A new Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept may be closer to production reality than you might think.
In some ways, the Lexus LF-Z Electrified could be an apt bookend opposite the astonishing LFA supercar. Even the name would suggest so. But what is this latest design concept? It previews a new era for the Japanese company as it moves towards greater levels of electrification beyond mere hybrids.
Measuring 4.8 metres in length and 1.96 metres in width, this is a car that has a real presence, and its large-diameter wheels are pushed to the extremities thanks to the electric architecture that places the battery low on the floor of the chassis.
You won’t get a key with the LF-Z either, as vehicle functions such as locking and unlocking will be done through your smartphone. As you approach, the car will automatically deploy a handle that is recessed into the door. The use of this type of digital key will enable car sharing among family, friends, or as a service.
Moving to the interior of the LF-Z Electrified reveals a new Tazuna cockpit design that uses a triple screen layout inspired by a butterfly. Virtually no physical controls appear inside the airy cabin as almost every aspect of the car moves into the display. Lexus hints at a next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) system that will learn the driver’s behavioural characteristics and have a greater layer of connectivity to other aspects like a smart home.
The four-seat cabin is made to feel even more spacious by a vast panoramic roof. Using electrochromic glass, it can dim when required to provide more privacy or protection from the sun. It includes illumination that can reflect the night sky adding to the ambience inside.
The concept uses a steering-by-wire setup that eschews any mechanical link between the steering wheel and the front axle. The software will help to produce a more direct and clearer sense of feedback to the driver according to the situation. Unnecessary vibrations from the road surface can be eliminated, and the car can turn more with less steering wheel input depending on the conditions.
A DIRECT4 all-wheel-drive system can deploy power to the front, rear, or all wheels, depending on the situation. The total power output is rated at 544hp with a maximum torque figure of 700Nm. With a weight of 2,100kg, the Lexus LF-Z can theoretically accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds and onto a top speed of 200km/h.
At the core of the concept is a 90kWh battery that Lexus says could deliver a driving range of 600 kilometres on a single charge. Interestingly, Lexus uses a lithium-ion unit in this case, despite officially being a concept. It could have said a proprietary new solid-state battery technology would power it. This could mean that what we see in this concept may be more likely to reach production in the near future.