The Sleek 'Molten Katana' Lexus SUV Was Inspired by a Samurai Sword

The LF-1 Limitless concept is a jaw-dropper.
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Lexus pioneered the notion of a luxury crossover SUV with the RX300, which debuted twenty years ago at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Toyota's luxury brand aims to reestablish itself as a leader amid a flood of competitors with a new concept pointing the way for its future crossover models.

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The LF-1 Limitless concept was penned by Toyota's CALTY Design Research in California using a design language it calls “molten katana”. 

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"This design visualization fuses the organic shapes of liquid metal with the sharp edges of a traditional Japanese sword," explained Jeff Bracken, vice president and general manager of the Lexus division. "Imagining that shift from a smooth, flowing mass into a solid, chiseled shape formed the basis for the fluid, yet aggressive design of the LF-1 Limitless."

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The LF-1 concept's cabin features the same champagne-tinted color as the exterior, but a satin finish lends a warmer feel, while metallic accents throughout the interior contrast with the dark Cocoa Bean leather trim and seats covered in Chiffon White perforated leather.

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Anticipating the migration of vehicle drivetrains toward increasing electrification, the LF-1 is designed to accommodate fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric powertrains. "By around 2025, every Lexus model around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or have an electrified option," Bracken pledged.

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Lexus is mum on production plans for the LF-1 as a new LX crossover model, but it can't come soon enough to rehabilitate the company's reputation for bland style.