Lexus is planning to introduce 10 new electrified vehicles will be introduced by 2025 as part of the luxury lifestyle brand’s ‘Lexus Electrified’ vision.
To symbolise the Lexus brand transformation, the Toyota Motors-owned luxury brand today introduced a new concept battery electric vehicle, known as LF-Z Electrified.
Drawing from an advanced lithium-ion battery technology, the LF-Z Electrified realises a maximum 600km cruising range [WLTP] on a single charge – combined with 400kW of power, 700Nm of torque and standstill to 100km/h performance in 3.0 seconds.
The new four-wheel-drive force control technology, DIRECT4, allows the driving force of the high-torque motors to be controlled individually, enabling the vehicle’s posture to be finely controlled according to human senses and inputs. In addition, by controlling the front and rear drive wheels independently, the system can provide the appropriate drive system – front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive – for each driving situation.
The system controls the distribution of driving force through the seamless orchestration and calculation of accelerator pedal application and steering wheel operation, resulting in powerful acceleration and exhilarating cornering performance that aligns to the driver’s intentions.
The use of steer-by-wire eliminates the need for a mechanical connection through the steering shaft, resulting in a more direct response between steering operation and driving force. This enables the vehicle to turn with a reduced steering angle – and greater precision – in response to driving conditions.
A cockpit based on the concept of “Tazuna”
To articulate a key characteristic of the Lexus ethos – a human-centred approach to decision making – the cockpit was designed based on the new concept of Tazuna (“tazuna” is Japanese for “rein”).
Inspired by the relationship between horse and rider, who communicate through a single rein, steering wheel-mounted switches and the vehicle’s head-up display have been highly coordinated to create a space in which various functions, such as the navigation system, audio system, and driving mode selection, can be performed while concentrating on driving and without movement of the driver’s line of sight or need to operate complicated switches.
While the cockpit is a key focal point, the low positioning of the instrument panel relative to the vehicle occupants and other measures are used to express refreshing minimalism and a space that offers true omotenashi – the Japanese art of hospitality embodied by Lexus.
The interior has been made a clean and high-quality space by a form that seamlessly connects the cowl to the front doors and on to the rear doors. Also, a panoramic roof uses long plates of glass that bring about a feeling of openness, emphasising the minimalist environment.
While the augmented-reality head-up display, gauges, touch display, and other information-provision functions are grouped into a single module, driving system functions are concentrated around the steering wheel. This suggests the direction of next-generation Lexus interior styling, with expanded forward visibility and the driver being naturally invited to look forward.
Advanced features to enrich your mobility experience
Through dialogue with the driver and based on having learned the driver’s preferences and behavioural traits, Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes to life by acting as a lifestyle concierge – proposing routes and making restaurant reservations, among others. By enhancing safety and security along the way, AI enriches the mobility experience.
Voice communication contributes to improved operability while driving. The voice recognition system uses the latest AI to recognise, learn, and adapt to a driver’s habits and preferences, supporting tasks such as determining driving routes. Such interactivity between AI and driver leads to a fruitful dialogue, improving the overall ownership and driving experience while adding colour to the customer’s life as a lifestyle concierge.
The use of a digital key allows family and friends to access the car without having to hand over a conventional key, in addition to operating the vehicle with a smartphone, such as opening and closing the door locks. Also, by enabling service providers to access the car via the digital key, it will be possible to provide vehicle-linked services such as package delivery to the car or car-sharing, making life with a car even richer.
The E-Latch system in the LF-Z Electrified makes door opening and closing smoother and safer. When boarding, the retractable door handle automatically appears above the vehicle’s surface when a driver or passenger approaches with key in hand.
The door can be unlocked and opened smoothly by touching the sensor inside the handle. When exiting the vehicle, the door can be opened by pressing the door-opening switch. An added benefit: LF-Z Electrified’s sensors scan the surrounding environment for oncoming and adjacent traffic prior to passenger egress to provide an additional layer of passenger safety.
The panoramic roof, which gives a sense of openness, uses electrochromic glass and is equipped with entertainment functions such as dimming for privacy and shade, or illumination to reflect the passing night sky. In the centre of the roof is a touch panel that connects the front and rear seats and is used for communication between passengers.