By Steve Laser
Lexus is on the road to becoming a complete battery electric vehicle brand by 2035. While the luxury automaker currently offers two all-electric vehicles, the UX 300e compact crossover (in select markets), and the larger RX 450e, more BEVs are on the way.
With the theme, “Pushing the Boundaries of the Electrified Experience,” the stage was set at the Japan Mobility Show (above) for Lexus to unveil two new concepts during a press conference. One offers a preview of a next-generation model, while the other provides a glimpse into the future of the brand.
While it’s called a concept, Lexus plans to add the stunning new LF-ZC to its BEV lineup in 2026. Lexus says the LF-ZC, which stands for “Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst,” forms the catalyst for new experiences in the electric age, from driving dynamics, uncompromised design, and new exclusive services.
The design theme, called “Provocative Simplicity,” provides a futuristic profile that slips through the wind with aerodynamic efficiency. With its spindle body design, LF-ZC features a low hood, a cabin that tapers towards the rear, wide fenders, along with a low center of gravity.
Lexus plans to employ production technology with a modular structure crafted through “gigacasting” when it starts to build the new model. Benefits include greater freedom of form, plus increased rigidity. By using next-generation prismatic high-performance batteries, Lexus says the LF-ZC aims to achieve approximately twice the range of conventional BEVs.
With a panoramic roof and flat floor, the interior provides a spacious environment for the driver and passengers. Lexus says that a next-generation fully digital intelligent cockpit offers quick access to controls, while new Arene OS interface software enables feature updates for multimedia and safety systems.
Convenient positioning of controls for the driver groups functions on easy to access digital pads. The left-side pad includes shift, drive mode, and driver assistance selections, while climate, audio and AI functions are grouped on the right. An ultra-wide monitor on the dash can be accessed by the front seat passenger for entertainment and mobility applications.
Lexus also showed the new LF-ZL, designed to provide a glimpse into the future of the brand. This larger, SUV-like concept is said to point to a future flagship model, while sharing its next-generation BEV architecture with the LF-ZC.
The LF-ZL advances the futuristic styling theme with an interesting blend of dynamic shapes and LED lighting. The concept is said to embody the Lexus vision of BEVs that deliver functionality and beauty without compromise. DIRECT4 all-wheel drive and a steer-by-wire system are also included.
The LF-ZL is larger than the LF-ZC, with an overall length of 5,300 mm (+55 mm), overall width 2,200 mm (+320 mm), overall height 1,700 mm (+310 mm), and wheelbase 3,350 mm (+460 mm). It’s even longer, wider and has a longer wheelbase than the current LX 600 SUV.
As a concept, the LF-ZL is fitted with sliding rear side doors, making it easier to gaze upon the finely crafted interior. The extensive use of bamboo trim enhances a warm and welcoming environment, while technology is applied to make traditional omotenashi features even more advanced.
Lexus says the LF-ZL concept offers a glimpse into a future, where the driving experience could be tailored to each individual. It could do so by taking hints from the driver’s habits and then making suggestions for interaction.
News source and photos courtesy of Lexus
Additional photos (as marked) for editorial use © 2023 Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA)
Story (commentary) © 2023 CarNichiWa.com