April 9, 2004
New York auto show
Lexus convertible concept may be next IS 300
New York, New York – Lexus introduced its third new concept design within a year when it unveiled the LF-C luxury sports coupe concept car at the New York International Auto Show. The LF-C hints at the direction Lexus is considering for the next generation IS 300 sports car, said the company.
“Design is one of the most important differentiating factors between any two products and the LF-C expands the current IS 300 sport sedan into a new category previously not addressed in the Lexus lineup,” said Peter Renz, National Manager of Lexus in Canada. “The LF-C concept targets a younger buyer with a strong element of surprise.”
The surprise is provided by stylists from the Calty Design Research Center in the form of a 4-position retractable hardtop in the LF-C. The unique hardtop design allows the car to transform itself at the touch of a button from a coupe to a convertible, to a targa or to a speedster, depending on the driver’s mood. The powered top stows neatly into the trunk through a surprisingly minimal rear-deck opening.
A large rear wheel drive platform utilizes a high-output, front-mounted V8 engine with a six-speed sequential automatic transmission as the basis and motivating force for the LF-C. With an expanded wheelbase of 130 mm (5.1 in.), the LF-C is only slightly longer overall than the current IS 300. Significantly, the LF-C sits about 51 mm (2.0 in.) lower and is nearly 127 mm (5.0 in.) wider than the current IS 300. The broad stance and short overhangs strike an aggressive pose with ample dimensions to comfortably accommodate four adult passengers.
“We’ve known for some time that if Lexus ever prioritized styling the way we have product quality and advanced technology, we would once again change the luxury car playing field,” said Renz. “The LF-C is a stunning example of how Lexus will address the future and change it at the same time.”