Unlike many thinly-disguised, near-production cars moonlighting as concepts, the 2012 Lexus LF-LC Concept is exactly that. Don’t expect to see the futuristic hybrid, unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, in a Lexus dealership any time soon.

Styled by designers at Lexus’ Calty studio in Newport Beach, California, the LF-LC “blends both high technology and organic shapes to connect the driver to the machine.” Designers were actually encouraged by Lexus’ headquarters in Japan to begin with a blank sheet of paper, although we can’t help but see the resemblance to the Lexus LFA.

While the LF-LC itself isn’t going to be produced, expect to see elements of design from the car in future Lexus models. In fact, the style of the LF-LC’s grille has already been used on the 2013 Lexus GS 350.

Since the concept isn’t headed towards production, Toyota was deliberately vague about its powertrain, saying only that the car was a hybrid. While we’ve traditionally associated hybrids with increased fuel economy, the LF-LC reminds us that hybrids can also be built to enhance performance.

Inside, the LF-LC’s driver-centric interior is both futuristic and functional. Switches and knobs are replaced by touchscreen controls on a pair of 12.3-inch LCD screens, in order to minimize driver distraction. Wood and leather abound, reminding us that what defines luxury today will likely define it two decades from now as well.

While you won’t see the LF-LC in the Lexus product catalog, you will see it makes the rounds at auto shows in the coming year.


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