According to recently announced plans, Lexus’ future is set to take an electrifying turn. 20 new BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs and other electric vehicles are expected to arrive by 2025. Lexus led this course toward electrification and unveiled the LF-Z Electrified, a concept car for battery electric vehicles designed to represent both the visual and technological languages Lexus intends to use in future models.
The Lexus LF-Z Electrified is based on the current styling language of the brand “L-Finesse” and shares the lean posture of the LC Coupé as well as the crumpled and shaped muscles of the current RX L-Crossover. As this is Lexus’ first fully electric model, the brand’s signature spindle grill is only meant to be replaced with its intact silhouette and emblem.
Lexus designers state that their goal was to create “a three-dimensional design that transforms the shape of the vehicle body itself into the icon of the Lexus brand.” For this purpose, the curved silhouette of the concept successfully combines a recognizable connection with the current models of the brand and at the same time stimulates them with a flowing fluidity that appears more evolutionary than revolutionary in the styling department.
And there is no doubt that this is an electric vehicle when viewed from the rear, largely because it is clearly visible on the back of the LF-Z Electrified with a horizontal slim rear combination lamp and illuminated branding (a trump card below many concepts for electric vehicles). The grille at the rear suggests the passive replacement of a heat sink, with a single graphic red dividing line possibly serving to continue the forked roofline of the vehicle dorsally and at the same time to mirror the vertical section of the front (which houses a camera and additional sensors should).
The interior of the LF-Z Electrified takes a more drastic turn: the cockpit shows Lexus’ new design language “Tazuna” (“Tazuna” is Japanese for “reins”), which is inspired by the relationship between horse and rider. Instead of a reins, the yoke steering wheel of the LF-Z Electrified is equipped with a number of mounted switches and a head-up display to simplify access to controls and information.
Lexus’ future plans also include the other buzzword – artificial intelligence – with an AI-enhanced system that helps drivers by constantly observing and learning the preferences and behavioral traits of the occupants. Speech recognition and commands are built in to “recognize, learn and adapt to a driver’s habits and preferences”. Although vehicle-specific integration is a matter of course, we are excited to see how responsive and accurate it is compared to current digital assistants that we all already have in our pockets.
By 2050, Lexus hopes to be carbon neutral throughout the life cycle of its entire range of models – from the manufacture of materials, parts and vehicles, to vehicle logistics, to the final disposal and recycling of older vehicles. While the LZ-F is not a concept intended to be a direct preview of any particular future Lexus electric electric model, it is not inconceivable for Lexus to reveal a production-ready rendition with an all-in-one silhouette similar to that of the genre merges the appearance and characteristics of a sedan, crossover and hatchback model. We’ll know soon enough, at least before 2025.