Concepts come and concepts go; some that seem production-ready never see the light of day while less production-worthy models hit showrooms almost immediately. The former seems to be the case for the LF-C2, if a report from MotorTrend proves to be accurate.
According to the report, the LF-C2 concept is not heading to production, and that decision was made long before it ever reached the LA Auto Show floor earlier this month. The report goes on to specify that it was Lexus’ dealerships that rose up and killed the possibility of the LF-C2 (AKA the RC Convertible) ever hitting the production line.
The reason behind the uprising? Well, apparently Lexus dealers are screaming for a three-row crossover to replace the aging and slow-selling GX and compete with the hot-selling Mercedes GL-Class and Audi Q7. So, Lexus has indefinitely shelved the RC Convertible and is now focusing solely on creating said crossover, which will likely be based on the LS platform.
So why is Lexus buckling under the pressure of its dealer network? Well, at the next stop light you come to, count the number of crossovers surrounding you and compare that to the number of convertibles you see. That’s right, while crossovers continue to dominate sales, convertibles make up just about one percent of total automobile sales.
There is, however, a grain of salt to be taken with this report. Lexus built the RC specifically to be a convertible at some point, which resulted in slapping the center section of the IS Convertible into the RC’s design and increasing its weight. The fact that this will be all for nothing likely doesn’t sit well with the design and engineering team that worked so hard to compensate for the extra weight.
My thoughts on this are that Lexus will indeed set the RC Convertible aside for now and use the extra time to develop its precious three-row SUV. Once the SUV is on the market — likely in the 2018 model year — expect to see the RC Convertible hit dealers shortly after. Then everyone’s happy, including the one percent that just has to have a convertible.