Lexus was at the New York Auto Show recently with the LF-Gh, a GT hybrid concept car.
The concept has been conceived as a redefinition of the luxury grand tourer, with a "clean sheet of paper" approach to design. In the process, Lexus has refined and evolved its L-finesses design philosophy - established since 2001 - with a bolder and more distinctive projection of what a premium segment model could become. As a result, original ideas included in the new concept may migrate to future Lexus production models.
The LF-Gh sees Lexus take the idea of the grand tourer saloon a step further. It has been designed as a high-performance concept that can carry passengers in comfort over long distances. It combines presence and emotional appeal with functionality, offering enhanced creature comforts and load space big enough to carry luggage for an extended trip.
The car's bold, wide stance reflects its strong dynamic performance. Built on an agile, rear-wheel drive platform, it offers generous interior space for four occupants within a distinctive, long greenhouse design. The LED lighting is a clue to the range and scope of new materials, electronics and dynamic systems incorporated in the LF-Gh.
The front end design incorporates a spindle-shaped grille that projects a resolute look, while also contributing to efficient aerodynamics and radiator and brake duct operation. It is a key feature that will be inherited by future Lexus models.
Every line of the body is about both form and function: for example, air flows in through the front inlets next to the vertically arranged LED fog lamps, and exits through similar slim outlets at the rear that follow the curve of the tail lamps. The concept also explores how traditional features such as door mirrors and handles can be minimised to enhance overall sleekness and improve aerodynamics.
A very deep front bumper adds to the sense of movement and a low centre of gravity, while the raised bonnet line implies strong performance potential. The twin-spoke 20-inch wheels further add to the sense of driving appeal.
The concept's increased width gave the designers an expansive canvas on which to create distinctive wraparound LED tail lamps, with intricate reflectors set behind all-red lenses. Judicious use of slim chrome trim elements in the bumper, exhaust and diffuser adds subtle quality touches.
The LED headlamps and independent L-shaped LED daytime running lights ensure the LF-Gh has a "face" like no other car on the road.
On the inside, the LF-Gh is equipped with a future Lexus interior, in which every detail has been newly scrutinised to create an environment that is driver-orientated. The driver's zone has a high-visibility instrument panel and a centre console that is intuitive to use. A new analogue clock with a three-dimensional face serves as a focal point for the cabin and represents another shift in Lexus's design philosophy. The space is finished in high-quality materials with finely honed detailing, designed to respond to the demands of customers who know and appreciate true quality.
Unsurprisingly for hybrid stalwarts Lexus, the LF-Gh sports a hybrid powertrain - denoted by its Blue LED Lexus Hybrid Drive badges in the front grille and on the boot lid. The way in which the sculpted tailpipes blend with the rear valance minimise the visual impact of the exhaust system, suggesting that the flow of exhaust gases will be substantially reduced. Overall, the concept's design supports engineering that changes current notions of power, efficiency, safety and environmental consideration in a luxury car.