LOS ANGELES -- The wild Lexus LF-LC coupe concept that wowed visitors at the Detroit auto show is on track for development, signaling a new direction for a brand that has fallen from first to third in the U.S. luxury sales rankings.
Toyota is on a mission to make Lexus sportier and more compelling to potential buyers -- and it starts with the LF-LC, which was designed at Toyota's Calty studio in Newport Beach, Calif.
Company executives said in January that the flashy 2+2 sports coupe was not planned for production. But several Lexus insiders now say the overwhelming reaction means it almost certainly will come to market.
Dealers could see the coupe in their showrooms within three years.
Toyota registered the trademark for LF-LC in February, after the Detroit show.
"There has been a lot of interest from dealers and distributors," a Lexus official said.
The LFA V-10 supercar was a first step in the effort to give Lexus more flash, but only 500 are being built worldwide. Company insiders have said that a production version of the LF-LC would be more advanced technologically than the dowdy, heavy SC 430 coupe that was killed in 2010 -- more of an LFA "lite" than a traditional coupe.
It also would be targeted further upscale, against the Porsche 911 Turbo and Aston Martin Vantage, both of which tickle the $120,000 mark.