When Lexus unveiled the LF-C2 concept at the LA Auto Show last week, it did two things: it previewed the direction in which the Japanese luxury automaker's design department was looking for the immediate future, and it previewed a cabrio version of the RC coupe (to replace the IS Convertible) on the other. But the latter, according to new reports, was ruled out before the concept ever took the stage.
Although the prospect of a convertible version was engineered right into the RC coupe's chassis, Motor Trend reports that plans to put such a vehicle into production were met with hostility by Lexus dealers, who were offered a two-door convertible instead of the three-row crossover they've been lobbying for.
As a result – and with a finite amount of development bucks on hand – Lexus is reportedly listening to its dealers, axing the RC Convertible program and proceeding instead with a seven-seat crossover. Plans to stretch the RX were reportedly ruled out, so Toyota is reportedly proceeding instead with a new model to be based on the LS sedan. The new model would take aim at the likes of the Mercedes GL, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60 when it arrives in three years as a 2018 model.
It's not the first time we've seen Toyota listen to dealers asking for a high-end people-mover: Earlier this year, dealers in Japan asked the automaker for a luxed-out minivan, prompting it to build the Esquire van just for the Japanese Domestic Market.