Take a gander at the Lexus LF-LC head-on and one of the first things to grab your attention is its enormous hourglass grill. That grill's shape, which Lexus refers to as its "spindle grill" motif, has polarized opinions in the automotive press and among automotive enthusiasts. Some have suggested it's a face only Pac-Man's mother could love. But like it or not, it appears to be staying a while in the Lexus family lineup. You can see other versions of this pronounced proboscis on the Lexus GS high-performance sedan and other Lexus models rolling out in 2012.
Lexus calls the spindle grill a "resolute look" that embodies the Lexus design philosophy the company has labeled L-finesse.
The company states on its Web site: "L-finesse is the design philosophy for Lexus, unifying core messages yet expressing the identity and character of each model - while the spindle grille we see today is clearly a pure incarnation of L-finesse, it is also a starting point. This is a new beginning -- and the evolution continues" [source: Lexus].
To ensure there was cohesiveness to all the design elements inside and out on the concept car, Lexus designers created a new form language, or design code to use amongst themselves, called "fluid precision design." With it, designers were able to integrate the very different design themes of high-tech gadgetry and nature-inspired shapes.
For their efforts, the designers of the LF-LC were honored by a jury of their automotive design peers, who awarded the LF-LC an Eyes on Design Award for Design Excellence.
The LF-LC's headlights -- always a prime focal point through which to convey a car's personality -- both feature tri-beam HID-style projector beam lamps, augmented by artfully arranged LEDs. The running light LEDs are purposefully oriented to subtly form the shape of a tilted letter "L" on either side. The vertically aligned fog lamp LEDs are arranged in a unique dot-matrix pattern.
Swinging around to the side to view the car in profile, the LF-LC's athletic intent becomes markedly more apparent. Its long hood and curvy fender arches form ribbons of sculptural sheet metal that showcase a panoramic glass-encased passenger cabin.
The rear of the car continues with the strong graphical theme, with holographic tail lights and a set of rear fog lights that mirror the pattern at the car's front. Whereas many car cabooses appear to be a design afterthought, the LF-LC's hind quarters look to be every bit as carefully wrought as the front.
Certain touches, like the overall curvaceousness, hint at something European -- the design firm Pininfarina comes to mind. But the LF-LC was penned in-house, developed at the Lexus Calty design studio in California.
As you might have guessed, Lexus didn't leave all the eye candy of the LF-LC on the outside. To see how sumptuous this concept's interior is, continue to the next page.