• Sep 9th 2009 at 7:26PM
  • 74
Lexus LF-Ch Concept - Click above for a high-res image gallery

European consumers enjoy a segment those of us in the States have never warmed up to: premium compact cars. But in recent years, one luxury marque has been noticeably absent from the throngs of A3s, 1 Series and B-Classes populating the congested roads across the pond. Lexus hopes to rectify that situation next year, and its first foray into the segment will be based on this, the LF-Ch concept.

As we pointed out earlier today, the exterior and interior design continues to adhere to the automaker's L-finesse design philosophy, with swoops, creases and a taut organic shape that's slowly making its way onto production models. A few elements we failed to mention are the blacked-out B-pillars, integrated spoiler and rear door handles that fit within the C-pillar's trim. The theme carries over inside, with a set of concave passenger compartments, aluminum and wood trim, ambient lighting in the headliner and Lexus' Remote Touch controls (originally seen on the RX 450h), along with iPhone docks for the rear seat passengers.

Unfortunately, Lexus isn't releasing details on the LF-Ch's powertrain, only saying that the system is a "full hybrid" and can be driven exclusively in EV mode. However, when the LF-Ch makes it to production next year, expect the same engine that powers the HS 250h to be fitted to the compact hatch, complete with a six-speed automatic transmission and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

We'll be on hand for live impressions of the LF-Ch from the Frankfurt Motor Show in less than a week, but in the meantime, get all the details in the press release below the fold, along with a host of new images in the gallery below.


01-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 01-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 02-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 03-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 04-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 05-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 06-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 07-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 08-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 09-lexus-lf-ch-concept-high
  • 01-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 02-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 03-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 04-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 05-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 06-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 07-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 08-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low
  • 09-lexus-lf-ch-concept-low




PRESS RELEASE

LEXUS PRESENTS THE LF-Ch CONCEPT

World debut for new hybrid power compact concept car at Frankfurt
  • Concept proposing the first Lexus full hybrid for the European premium compact segment
  • Advanced interior design with asymmetric dashboard and Remote Touch controls
  • Blacked-out B-pillars and concealed rear door handles create the look of a pillarless coupé
  • L-finesse exterior styling with powerful surfacing and hand-sculpted details
    World debut at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show
Making its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show, the Lexus LF-Ch full hybrid concept is Lexus's first approach to the competitive European premium compact segment.

It reflects the growing demand for cars that are smaller and more fuel and CO2 efficient, but with no compromise in levels of refinement and driving pleasure. By next year the compact segment is expected to claim the largest share of the European premium car market.

The LF-Ch concept reaffirms Lexus's commitment to Europe, combining compact dimensions, stylish five-door, full hybrid technology and low emissions to satisfy the most demanding customer requirements and to appeal to a new, younger generation of customers.

Exterior design
The LF-Ch concept presents a powerful evolution of Lexus's L-finesse design philosophy. Rooted in Japanese culture, L-finesse is expressed in every aspect of the car, not only in the visual harmony between the interior and exterior design, but also in the combination of leading-edge engineering and technology with a user-friendly simplicity of function.

The designers focused on the careful juxtaposition of opposing major and minor elements. Intriguing contrasts are created between the powerful, machine-like overall surfacing of the bodywork and the painstaking detail of even the smallest elements, creating a synergy between technologically driven design and a fluid, hand-sculpted quality.

A new, bolder Lexus grille design sits above a deep, full-width bumper and air dam, giving a perfect balance of precision and power. The sharply sculpted, aerodynamic front wings overlap the front bumper to create deep, front brake-cooling air intakes and give the LF-Ch a powerful and purposeful wide-track stance.

In profile, the tapered side glazing, a muscular, rising beltline and a sharply truncated rear overhang project the car's premium compact character. The steeply raked windscreen, long flowing roofline, blacked-out B-pillars and rear doorhandles integrated in the C-pillar window trim combine to give the appearance of a sporting pillarless coupe.

At the rear the trailing edge of the roof overhangs the rear window to create an integrated rear spoiler. The tailgate section has a pronounced step, which flows from the muscular wheelarches and is anchored by the wraparound tail lamp design. Aerodynamic detailing of the lower bumper smoothes airflow from beneath the car and feeds ventilation to the rear brakes.

