Lexus wants to take on the Porsche 911 Turbo with the new LF-LC coupe

Article by Anita Panait, on July 18, 2012

Toyota has given the go-signal for the development of the Lexus LF-LC coupe concept that caught the eyes of the driving public at the Detroit auto show in January 2012. In order to allow Lexus reclaim the crown as the best-selling luxury brand in the United States, Toyota has embarked on a mission to make the marque sportier and more attractive to potential buyers.

Executives at Toyota had said in January that there was no plan to develop the 2+2 sports coupe, designed at its Calty studio in Newport Beach, Calif., for production. However, due to overwhelming reception on the LF-LC, Lexus insiders say that the sports coupe concept may see the production lines sooner.

Dealers, meanwhile, expect the LF-LC production version to arrive at their showrooms within three years. Following the Detroit auto show in January, Toyota registered the trademark for LF-LC in February, due to interest shown by dealers and distributors. The LF-LC was not Toyota’s first attempt to give Lexus more flash as the honour was already claimed by the LFA V-10 supercar, but the carmaker is building only 500 units worldwide.

According to company insiders, a production version of the LF-LC would be far more advanced in technology than the heavy SC 430 coupe that hit cul-de-sac in 2010. Insiders added that the LF-LC would be more of a lighter version of the LFA than a traditional coupe. The production version of the LF-LC would be made to target the Porsche 911 Turbo and Aston Martin Vantage, both of which are priced around the $120,000 mark.

Dealers for Lexus recently received crystal sculptures with a 3-D laser rendering of the LF-LC etched inside the crystal. Inscribed on the crystal were the words, "2012 GS Challenge ... 27,500 Sales," implying that if a dealer hit the sales target for the GS mid-sized sedan, he would be rewarded with the LF-LC coupe.

With the latest release of the 911 Turbo and Turbo S, Porsche is revealing the top vehicles of the 911 roster based on active performance and technology. Four decades after the launch of the first prototype of the Turbo, the Porsche 911 Turbo is setting a new standard of what is possible in a sports vehicle fit for daily use.

For four decades now, the selling factor of the 911 Turbo has been the unique distribution of its abilities from dynamic efficiency and performance, practicality and exclusivity, and technology and tradition. The improvement of widely used systems and the introduction of modern dynamic systems are expanding these features in a way that have placed the Turbo models one step higher in all aspects.

For instance, the lap time of the latest Porsche 911 Turbo S at the Nürburgring North Loop was cut down to under 7:30 minutes – using only basic production wheels. This propels them into a world of active performance that was previously solely dedicated for sports vehicles.

Moreover, the two latest top variants make a strong statement about their capacity. The distinct broadly flared back fenders of the latest 911 Turbo series are wider by 28 mm compared to the 911 Carrera 4 models - a surface level that almost touches the ground stretches out from the C-pillar to the outer side of the vehicle.

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