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The wild Lexus LF-LC coupe concept that wowed visitors at the Detroit auto show is on track for development, signaling a new direction for a brand that has fallen from first to third in the U.S. luxury sales rankings.
Toyota is on a mission to make Lexus sportier and more compelling to potential buyers–and it starts with the LF-LC, which was designed at Toyota’s Calty studio in Newport Beach, Calif.
Company executives said in January that the flashy 2+2 sports coupe was not planned for production. But several Lexus insiders now say the overwhelming reaction means it almost certainly will come to market.
Lexus dealers recently were sent 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.” The underlying message: Hit the sales target for the mid-sized sedan and get the cool coupe.
But the Lexus source said the LF-LC probably would be produced even if dealers don’t hit the GS sales target.
Lexus’ 11-year reign as the best-selling luxury brand in the United States ended last year as it slipped behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Lexus continued to trail BMW and Mercedes in the first half of this year.