Lexus LF-Z Electrified, an electric SUV as a glimpse of the future

As promised, Lexus today unveils an electric concept car. This one is called LF-Z Electrified and it foreshadows the future of the manufacturer in terms of design as well as technology. This SUV is based on an architecture designed exclusively for “zero emission” vehicles. The arrangement of the battery in the center under the floor and the engine in the rear led to a design combining a plunging “nose” and a raised stern. The concept is 4.88m long, 1.96m wide and 1.60m high with 2.95m wheelbase.

At the front, there is an anvil-shaped grille but it is now full, with a pixelated effect on its sides to ensure the transition with the dark panels located under the optical units. The latter, very thin, retain the luminous signature in comma characteristic of Lexus. Flanks show sharp edges and multiple folds. The rear part is simpler with a light strip and a diffuser accentuating the width of the vehicle. The set gives a fairly aggressive look to the machine, reinforced by the wheel arches and black roof uprights.

Concept Lexus LF-Z Electrified© Lexus

The promise of natural driving

Discreetly against the tide of the race for autonomous driving, Lexus says it wanted to make driving the LF-Z Electrified as instinctive as possible, drawing inspiration in particular from the relationship between a rider and his horse. The steering wheel thus evokes reins by its shape, which is also reminiscent of Tesla’s famous Yoke steering wheel. All the instrumentation, from the digital dashboard to the multimedia screen, is grouped into a single unit above the steering wheel with three screens facing the driver. The controls are located on the steering wheel. According to Lexus, this provision will be found on board future vehicles. The steering is 100% electric.

The low layout of this handset and the panoramic roof serve both to improve the driver’s visibility and to give a feeling of space on board. A tactile surface in the center of the roof allows passengers to communicate between the front and rear rows. The latter has reclining seats.

The SUV is equipped with a voice assistant, and an artificial intelligence capable of learning from its user in order to offer him more and more relevant suggestions concerning, for example, the routes to be taken.

High level performance

The electric motor of the LF-Z Electrified develops 544 hp and 700 Nm of torque. It is integrated into Lexus’ new Direct4 system in which each of the four wheels is directly associated with the engine, the torque being distributed electronically in a variable manner depending on the conditions. Despite a mass of 2,100 kg, the concept can go from 0 to 100 km / h in 3 s according to Lexus which announces a top speed of 200 km / h. The liquid-cooled 90 kWh lithium-ion battery offers a range of 600 km in the WLTP cycle and supports a charging power of 150 kW, according to the manufacturer.

As with other brands, this concept marks the start of a new electrified offensive at Lexus. The premium subsidiary of the Toyota group plans to launch 20 new models by 2025 (including restyling) among which several electric vehicles, as well as plug-in hybrids and simple hybrids. To accelerate in this direction, Lexus will open a new technology and commercial center in Shimoyama, Japan, in March 2024. Nothing is said about a possible production vehicle directly derived from the LF-Z Electrified.

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