Lexus' attempt to topple BMW's dominance in sporty luxury cars with the IS line never produced the fulsome returns the company once envisioned. With the Lexus LF-CC concept, shown above and to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show in two weeks, Lexus will try, try again, this time with a sharper blade.
Building on the forms that made the LF-LC one of the best concepts unveiled this year, Lexus says the LF-CC presages the look of its entry-level rear-wheel-drive sedan. While the Predator grille hasn't worked well on every model, the past few introductions -- including the full-size LS -- has shown Lexus' designers getting more adept in their new language. If the current IS looks lost in the parking lot, the new IS should stand out nicely.
Lexus also provided a hint of the new model's power, saying the concept would show off a new hybrid drive system featuring a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that will arrive on a Lexus in short order. Since it's the 21st century, Lexus didn't reveal how much horsepower the system could generate, but did boast fuel efficiency numbers that could let said model hit 70 mpg. The race for fuel economy bragging rights will be an odd one, like starting the Indy 500 with the call "gentlemen, stop your engines."