The public got its first look at the driving performance, design, and advanced technologies Lexus aims to realize by 2025
Last 2015, the United Nations launched an urgent call for transformative action synthesized in 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Among these are the commitments for responsible consumption and production, as well as climate action. Since then, the automotive industry has entered a period of once-in-a-century transformation. With new smart technologies and design innovations, the social environment, mobility needs, and customer lifestyle demands have evolved. Through it all, Lexus has been building their roster of an electrified future.
Since the launch of the RX 400h–the world’s first luxury electrified model–in 2005, Lexus customers have purchased nearly two million electrified vehicles as of the end of 2020. Then, in 2019, the “Lexus Electrified” vision was unveiled, aiming to realize a fundamental leap in vehicle performance by employing electrification technology. Currently, Lexus offers nine models of electric vehicles in approximately 90 countries and regions around the world. Now, Lexus begins the next generation of luxury-meets-sustainability through the announcement of three key commitments to achieve a future that’s electrified.
The LF-Z Electrified Concept Car
On March 30, 2021, Lexus held the world premiere of “LF-Z Electrified”, a battery electric vehicle concept that is symbolic of the brand’s multi-generational transformation. It’s a sneak peek into the driving performance, styling, and advanced technology set to be realized by 2025.
At its core is a new four-wheel driving force control technology known as DIRECT4, the evolution of the Lexus Driving Signature that brings direct response between driver and vehicle. By positioning the battery under the floor and optimizing the drive force of high-torque motors, the vehicle’s powerful operation and exhilarating cornering performance feels seamless while still retaining the signature Lexus ride comfort.
More than performance, the design language also received an overhaul. With a beveled silhouette, wider stance, and lowered center of gravity, style remains simple yet captivating. The front grille, or lack thereof due to its electric build, now evokes a sleeker but ever-so-striking expression. The rear branding got a refresh with the name “LEXUS” spelled out on the tail light.
Elevating Lexus’s human-centered design approach, the cockpit was designed based on the new concept of Tazuna, which is Japanese for “rein”. Inspired by the direct line of communication between a horse and rider, the vehicle’s wheel, heads-up display, navigation system, and touchscreen infotainment displays don’t veer far from the driver’s line of sight–naturally inviting you to look forward.
In the LF-Z Electrified, artificial intelligence learns the driver’s behavioral characteristics, providing constant support through voice commands and smartphone integration. This dialogue improves the overall ownership and driving experience, with the vehicle acting as a lifestyle concierge for tasks, navigation, and system preferences.
On the fastlane to 2025 and beyond
Realizing the goal of carbon neutrality in an electrified future, Lexus plans on introducing 20 new or improved models by 2025, including more than 10 electric vehicle variants. This extends from their core sedan and SUV models as they will also pursue sports models, chauffeur concepts, and new genres never before existed.
A larger goal is set for 2050, as Lexus has their sights set on achieving carbon neutrality throughout the lifecycle of its entire model lineup–from the manufacturing of materials, parts,and vehicles, to vehicle logistics, and even up to the final disposal and recycling of older vehicles.
The new ground zero of Lexus innovation
Pushing out a roster of 20 new or improved vehicles and reducing emissions to achieve carbon neutrality requires rapid innovation in current design and development cycles. Lexus recognizes this urgency, which is why in March 2024, the company is scheduled to open a new business and technical center at Shimoyama Technical Center in Japan.
The center features test courses that reproduce a wide variety of harsh driving environments from around the world, varying in curves, conditions, and altitudes. Also positioned at the site is a new three-story Lexus Building to foster collaboration and boost creativity. Indeed, the future of transportation does not only rely on technical innovation, but also the sound partnership between groups and businesses to accelerate this vision.
“While fulfilling our social mission of realizing a carbon-neutral society, we will continue to provide the fun and joy that cars bring, and we will contribute to the happiness and smiles of our customers and everyone involved with Lexus… We hope you will look forward to the future of Lexus with its strong will to create the future toward the realization of a hopeful mobility society,” said Koji Sato, President and Chief Branding Officer of Lexus International.