The Lexus LF-Lc made its debut as just a lowly concept car at the 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan and its reception was one that all automakers dream of. Not only did people at the auto show love it, but Lexus customers were clamoring to see a production model hit showroom floors.
Lexus all but told us that it would release a production model loosely based on the concept, but no release dates were ever talked about. According to a report from Automotive News, there are several Lexus insiders that are claiming that there will be a model identical or at least similar to the LF-LC and bearing the same name to hit showroom floors sometime in the next two years.
With this news, we figured it was time to start piecing together a review for our readers, so you can make an educated choice when the time comes.
Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming LF-LC and see how it stacks up against the competition.
As with most concept cars, do not expect it to roll into showrooms looking exactly as it did in concept form. There are safety regulations in place that could potentially limit the body styling, as well as cost restraints. We do, however, expect the production model to closely resemble the concept.
The basic profile of the car – long hood, shallow-raked windshield and swooping roof line – will remain intact on the production model. The largest change on the front end, from the concept, will likely be the pulling forward of the headlights. The recessed headlights on the concept look cool, but that causes a lot of extra aerodynamic drag. The front brake cooling inlet will be reduced and more closed off than we see on the concept.
From the side, we expect the LF-LC to look just like the concept. We anticipate seeing the wide hips, but we do expect the body line to be slightly harder to keep up with the rest of the body and the trend going on in this era.
The back end we expect to remain relatively untouched, with exception of the recessed taillights. Those will likely be brought outward and maybe slightly enlarges. The remainder of the back end fits perfectly with the era and its potential competition.
The interior is a complete wild card, as the interior we saw in Detroit was way too modern and way too expensive to go into any car in this era. The overall swooping effect throughout the interior we certainly expect to see in the production model but not the ultra-modern pedals, steering wheel, or instrument cluster.
We do expect to see your standard array of awesome features. Some of these features will include: navigation, automatic climate control, CD player with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, etc. We also anticipate the retractable glass roof to make the trip to production with the LF-LC.
We’ll update you as soon as Lexus gives us some information on the finalized interior for the LF-LC.
Engine and Drivetrain
Under the hood is a pretty large unknown on the LF-LC. We do know that it will be a front engine, rear drive car with a gasoline engine and electric motors working together to create peak power, a la the BMW i8 and Acura NSX. We anticipate seeing a small 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a turbocharger in the front and electric booster motors between the transmission and engine.
To remain competitive, this model have to produce at minimum 350 horsepower, but Lexus can push it over 400 ponies and really corner the market.
With an advanced drivetrain like it will have, the LF-LC will almost certainly come standard with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Once we get some confirmed information, we will get you a full review on the engine and drivetrain.
According to the rumors from Automotive News, the LF-LC will run somewhere between $100,000 and $130,000. Given its awesome styling and stout drivetrain, we think that is a pretty fair price range.
When can I get one?
According to the rumors floating around, the LF-LC is still at least two years away, so you can put your deposit money back into the bank, for now.
The main competitor for the LF-Lc that is already a sure thing is the BMW i8. As we mentioned before, the i8 could end up falling on its face in production, but we do not foresee that happening. The i8 and its 354 horsepower will likely be about on par with the LF-LC, and its styling is going to be very similar. Both companies are rather mum on the two cars, so there is very little to compare to one another. One area that the i8 certainly comes out on top in is that fact that it has all-wheel drive.
A borderline competitor for the LF-LC is the Acura NSX. The NSX has the potential to be a supercar, if Honda tweaks it correctly, so it may not even end up in the same class as the LF-LC. If they do end up in the same class, Lexus will have its hands full, as the NSX is a pretty sexy ride, big beak and all, and its concept seems a lot closer to reality than the LF-LC. Just like with the i8, the NSX sits above the LF-LC, as it is AWD.
We will reserve judgment for the production model, but on the surface, the LF-LC looks nice. That said, Lexus needs to strongly consider making it AWD, just like its two anticipated competitors. We’ll keep an eye out for more information on the upcoming LF-LC and update you along the way.
Lack of specific information
Big chance to be a complete flop