Lexus LF-LC production model could fill an important gap in Australia, says local chief
The long-rumoured production version of the Lexus LF-LC concept car may not have been confirmed just yet, but the Japanese brand needs a flagship like that, according to Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley.
Speaking with CarAdvice this week, Hanley said there has been plenty of interest in a high-end Lexus sports-luxury coupe following the LF-LC concept that debuted in 2012, firstly as a red coupe at the Detroit show, then in Australia at the final local motor show in a blue hue.
“We did a great job launching the concept car in front of the Opera House, the blue one,” said Hanley, before going on to explain the perceived importance of such a car that would rival the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
“First of all, there’s no plan to launch that anytime soon. But what we can say about that concept car is Lexus’ ability to bring concept to reality is pretty good now,” he said.
“I think it is a really important car if we can do it. There is certainly a market there, bearing in mind it is a concept car so it’s difficult for me to elaborate beyond the concept car except to say, if it were to become available we would take it tomorrow,” he asserted.
“Because it engenders another conversation about Lexus, the advancements in our products and our product offerings. It’s kind of in the trend of a product offering now that’s hitting some highs.”
International reports suggest the car is coming, probably in 2016, and that it could be powered by a new high-tech V8 petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. Indeed, we’ve reported that it is due to be produced in 2016, as a follow-up to the RC Coupe.
While Hanley didn’t divulge any specifics, he made it clear that there’s a calling for a luxury flagship, and preferably one that can go topless.
“For us the LF-LC concept or a convertible with some sort of performance is some sort of car we’d love to get,” he said.
“I think there is a market for convertibles in Australia. Performance convertibles,” he said.
Lexus has a history of offering convertibles that don’t necessarily live up to that name. The SC430 wasn’t one that competitors clambered to catch up with, while the defunct IS250C convertible model never had the performance aspect nailed.
“It’s got to be a performance convertible. It’s got to be a fast car, to be truthful.
“I think a convertible version would work in our market. It’s not going to be huge sales but I think it would work.
“If you’re asking me if I’d like a great performance convertible. Then the answer is yes.”