Lexus finally made the 2012 LF-LC a reality by revealing the production LC 500 at last month's Detroit auto show. Not a full two months later, the smooth, curvy V8-powered 2+2 will get a sibling. Lexus will introduce the LC 500h, a hybrid version of the sporty two-door, at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
When it introduced the LC 500 in Detroit, Lexus made clear that the new flagship coupe marked a new beginning for Toyota's luxury brand. We'll forgive you if you roll your eyes at the all-too-familiar buzzwords, like "passion" and "emotion," that fill Lexus' description of that new direction, but we think a look at the three-dimensional curves and sharp cuts of the car itself provides a concise summary of exactly where Lexus is headed.
"Everyone, engineers included, wanted to make this car as close as possible to the [LF-LC] design concept, with the most dynamic driving performance since LFA," Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said in a prepared statement at the car's debut. "Thanks to chief engineer Sato, and chief designer Mori, the teams worked as one, and what they created is truly amazing. I can personally assure you, it is very sugoi … or as you say here in the States, awesome!"
The standard LC 500 relies on a 467-hp V8 to make good on Toyota's promise of "sugoi," and while that power plant will definitely up the heart rate of many a driver, there are bound to be some potential buyers that want more efficiency than a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 can offer. Those folks should mark March 1 on their calendars because that first press day of the Geneva Motor Show is when the LC 500h will make its world debut.
In announcing the debut, Lexus says that the LC 500h will rely on the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, a next-generation hybrid powertrain. It's not yet revealing the specifics of that drive system but promises it will mix efficiency with performance and driving thrills fitting of a car with the LC 500's looks.
The LC 500h will be joined in Geneva by the LF-FC concept car first revealed at last year's Tokyo Motor Show. That concept previews the design of a future flagship sedan that promises to be every bit as sleek and stylish as the LC 500 coupe. It also highlights an AWD fuel cell system and gesture-controlled human-machine interface.
Gizmag will be on the floor of Geneva's Palexpo starting March 1 and will bring you the latest from Lexus and all the other players at the show.