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Lexus LF-Z Electrified shows off future direction

Advanced tech, new design languages & carbon neutrality all on cards for Lexus

1 Apr 2021

LEXUS has shown off what it says will be the “next generation” of design and technology from the brand, revealing its new LF-Z Electrified concept; a battery electric crossover with Tesla-rivalling performance and range.


Brandishing all of the usual Lexus design hallmarks as well as a few new ones, the LF-Z Electrified is underpinned by the brand’s recently debuted Direct4 EV all-wheel-drive system and rides on a bespoke EV platform.


Measuring in at 4880mm long, 1960mm wide and 1600mm tall, the concept would occupy a similar corner of the market as the established RX mid-sized SUV while offering a claimed range of up to 600km.


With power being drawn from a 90kWh lithium-ion battery, Lexus says the LF-Z Electrified would accelerate from 0-100km/h in three seconds flat thanks to its 400kW/700Nm peak outputs.


Blistering performance is quickly becoming the must-have for high-end EVs which is why Lexus has blended it with a heap of new-age technology including ‘steer-by-wire’ all-electric steering, self-learning artificial intelligence, electrochromatic panoramic roof with integrated touch panel and an augmented-reality head-up display.


The cabin has been laid out under the new ‘Tazuna’ design philosophy which reportedly draws inspiration from the “relationship between horse and rider, who communicate through a single rein”.


In car terms this translates to the steering wheel housing the bulk of the controls while the head-up display takes care of most trip and driving readouts and functions.


“While the cockpit is a key focal point, the low positioning of the instrument panel relative to the vehicle occupants and other measures are used to express a refreshing minimalism and a space that offers true omotenashi – the Japanese art of hospitality embodied by Lexus,” the brand said in a statement.


Unlike some concepts, the LF-Z Electrified is not slated to go into production however many of its featured design elements and technologies, including the performance, are.


“The Lexus LF-Z Electrified has been unveiled as a concept battery electric vehicle symbolising the Lexus brand transformation – incorporating driving performance, styling and advanced technology set to be realised by 2025,” a spokesperson said.


That 2025 deadline coincides with Lexus’ accelerated electrification strategy which will see the launch of “more than” 10 new electrified vehicles launched over the next four years under the ‘Lexus Electrified’ vision.


If all goes to plan, Lexus says it expects electrified vehicles – EVs, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), hybrids and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) – to comfortably outsell traditional internal-combustion engine models.


What’s more, the brand has also confirmed it will “pursue the possibility of rolling out models such as sports vehicles that continue to provide the fun of driving, a vehicle that redefines the concept of having a chauffeur, and new genres that have never before existed”.


Add another 25 years to the timeline and Lexus hopes to be completely carbon neutral throughout the lifecycle of its entire model line-up from the manufacturing to eventual disposal or recycling of disused vehicles.


“While fulfilling our social mission of realising a carbon-neutral society, we will continue to provide the fun and joy that cars bring, and we will contribute to the happiness and smiles of our customers and everyone involved with Lexus,” Lexus president and chief branding officer Koji Sato said.


“Starting with two new models to be released this year, we will continue to develop innovative products that will add colour to the diversifying lifestyles of our customers.”


In March 2024 the brand is scheduled to open a new business and technical centre in Shimoyama, Japan, where many of the next-generation vehicles will be designed, developed and produced.


Lexus has sold 1510 vehicles through the first two months of 2021, marking a 2.1 per cent sales increase year-on-year compared to the 1479 it shifted over the same period in 2020.

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