March 30, 2021
| On 10 months ago

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

Striking concept car debuts ahead of 10 new electrified Lexus models between now and 2025.

Concept cars often provide a glimpse into the future of their respective brands. That’s what Lexus calls the LF-Z it debuted early Tuesday—okay, “symbolizing the next generation of Lexus,” more accurately. No matter the wording, the angular concept is a good-looking first volley in a product offensive that will see 10 new electrified Lexus models debut by 2025.

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The LF-Z exterior design picks up numerous current Lexus design trends, yet remixes them for the next decade. The flanks are cleaner, with a handful of creases implying motion, specifically in the kicked-up window line and corresponding crease along the bottom of the doors. Chunky wheelarch extensions give the LF-Z a quasi-crossover vibe, with a unique comb-like texture on the front items. The general shape is more car-like however; it’s a continued blurring of segment lines we’ve seen in other recent electric vehicles.

Up front, a pair of squinty headlights frame a new take on the spindle grille. EVs don’t need grilles, after all, so Lexus has instead turned the whole face into a spindle “grille.” Transparent black sections below the headlights provide the lower shape, with a complex fading pattern along the edges. Meanwhile the rear of the LF-Z features a full-width taillight with “Lexus” spelled out across it. A small fin sits in the middle of the rear glass, with its LED strip mirrored in the lower bumper. The “Electrified” light-up wordmark seems a little OTT, but hey, this is a concept after all.

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If the exterior is a reimagining of current Lexus design trends, the interior is a clean-sheet approach. Lexus calls it “Tazuna,” which is Japanese for “rein.” Inspired by the relationship between horse and rider, the cabin design is driver-focused, with a trio of screens grouped around the yoke-style steering wheel. Even the driver’s seat color contrasts with the interior. The Lexus design team has made a concerted effort to group the most important functions around the steering wheel, something the brand says previews the next generation of production models. An augmented reality head-up display and teachable AI assistant can get you where you need to go, and even make suggestions based on habits. A huge panoramic roof lets plenty of natural light into the cockpit, while the rear seats can recline and offer massages.

Lexus didn’t go far into the LF-Z drivetrain details. We know it’s a new dedicated EV platform, lining the floor with batteries for a lower center of gravity. The approach is also said to minimize vibrations and “unpleasant noises.” Lexus calls the drive system Direct4, an all-wheel drive system that can also switch to front- or rear-wheel drive when needed. The LF-Z also uses a steer-by-wire system, which Lexus—somewhat confusingly—says provides “more direct response between steering operation and driving force.”

Lexus will introduce a whopping 20 vehicles by 2025, half of which will be electrified in some way. There was a time when the company, as well as parent company Toyota, didn’t put a lot of stock in fully electric vehicles, instead favoring hybrids. But if the LF-Z is a sign of things to come, count us amongst the excited.

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