It’s being billed as “the strongest statement yet about Lexus’ future product direction,” but the slick LC 500 sports coupe the Japanese luxury maker revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week is only part of the story.
Expect to see “a number of additional variants,” according to a senior executive at Lexus, something backed up in conversations with several other officials at Lexus and its parent, Toyota. They’re all getting the blessing of Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who is intent on shedding the brand’s plain vanilla image.
Among the other versions of the Lexus LC 500 under development, a convertible is expected to follow about a year behind the coupe’s debut. An even higher-performance LC F is still under development, as is a hybrid version that may shatter perceptions, suggested one source, by proving that gas-electric vehicles aren’t only about saving fuel.
“A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market,” explained Toyoda – the grandson of Toyota’s founder – during a Cobo Hall news conference. His goal, he said, is to make sure “that the words, ‘Lexus,’ and ‘boring,’ never appear in the same sentence again. (more…)