Compared to its German rivals the Lexus product portfolio doesn’t have much depth and lacks any vehicles with true sex appeal, though that’s about to change says marketing boss Brian Bolain.
When asked about the timing of the close rollout of two coupe concepts, the LF-CC and LF-LC, Bolain responded that the focus on two-doors is, “very intentional,” admitting that right now the company sees its absence in those segments as, “our biggest deficiency.”
While Bolain extolls the virtues of the Lexus brand, ranging from everything to quality and reliability, to customer service and luxuriously appointed interiors, he admits that two areas Lexus is currently lacking in are design and performance. “How do you quickly add an emotional element to a brand,” he asks? “With coupes.”
Commenting that since the SC was retired in 2010, apart from the lofty and limited LFA, Lexus has no coupe in its lineup. “We definitely have a void there today,” he says, commenting that without such a car (or cars) it’s “hard to be taken seriously from a performance perspective.”
Pointing towards the future, Bolain highlights the LF-CC and the LF-LC Concepts, the former a strong indication of the next-generation IS, as well as new coupe model that could wear the RC badge. As for the latter, if approved for production (which it’s all but certain to), it would sit at the upper scale of the Lexus brand, as a serious luxury and performance machine. In fact, Lexus recently announced it would be powered by a “next-generation” hybrid drivetrain capable of producing 500 hp.
How Lexus plans to achieve that output remains a mystery though the next-gen hybrid system could be one that finally makes the switch to more advanced lithium-ion technology, which produces more power from a smaller and lighter package. Bolain confirmed that the LF-LC isn’t yet confirmed for production, though the, “outcry has been tremendous.” Bolain also says that while Lexus has, “no timeline for the introduction of lithium ion,” the brand hopes to have it confirmed for when (and if) the LF-LC coupe makes it into production.
Two-door planning at Lexus does, however, stop with these two cars says Bolain. When asked if the Toyota luxury brand might consider an additional model, perhaps to compete with cars like the Mercedes SLK or BMW Z4, he commented that Lexus has no plans to, “flood the market with coupes.” If the LF-CC and LF-LC both make it to production, he says, “we’ve got good coverage.”