Lexus LF-LC May Succeed LFA Details:
- LFA chief engineer goes on record to endorse LF-LC as replacement for Lexus LFA
- LF-LC Concept uses 500-horsepower hybrid powertrain
- Carbon fiber reinforced plastic used throughout LF-LC Concept chassis
- New Lexus F model debut scheduled for Detroit Auto Show in January
Nearly one year after the final LFA supercar of a 500-unit run rolled off the assembly line, word has come out that Lexus is seriously thinking about a follow up. What could possibly fill the sizable shoes of a 550 horsepower, V-10 powered, carbon fiber festooned halo sports car? A hybrid, apparently.
British website Autocar reportedly spoke to Haruhiko Tanahashi, chief engineer on the LFA project for Lexus, who has gone on record to say he's expecting a successor to the brand's first supercar and hopes it will be based on the LF-LC, the coupe concept that debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The story additionally pointed out Mark Templin, managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and executive vice president of Lexus International, also has suggested in the past an LFA replacement is in the cards - though not specifically the LF-LC.
If Tanahashi-san has his way, the next Lexus supercar will likely be another FR two-door coupe, powered this time not by a V-10 but the decidedly less sexy Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive from the concept. This hybrid system features a combustion engine mated to an advanced high-energy battery pack; combined, the LF-LC concept's gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain develops in the neighborhood of 500hp.
Expect design cues to come from the red and blue concept exercises currently working the auto show circuit. Don't be surprised to see the maw house one spectacular spindle grille, and the car's lines to convey the same sort of sharp, taught athleticism as the LFA. The cabin looks to house some pretty cutting-edge tech, too, as well as comfort, opulence and organic shapes.
You can probably also bet there will be a fair amount of carbon fiber infused into whatever follows the LFA, considering how much it flossed; as we've seen with many other range topping sports cars, CFRP is now par for the course in chassis design.
Whichever direction planners at Lexus decide to go, they've got a wealth of successful expertise behind them, from mass-producing hybrid econo-boxes to engineering elite, pure exhilaration driving machines. Sources speculated as far back as March of this year that the LF-LC is already in production, but will it be a supercar or something less? And does it have anything to do with Lexus's vague threat to unleash its next F model at the 2014 NAIAS, January 14 to 27? Grab some popcorn and stay tuned - this should be good.