Lexus’ LF-C2 concept, essentially a convertible version of the RC coupe, turned out to be one of the star attractions of last week’s 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show but sadly it appears there are no plans to put the stunning concept into production. The concept’s designer Yasuo Kajino told us that it was just a design study, and now a new report is out backing that claim.
According to Motor Trend, the RC was originally conceived as both a coupe and convertible in its formative years (one of the reasons for the RC’s substantial weight is due to additional reinforcements borrowed from the old IS Convertible), but since then plans for the convertible bodystyle have been dropped. Convertibles only account for about one percent of new vehicle sales in the U.S., so understandably Lexus has chosen to focus on more popular segments, namely, the segment for large crossovers with third-row seats.
Yes, Lexus’ on again/off again TX crossover appears to be back on, this time based on a new rear-wheel-drive platform being developed for the next-generation LS and the production LF-LC. The rear-wheel-drive basis would make the new crossover more of a rival for the likes of the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX80 as well as Cadillac’s upcoming crossover with third-row seats.
Lexus was previously thought to be going with a stretched version of its next-generation RX but reportedly decided against this. Apparently the new RX’s wheelbase was never designed to be stretched, despite it being twinned with the latest Toyota Highlander, which does come with third-row seats.
The introduction of the new Lexus crossover is tipped for the 2018 model year. Before then, we should be seeing the new LS and possibly the production LF-LC, the latter of which may end up reviving the SC badge. We'll also be getting new IS 200t and RC 200t models powered by Lexus' turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine debuting in the NX 200t.