This could be super cool.
Just a few short days ago, we got wind of a rumor suggesting that Lexus could be working on a badge-engineered Toyota GR 86 for its own lineup. It seems a bit unusual to suggest that a luxury brand like Lexus could pinch a small, budget-friendly sports car from its less luxury-focused big brother, but with the right enhancements, it would surely be pretty cool. Still, we hear rumors like this all the time, and some are totally fabricated, but we now have proof that the Lexus LC could soon have a baby brother. Spy shots from Japan show the latest 86 sporting the 'Spindle' grille that is a Lexus signature design flourish.
It's worth remembering that this sort of thing isn't all that out of sorts for Lexus when you think about it - the Lexus LX is a more luxurious version of the Toyota Land Cruiser. But back to the Lexus sports car. According to the rumor, the 2.4-liter Boxer engine that Subaru built for the BRZ and GR 86 would be retained but could gain an electric motor for a mild-hybrid drivetrain. Alternatively, that electric motor could become part of a proper plug-in hybrid system, but what's for sure is that the Lexus version would have to be more powerful to be seen as better than the regular Toyota offering.
As for its name, it could be called the UC (Urban Coupe), in line with the naming convention used for other models like the RC (Radical Coupe) and LC (Luxury Coupe). However, there would have to be more changes than just a bump in power and a new grille to truly make this a Lexus product. We suspect that the manual gearbox would be swapped out for a relaxing auto and the suspension would be softer to suit the Lexus customer base's preferences. More leather and luxury materials would feature too, and the price would thus swell. With these spy shots all but confirming that earlier rumor, expect to hear more on this all-new Lexus offering very soon.