Lexus LF-Z Electrified Concept Previews Carmaker’s Luxury EV Future
Like Volkswagen’s Bentley, Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus is aggressively tracking for a zero-emissions future, with plans to offer electrified variants of all models by 2025 before ditching gas entirely by 2050. In this way, the new battery-electric LF-Z Electrified concept is a glimpse at Lexus’ future.
The use of one motor per wheel may recall the top-end Tesla Cybertruck and Porsche Taycan. But this so-called DIRECT4 differs in that it allows each motor to be fed power independently, thus “enabling the vehicle’s posture to be finely controlled according to human senses and inputs.” AWD, RWD, or FWD can be selected based on the task at hand.
By orienting the battery assembly longitudinally under the floor of the vehicle, the chassis becomes more rigid, and the vehicle’s center of gravity is lowered for improved dynamics, all while mitigating vibrations and extraneous noise.
This arrangement not only creates a nifty shape that begins low and peaks at the rear, but contributes what’s being called a “Lexus Driving Signature” i.e. a “feeling of seamlessly connecting deceleration, steering and acceleration in all driving situations.” It’s a one-off concept—they can say whatever they want.
Lexus is also playing with a new cockpit concept dubbed Tazuna, which is Japanese for “rein.” Steering wheel-mounted switches and the vehicle’s heads-up display are tightly configured so the navigation system, audio system, and driving mode selection are as congruous as possible. Inspiration comes from the rider-horse relationship, in which a human uses only a rein and their feet to control the animal.
Other key features include an electronically actuated door with retracting handles, a panoramic roof made from adjustable electrochromic glass, reclining massage seats, and a Mark Levinson audio system with active sound management.
Considering how fleshed-out the Lexus LF-Z Electrified is, it might not be off from an upcoming production model.