You can set your watch by Lexus. Every year, at pretty much every major motor show, the company wheels out a concept car that it reckons provides the biggest clue as to what its cars will look like in the future. This time, at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, it's the turn of the Lexus LF-CC.
Like the company's previous concepts, the LF-CC shows off Lexus's so-called L-finesse design language, which will inspire the styling of its future D-segment compact executive cars. That means it's blessed with a gorgeous metal-finished, spindle-shaped grille, three-LED projector headlamps units set between the upper and lower wing surfaces and separate daytime running lights integrated into the bumper.
The design is just as aggressive in profile, with the majority of the weight seemingly positioned above the rear wheels, giving the impression the LF-CC is ready to spring into action at the merest hint of a tickle from the accelerator pedal.
Concept car interiors are usually more fantastical than their exteriors and the LF-CC's is no different. It's teeming with technology including a screen that serves as the instrument binnacle, another that acts as the sat-nav, and a third touch-sensitive unit that sweeps down between the seats, providing control of the car's climate control functions. The whole thing is beautifully implemented and looks like something from the future.
The car's propulsion system is equally 21st century. The LF-CC is designed to use Lexus' new 2.5-litre four-cylinder DOHC atkinson cycle direct injection petrol engine, a high-output electric motor and a set of batteries. Oddly, it's chosen to use old-school nickel-metal hydride cells rather than the more modern lithium-ion variety, but the company is still targeting CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km.
The LF-CC's power and performance figures haven't been revealed, and we're not expecting it to be the last word in performance (it uses an eco-oriented, fun-sapping CVT gearbox) but Lexus says the system is capable of producing 2bhp per gramme of CO2 emitted, so expect at least 200bhp.
Sadly, the LF-CC will never see the light of day. At best it'll inspire the next generation of Lexus IS compact executive cars. At worst, it'll inspire yet another Lexus concept at yet another motor show. Here's hoping it's the former.