Autocar is reporting that a coupe based on the Lexus LF-CC has been approved for production:
First seen at the Paris show in September this year, the LF-CC is expected to morph into a showroom model by 2015.
Autocar understands that a senior Lexus engineer has been assigned to the project and serious work will start on the production engineering at the beginning of 2013.
The new sports model is likely to come in both cabrio and fixed-head forms and is thought to be based on the same rear-drive platform as the new IS and GS models, probably using the IS’s shorter wheelbase and the GS’s wider track.
This echoes details shared by Lexus International president Kiyotaka Ise in a news.com.au interview last month, although Ise-san did suggest that this new coupe would be released by 2014, not 2015. When released, it’s expected that the model will be named the Lexus RC.
Also mentioned is Lexus’s possible compact crossover:
The source also admitted that the company was seriously studying building a compact SUV similar in concept to Land Rover’s Evoque. However, the idea was ‘still being considered’ mainly because of the doubts that such a model would fit in with Lexus’s future direction.
While surprising that Lexus has yet to release a compact crossover, it’s hard to believe that the delay is due to the model being a poor fit — SUVs are not about to disappear from the lineup, and a smaller, sportier crossover is a natural extension of Lexus’s performance direction.
(More likely, the issue is cannibalizing sales of the more-expensive RX, which is the best selling Lexus model in the world.)