to be the most efficient in its class, producing more than 2bhp per gramme of CO2.

This Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain uses a new, ultra-smooth 2.5-litre four-cylinder DOHC petrol engine, mated to a compact, high-output electric motor.

You gotta love a sexy tushy. This one is very complex with that spider-web-like design on the taillights. Once again, don’t expect that much daring on the production car.

In addition to the engine and electric motor, the system also features a high-performance battery, a power split device and compact power control unit.

The engine has been adapted specifically for use in the hybrid powertrain and benefits from a number of technical improvements, adopting the Atkinson cycle and D-4S direct injection technology to optimize both power and fuel efficiency.

This new powertrain will be introduced in the Lexus model range in the near future.”

So, the Lexus LF-CC Concept not have the 2.0-liter horizontally opposed engine that lives in the BRZ, FR-S and FT-86. That might not be such a bad thing considering the muscle Toyota/Lexus is getting out of some of their hybrid vehicles. The 2013 Lexus GS 450h comes to mind with its beefy power and swift acceleration.

Internally, Lexus LF-CC Concept will be state of the art according to Lexus,”

The LF-CC’s interior hints the kind of progressive luxury Lexus envisions for future cabin layouts, with further development of its HMI (human-machine interface) technology.

From the back, it kind of looks like a cross between a BMW 1-series and a Lexus LFA. Not too shabby!

The dashboard is divided in an upper Display Zone, with a multi-display screen positioned for at-a-glance viewing, and a lower Operation Zone, with a new-design shift lever and touch tracer display for remote control of a range of vehicle systems.

The zonal treatment creates a fusion of an airy and spacious cabin with a sporting cockpit that puts the emphasis on a snug and focused driving environment. All the drive function controls are located immediately around the driver’s seat, combining excellent ergonomics with advanced HMI technologies.

The driving position is set low and is highly focused, with a wide grip sports steering wheel, careful positioning of the pedals and high visibility instrument dials. The touch tracer display is located directly behind the shift lever for easy and comfortable operation.

The seats, door panels and instrument binnacle are trimmed in a warm amber-coloured leather that strikes a pleasing contrast with the Fluid Titanium exterior. Extensive use of soft touch materials and metallic finishes reinforces the overall premium quality feel of the interior.”

I’m always excited to get a new performance coupe on the road and so are you. This could be a terrific addition to the Lexus fleet and something special for performance enthusiasts.

Let’s hope Toyota graces whatever is produced from the Lexus LF-CC Concept real power… because that’s the only thing keeping the FT-86, BRZ and FR-S from becoming something magical.

The Lexus LF-CC Concept will debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show on stand 120, hall four, at 8.45 a.m. on 27 September .

Check out this video of Roman and I drive a young man’s dream – the Subaru BRZ to an older guy’s fantasy, the Porsche 911!

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism – Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.