Lexus Teases LF-C2 Concept Coming to LA Auto Show

Convertible likely to join expanding line-up at Japanese luxury brand.

by on Nov.12, 2014

Is the LF-C2 a convertible version of the Lexus LF-LC or a new take on the Lexus RC Coupe?

This teaser image from Lexus begs a few puns, and it’s easy to suggest that the concept coming to the Los Angeles Auto Show next week is likely to eclipse the old SC430 convertible that the Japanese maker pulled from production a few years back.

A terse press release says that, “On November 19, at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Lexus LF-C2 Concept will make its global debut. This exciting new open-air concept will be revealed at a press conference scheduled for 1:40 p.m. in the brand’s display located in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.”

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So, what are we likely to discover next week, and will it leave us howling at the moon?  Two very different possibilities emerge.

At the upper end of the spectrum, the LF-C2 could very well be a ragtop version of the LF-LC concept coupe Lexus revealed at the Detroit Auto Show a few years back. Lexus has reportedly approved the LF-LC for production, and a version of the hardtop has reportedly been spotted undergoing testing in Japan, with a 600-horsepower version of the 5.0-liter V-8 that is being used in the new Lexus RC F coupe.

The Lexus LF-LC during a visit to Australia.

The front end of the LF-C2 doesn’t quite jibe with the original LF-LC Concept, but that is no surprise. Under pressure from – make that the guidance of – Toyota Motor Co. CEO Akio Toyoda, Lexus designers have been trying to put more “passion” into the brand, while its engineers have been putting a premium on performance. The new RC F’s yawning maw is a case in point as the most aggressive version yet of the brand’s signature “spindle grille.”

(Cadillac reveals the new ATS-V before its official LA debut. Click Here to check it out.)

And that raises another possibility: could the LF-C2 be a convertible version of the RC? That has been a hot rumor in recent months and would suggest that Lexus wants to go head-to-head with both BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the compact segment with a wide variety of body styles. An RC F convertible could directly take on the vaunted BMW M4 Convertible.

The 2015 Lexus RC F takes some laps on the 3.6-mile loop at Monticello Motor Club.

What we’re pretty sure this won’t be is a direct replacement for the ungainly and slow-selling SC430, which disappeared after the 2010 model-year, with few motorists even noticing.

(Click Here to check out the three new models Porsche plans to reveal at this year’s LA Auto Show.)

The other big question is whether a new Lexus convertible would go ragtop or hold over the folding hardtop of the SC. If it does, we’d expect Lexus to come up with a less awkward design.

We’ll have to wait, it seems, until next Wednesday to get at least some of our questions answered.

(Ford brings back the legendary Mustang King Cobra. For a closer look, Click Here.)

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