Lexus LF-Z Electrified Concept
It’s easy to forget that Lexus (along with parent company Toyota) were really one of the first manufacturers to add some form of electrification to their production cars with hybrids many years ago. Yet lately, they appear to be one of the last of the premium brands to add a full EV to their portfolio (the UX300e was launched only recently), and haven’t made any big announcements in terms of what their future might look like without internal combustion.
Today that changes with the launch of the LF-Z Electrified Concept, a vision of what to expect from the Japanese luxury car maker in its next generation of electric cars. Unlike the UX300e, the new LF-Z sits on top of a new and dedicated EV platform that hints more towards sporting pretension than full-on SUV. In fact, it appears to be in a similar vein to the recently announced Kia EV-6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 in the sense that it has that 5-door premium fastback style to it. It is also very similar in size to the Jaguar I-Pace.
Whilst still a concept, the LF-Z does lay down Lexus’ intent that by 2025 it will have launched, or upgraded, 20 new models, 10 of which will be hybrid, plug-in hybrid or, more importantly to us, fully electric. Two of these will be launched in 2021.
As is common with these concepts of late, there is a large part of autonomous driving present, and there is a huge shift in how the driver interacts with the vehicle, offering an almost “concierge” approach to the relationship, using artificial intelligence to learn the driver’s preferences and minimise the amount of time that eyes are away from the road. Lexus has modelled this on its ‘tazuna’ philosophy of intuitive car control.
The battery is a 90kWh lithium-ion unit that gives a theoretical range of around 370 miles. Front and rear electric motors combine to give a power output of 536bhp and 516lb ft of torque. The LF-Z doesn’t have any mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels, offering instead a “steer-by-wire” system.
The design is very much a signature look for Lexus, albeit one without a grille, but one that the designers had a bit more freedom with given the loss of the engine in the nose of the car.
The LF-Z does not, however, introduce an electric-only stance by Lexus, as it still believes that hybrids will be more suited to certain areas of the world and its drivers than full EVs can offer at the moment.