Lexus charges to electrified future with LF-Z concept
The Lexus LF-Z Electrified, a battery electric vehicle (BEV) concept, previewed the driving performance, styling, and technology that will be seen in future EVs from the Japanese carmaker.
By Year 2025, Lexus will introduce 20 new vehicle models. These new cars will be BEVs, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).
The LF-Z Electrified also "suggests the direction of... Lexus styling." Lexus described the concept's styling as having "strong proportions and distinctive appearance."
The brand's signature and angular "spindle grille" is now a "spindle body" as it now blends in with the front panel. The concept's LED headlights also appear to be designed with the same treatment.
The LF-Z Electrified's sides, meanwhile, are applied with equally angular lines and surfaces. And in the rear, a one-piece tail lamp displays the brand's name, and the word "ELECTRIFIED" sits on the lower part of the tailgate aperture.
That electrified running gear consists of the LF-Z's battery assembly sitting under the floor of the vehicle. Because of the battery's position, Lexus said the chassis becomes more rigid and the vehicle's center of gravity is lowered for improved dynamics.
This design aims to lessen vibrations and unpleasant noise from penetrating the passenger cabin.
The concept's 90kwh lithium-ion battery produces 400kW of power and 700Nm of torque, and will give an estimated range of 600 kilometers. The power will be routed to a four-wheel drive technology that Lexus called "DIRECT4."
DIRECT4 will allow the "drive force of the high-torque motors to be controlled freely," which will also enable the vehicle's dynamics to be controlled according to human senses and inputs. The drive system will also control the front and rear wheels independently depending on the driving situation.
Inside, the LF-Z Electrified cockpit was designed based on the new concept of "tazuna," Japanese for "rein."
Inspired by the relationship between horse and rider, who communicate through a single rein, Lexus said the steering wheel switches and the vehicle's head-up display are designed with the driver's concentration in mind.
The minimalist interior seamlessly connects the cowl to the front doors and on to the rear doors. Also, a panoramic roof uses long plates of glass that bring a feeling of openness, emphasizing the minimalist environment.
The LF-Z will also feature artificial intelligence (AI) tech that will help the driver plot routes and even make restaurant reservations. AI will learn the driver's preferences and act as a "lifestyle concierge."
Meanwhile, a digital key as well as a smartphone will allow access to the car, opening and closing the door locks.
The doors also have another modern gadget called the E-Latch system. The system pops out the retractable door handles above the vehicle's surface when a driver or passenger approaches with key in hand. The doors can be unlocked and opened smoothly by touching the sensor inside the handle.
The LF-Z's suite of gadgets do not stop there. The panoramic roof uses electrochromic glass, is equipped with entertainment functions, and has dimming for privacy and shade.
The reclining rear seats, on the other hand, are equipped with a massage function which promise to bring a soothing and peaceful experience to all passengers when traveling.
Lexus is also scheduled to open a new business and technical center in March 2024. In the technical center, members involved in Lexus-brand development, design, production technology, and planning will unite in creating the next-generation cars.
While technology-rich vehicles like this LF-Z Electrified may take a while to reach our shores, there are locally available hybrid vehicles from Lexus, as well as its sister company Toyota.
Photos from Lexus