Subtle finishing touches include discreet Lexus hybrid blue badging and sharply tapering chrome mouldings. The harmonious synergy of the design is further expressed in the contrasting, lively yellow exterior finish and calming blue interior illumination.

Interior design
The principles of L-finesse are carried through to the interior where again a powerful simplicity harmonises with hand-crafted quality in the detailing to create a calm, efficient and elegant design.

The cabin features a strongly asymmetric dashboard that is firmly driver-focused with outstanding ergonomics. The driver's needs are seamlessly anticipated in several surprising elements, for example, when the car is started a greeting is presented on the navigation screen and an ambient lighting pattern appears in the headliner, creating a sophisticated lounge feel.

Extensive use of semi-aniline leather, polished aluminium, wood and soft-touch materials reinforces the theme of harmonious contrast in the dashboard, door panels and seating. The design of the seats is inspired by high quality furniture, with exposed metal frames, lightweight leather and grained black wood used in inter-related layers, shaped to reflect the intrinsic nature of each material used.

The driving position is low and well-supported, with a wide-grip steering wheel with paddle shift controls and an instrument binnacle housing large twin dials embellished with a turbine motif.

To help keep the driver's focus on the road ahead, distracting instrumentation and switchgear has been kept to a minimum by using Lexus Remote Touch controls, as first seen in the new RX 450h. Using a multi-information display on top of the dashboard, Remote Touch works like a computer mouse, letting the driver access control and customise a range of information, entertainment and vehicle set-up programmes.

As with every Lexus, hospitality is at the heart of the ownership experience. To this end, the LF-Ch's comprehensive on-board entertainment package includes iPhone docking for rear seat passengers.

Powertrain and driving performance
Allied to a wide track, long wheelbase and low centre of gravity, the LF-Ch's full hybrid powertrain is engineered to deliver all the performance customers expect from a premium compact hatchback, while at the same time returning low fuel consumption, CO2 and NOx emissions.

With the benefit of the full hybrid technology of Lexus Hybrid drive, the car can be driven in a fully electric EV mode, a power option that is not available to drivers of mild hybrids. This allows for urban driving with minimal noise and zero emissions.

Lexus LF-Ch Concept dimensions

Overall length: 4,300
Overall width: 1,790
Overall height: 1,400
Wheelbase: 2,600
Tyres (front and rear): 225/35R20


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 74 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like it! Heres to hoping that it does not end up being a souless lump like the Is250.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Look, it's what happens when a Lexus humps a Toyota Matrix!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It looks like it's receiving a frontal wedgie.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lexus, if you're reading this please halt all production of all your vehicles, and fire all your designers, marketing executives, and project managers because they all suck. Aside from that they make entirely well made and very reliable vehicles. Just calling it how I see it. Thanks for your time.
      • 6 Years Ago


      i call it the "shark look" inlcuding gill slits and snout...
      • 6 Years Ago
      That front is too overdone, and the side body panels are typical Toyota snooze. I'm noticing a trend with imports going crazy on the front ends, and then boring out the rest of the car. This design doesn't flow. Like most Toyotas, there's a nice balanced silhouette that is ruined by details.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Blink factor is not always appreciated in Europe!?!?!

      http://www.carnorama.com
      • 6 Years Ago
      What platform will this be built on? The car looks fast and fun, but I'm guessing it'll be a hybrid Corolla or similar underneath. The overhangs look like a front-drive car, and furthermore the chassis will have to prioritize compactness of suspension and drivetrain bits to make room for things like batteries. I'm guessing this will have a strut suspension up front, front-drive only, and possibly even a torsion beam rear suspension (although perhaps also a compact multi-link).

      What a waste of a good exterior if so.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The front says my designers enjoy various kinds of drugs, the wheels say they sell drugs, and my rear says that I'm based on the matrix!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't be the only one who thinks that front end looks like the Grinch...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think it looks like Falcor
      • 6 Years Ago
      How come all other Toyota Hybrids have CVT's and this has a 6-speed automatic? Or will there be a non-hybrid version?
      • 6 Years Ago
      OMG Toyota hired the designers of the Honda Accord Crosstour!
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X