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Detroit show: Lexus unveils LF-1 crossover concept

No limits: The Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept shows a crossover SUV similar in size to the Toyota LandCruiser-based LX570.

Angular LF-1 Limitless concept previews flagship crossover for Lexus brand


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16 Jan 2018

LEXUS has lifted the lid on its LF-1 Limitless concept, with the wild-looking SUV previewing a “flagship crossover” for the Japanese manufacturer.

Revealed at the Detroit motor show overnight, the LF-1 Limitless cuts a striking figure with a conspicuous, angular design befitting of a Lexus concept vehicle.

The LF-1 Limitless is designed to combine high performance and opulent luxury, with autonomous capability and the possibility of catering to a diverse range of lifestyles.

Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson said the chances of the LF-1 Limitless making it to production would depend on the interest it generates as a concept.

“Once we gauge consumer interest and obviously interest from media, then we will start to plan for the future,” he said.

“There is definitely an opportunity in the marketplace we have identified above RX to complement LX in the marketplace.”

When asked if Lexus Australia was keen to bring a production version Down Under, Mr Thompson said: “Absolutely. It’s a pretty good-looking car. I think it will complement our range.”

Designed by Toyota’s Calty design studio in southern California, the LF-1 Limitless’ design is based on the concept of fusing the shapes of molten metal and the sharp edges of a katana.

From the front, the eyes are immediately drawn to the aggressive three-dimensional spindle grille now synonymous with Lexus, pinched by the LED headlight signature that runs along the line of the bonnet and down towards the front of the wheelarches.

In profile, the design is underscored by a long bonnet, 22-inch wheels and a sloped, coupe-like rear end, with creases running through the bodywork aiding the angular look of the concept.

At the rear, the LF-1 Limitless features a split rear roof spoiler, a long, flowing tail-light signature that runs along the length of the tailgate and a subtle diffuser around the rear apron.

The rear spoiler is intersected by a pane of glass, which helps provide an uninterrupted view for passengers from the rear window to the panoramic glass roof above the cabin.

Large sculpted openings behind the rear wheelarches give the impression of being oversized exhaust outlets but are in fact air vents for the brakes.

Measuring 5014mm long, 1986mm wide and 1605mm tall, with a 2974mm wheelbase, the LF-1 Limitless is only 66mm shorter than the Toyota LandCruiser-based LX570 upper-large SUV, while being 6mm wider with a 124mm longer wheelbase.

The cabin has been designed with the theme of hospitality in mind, with a minimalist cockpit that allows the driver to concentrate on the task at hand.

Analogue buttons and knobs have been replaced by motion-activated controls and a minimalist display, with the majority of drivetrain functions confined to the steering wheel, including gear selection buttons and manual paddle shifters.

The metallic interior trim is finished in the same titanium colour as the exterior with a satin finish, which contrast with brown leather trim and white perforated leather seat upholstery.

A four-dimension navigation system, which adds the element of time, is accessible via haptic controls on the dashboard that also control other infotainment and comfort settings, while at the rear the two-seat second row is divided by an additional haptic controller in the centre console that controls the rear air-conditioning and infotainment screens.

In terms of autonomy, the LF-1 features Chauffeur mode, which controls the vehicle’s by-wire steering, braking, acceleration, lights and signals.

Lexus has not specified the engine underpinning the LF-1 Limitless, saying only that it is rear-wheel drive and describing powertrain choices as “vast”.

The concept could be powered by fuel-cell, hybrid, petrol or battery electric power. By 2025, every Lexus model will be available with either a full-EV or hybrid variant option.

Calty design research president Kevin Hunter said the design of the LF-1 represented a vehicle that does not compromise on performance or comfort.

“This is our vision for a new kind of flagship vehicle that embraces crossover capability without giving up the performance and luxury delivered by today’s top sedans,” he said.

“The Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept incorporates imaginative technology while creating a strong emotional connection by improving the human experience for the driver and passengers.”

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