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Lexus LF-Z Electrified Crossover Concept Previews Luxury Brand’s EV Future

Published On Apr 01, 2021 07:51 PM By Sonny

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It has a claimed range of 600km with 544PS and 700Nm of performance on offer

  • Lexus unveils new LF-Z Electrified EV concept to preview future BEV models.

  • Its design is an evolution of existing Lexus styling that suits EVs and looks sportier too.

  • The LF-Z’s electric powertrain uses a 90kWh battery pack for a WLTP claimed range of 600km.

  • It has two electric motors for its DIRECT4 all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring.

  • Cabin design draws clear distinction between driver’s seat and passengers.

  • Lexus to launch 20 new/improved models by 2025 and more than 10 of them will be electrified.

The Lexus brand of cars has been offering hybrid powertrains in the luxury segment for a long time. Now, the company has set its sights on developing dedicated battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to add to its electrified lineup and the new LF-Z Electrified concept represents its vision for such models.

In terms of styling, the LF-Z concept suggests an evolution for the brand’s distinctive design language. It has the recognisable traits such as the large front bumper which would usually house a large grille that extended from the bonnet line to the chin of the car. The LF-Z has the usual sharp Lexus styling in terms of the lighting elements, aero elements, and the mix of crisp lines and sporty curves in the profile that mimic an athletic physique. Its taillight strip across the rear also has Lexus spelled out in 3D-lettering.

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The raised tail of the LF-Z concept extends a long way from the cabin doors for a sporty profile. There is a vertical line visible in the centre of the front and rear bumpers which is aligned with the insert that splits the panoramic glass roof. This design element will likely house an array of sensors for autonomous driving systems and driver assists.

Its 90kWh battery assembly is housed under the car’s floor, like most other BEVs, with one motor for each axle. Lexus calls this all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring as DIRECT4 and can switch between front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive as required by each driving situation. The LF-Z Electrified concept also gets a steer-by-wire system which would allow it to turn with less steering angle depending on the driving conditions.

According to the claimed figures, the Lexus LF-Z has an electric range of 600km (as per WLTP) and a total performance output of 544PS and 700Nm. Lexus has not stated any charge times for this EV concept but since it can only support upto 150kW fast charging, it won’t charge as fast as the likes of the new Kia EV6 or Hyundai Ioniq 5 which are compatible with even 350kW chargers.

While the exterior of the Lexus LF-Z concept seems production-friendly (not including the size of the wheels), the cabin design seems futuristic. Its design is said to be based on a concept called “Tazuna” which is Japanese for “rein”, as in a horse’s reins. As implied, there is a special focus on the driver’s seat to make it feel like the cockpit of the LF-Z concept including the white upholstery that contrasts the rest of the cabin. It has a fighter-jet style steering wheel with multiple screens integrated into a single module that is angled to minimise the deviation from the driving line of sight. It includes an Augmented Reality heads-up display, gauge cluster and touch screen display towards the passenger side. A special detail is the use of the stop and fast-forward icons for the brake and accelerator pedals respectively.

Like any modern, EV concept, the LF-Z Electrified boasts of onboard Artificial Intelligence abilities which can learn the driver’s preferences and behaviour. Its voice recognition system can do the same while also executing support tasks such as determining driving routes and making dining reservations. The door handles that sit flush in the body panels pop out when the driver or passenger approaches with the key in hand while also having a digital key to make the car easily accessible to family members and service providers.

While Lexus already has an all-electric vehicle in its lineup, the UX300e, it plans to launch new dedicated BEVs as previewed by the LF-Z Electrified concept. In total, the luxury brand intends to introduce at least 10 new or updated electrified models (including BEVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids) in its lineup by 2025 while also offering fun-to-drive sports cars while feasible.

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