When it originally launched during the North American International Auto Show back in 2012, a number of people which included customers, the press, and fans, wondered if the style and the proportions of the Lexus LF-LC Concept could ever make it to production. It took four years but Lexus has recently unveiled the Lexus LC 500 luxury coupe at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.
This latest offering is its flagship coupe and is the company’s strongest statement to date with regards to the future direction of its production line. Over the last five years, the luxury brand has been growing rapidly especially when it established Lexus International. This has resulted in the introduction of new models like the IS, NX, and RC, all of which carry high levels of emotion in its style coupled with dynamic driving characteristics. It has also been responsible for drawing in new customers who had been loyal to other brands.
At the heart of the brand’s global expansion is Akio Toyoda, who personally made sure that the three different teams, design, engineering, and marketing, all worked together to create a luxury brand that would be able to meet any of the needs of its next-generation customers.
Though the LC 500 clearly shows the performance and style the brand is known for, it also best exemplifies what can be achieved when the design team and the engineering group collaborate and commit to help solve the issues each is facing. When Akio Toyoda issued the challenge to the development groups to come out with the new model, it meant that the groups needed to beat the obstacles, whether it’s the design, dynamics, material, or even manufacturing.
These are challenges that many usually face when trying to meet the design vision or any target for that matter. Having an appealing design guided the creation of the LC 500. In order to retain majority of the original concept to the production version, the engineer had to find ways and offer solutions.
The design team meanwhile was made part of the development process, especially during the early phases, in order to realize what the engineering team wanted and work with them to come out with design viewpoints and possible solutions.
In order for the development teams to have a closer look at the design and improve important elements, the prototype vehicles had levels added to it. Thus, the LC 500 is not just about making a new coupe, rather it also represents the start of a new stage for the brand considering that a shift occurred in the design principles and the engineering methods.
Chief Engineer Koji Sato shared that the two teams, design and engineering, worked on the different issues that arose, and thus were able to overcome each of them. Sato added that it feels as if the team did not just preserve the spirit of the original design but also achieve something even greater.
A look at the LC 500 clearly shows that the cooperation of the design and engineering teams was a success. One reason is that it is easy to see that a large part of the original design principle of the LF-LC is in the LC 500. The production model has the visual dynamics, and even the proportions and important design components present in the concept car.