The Lexus LF-Z Electrified has been unveiled as a concept battery electric vehicle (BEV). The vehicles is meant to symbolise the next generation of Lexus and is set to be launched as a production version by 2025.
The LF-Z adopts a dedicated BEV platform and features a new four-wheel driving force control technology known as DIRECT4, which uses the instant responsiveness of an electric motor to individually control each wheel for superior and highly flexible driving performance.
The LF-Z makes use of lithium-ion battery technology that will produce 400kW and 700Nm of torque. Lexus says the LF-Z is good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.0 seconds and will provide its owners with a maximum of 600km cruising range [WLTP] on a single charge.
To provide a ‘uniquely BEV’ driving experience, the interior is open and very minimalist in its design. Through dialogue with the driver and based on having learned the driver’s preferences and behavioural traits, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) concierge will assist the driver by proposing routes and making restaurant reservations, among other things.
An enhanced human-machine connection
By orienting the 90 kiloWatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery assembly longitudinally under the floor of the vehicle, the chassis of the LF-Z becomes more rigid and the centre of gravity of the LF-Z is lowered for improved driving dynamics. In addition, this design helps mitigate any vibrations and unpleasant noises from entering the cabin.
The new four-wheel drive force control technology, DIRECT4, allows the drive force of the high-torque motors to be controlled individually, enabling the vehicle’s posture adapt to the driver’s inputs. In addition, by controlling the front and rear drive wheels independently, the system can provide the appropriate drive system – front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive – for each driving situation.
An exterior that suggests the direction of the evolution of Lexus styling
The LF-Z Electrified styling is an evolution rather than a revolution of what we have come to know and love from the brand. Sharp edges, large wheels and a low front-end stance all help contribute to an opposing look for the LF-Z.
Lexus says the aim was to create a three-dimensional design that transforms the form of the vehicle body itself into the icon of the Lexus brand and to continuously develop functional expressions and styling that keep abreast with the evolution of technology.
In the rear, a clean and simple horizontal design combined with the moulding that emphasises the wheels to express a powerful stance and the name “LEXUS” spelled out in the rear light cluster contributes to styling that, along with the front of the vehicle, symbolises the next generation of Lexus.
Cockpit based on the concept of “Tazuna”
The cockpit of the LF-Z was designed based on the new concept of Tazuna (“tazuna” is Japanese for “rein”), and adopts a human centred approach to decision making which has long been a key characteristic of the Lexus ethos.
The steering wheel-mounted switches and the head-up display have been highly coordinated to create a space in which various functions, such as the navigation system, audio system, and driving mode selection, can be performed while still concentrating on driving and without the need to operate complicated switches.
The overall design of the LF-Z interior is clean and seamless. A panoramic roof helps bring about a feeling of openness, emphasising the minimalist environment.
While the augmented-reality head-up display, gauges, touch display, and other information-provision functions are grouped into a single module, driving system functions are concentrated around the steering wheel. This is part of Lexus’ next-generation plan to enhance forward visibility and invite the driver to naturally look forward.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), which learns the driver’s preferences and behavioural characteristics, provides constant support to the driver. Voice communication contributes to improved operability while driving. The voice recognition system uses the latest AI to recognise, learn, and adapt to a driver’s habits and preferences, supporting with tasks such as determining driving routes and making restaurant reservations. Such interactivity between AI and driver leads to a fruitful dialogue, improving the overall ownership and driving experience, while adding colour to the customer’s life as a lifestyle concierge.
The use of a digital key allows family and friends to access the car without having to hand over a conventional key, but rather simply using their smartphone. Also, by enabling service providers to access the car via the digital key, it will be possible to provide vehicle-linked services such as package delivery to the car or car sharing.
The panoramic roof uses electrochromic glass and is equipped with entertainment functions such as dimming for privacy and shade, or illumination to reflect the passing night sky. In the centre of the roof is a touch panel that connects the front and rear seats and is used for communication between passengers. The reclining rear seats are equipped with a massage function, bringing a soothing and peaceful time to all passengers when traveling.
The next-generation Mark Levinson®2 audio system can reproduce a concert hall-like audio experience. With the next-generation sound management function, active noise cancellation facilitates interaction or privacy amongst passengers, providing a quiet and comfortable interior space.
|Cruising Range [WLTP] (km)||600|
|Battery Capacity (kWh）||90|
|Charging Power (kW）||150|
|Battery||Lithium Ion Battery|
|0-100km/h Acceleration (sec)||3.0|
|Maximum Speed (km/h）||200|
|Maximum Power (kW) / Maximum Torque (Nm）||400/700|