Lexus LF-Z Concept Previews the Brand's Electric Future
Lexus and Toyota are two automakers that have been slow to come out with electric vehicles. The Japanese brands believe that hybrids and plug-in hybrids are better business propositions at the moment, but things are set to change in the future. Lexus claims to have 20 new or redesigned vehicles in store by 2025, half of which will be all-electric or hybrid vehicles. To provide a preview of what kind of technology and design those electrified vehicles will come with, Lexus has come out with the LF-Z Concept.
LF-Z Concept Is Late To The Party
Before we get into details on the LF-Z Concept, it's important to note that this is just a concept and Lexus may not use any of it for future vehicles. With the rate of how quickly electric vehicles are changing and electric powertrains are progressing, it's very possible that when 2025 rolls around, new technology will become available. So, as cool as the LF-Z Concept is, there's a good chance that Lexus, a company that has stated it's not interested in all-electric vehicles to the same extent as General Motors, Ford, or Volkswagen, will simply shelf the concept.
As far as the LF-Z Concept's design, it's not as radical as other electric vehicles we've seen on the market, but it looks like a near-production-ready version of the LF-30 concept from 2019. Overall, the vehicle seems to incorporate elements from hatchbacks, sports cars, and SUVs to have a bold look. The concept wears a reimagined version of Lexus' spindle grille, that's not a grille at all, but more of an outlet of where a traditional grille would sit. The sloping roofline at the back is an athletic touch, while the thin light bar that connects that taillights and enormous diffuser are more futuristic touches.
The cabin of the LF-Z Concept is just as futuristic as the exterior. There's a yoke-style steering wheel, which is similar to the one we've seen on the most recent Tesla Model S. The dashboard is dominated by a four-panel design that appears to surround the steering wheel to look like a massive curved screen. While a lot of screens may scare some people, Lexus claims the augmented reality head-up display and drive system functions on the steering wheel help simplify things. Additionally, the concept has the latest artificial intelligence system to learn the driver's preferences and behavioral characteristics.
Intelligent AWD System Is Special
Lexus didn't provide a lot of information on what kind of powertrain the LF-Z Concept comes with. We do know that the vehicle features the automaker's Direct4 all-wheel-drive system that allows the concept to go from front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel-drive on the fly. The system can also adapt to the driver's needs, which leads us to believe that it can adjust to the driver's throttle and steering inputs.
Underneath the body sits a new dedicated EV platform that has a battery pack that's positioned longitudinally under the floor for a low center of gravity. The layout also helps the cabin stay quiet from noises and vibrations.
If Lexus decides to fall in line and come out with EVs, we're sure some of the high-tech features on the LF-Z Concept should be carried over. The concept looks like it wouldn't need much to be put into production, either, which is a good thing for Lexus, because it's playing catchup to other automakers.
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