According to recently announced plans, Lexus’s future is going to take an electrifying turn, with a schedule of 20 new BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs and other electric vehicles slated to arrive by the year 2025. Leading this course toward electrification, Lexus revealed the LF-Z Electrified, a battery electric vehicle concept car intended to showcase both the visual and technological languages Lexus intends to utilize across future models.
The Lexus LF-Z Electrified builds upon the brand’s current “L-Finesse” styling language, sharing some of the creased and sculpted musculature of the current RX L crossover alongside the sleek prowling stance of the LC coupe. But this being Lexus’s first all-electric model, the brand’s signature spindle grill is to be replaced with only its silhouette and emblem intact.
A cool detail: the disintegrating pixelated pattern progresses into the the wide cat-eyed LED front lights.
Lexus designers explain their goal was to create a “three-dimensional design that transforms the form of the vehicle body itself into the icon of the Lexus brand”; and to this effect, the concept’s side sweeping silhouette does successfully marry a recognizable connection with brand’s current models, while also energizing it with a swept fluidity that appears evolutionary rather than revolutionary in the styling department.
Lexus engineers oriented the battery assembly longitudinally under the floor of the vehicle, resulting in a more rigid chassis and altering the vehicle’s center of gravity lower to the ground for improved aerodynamics.
And there’s no mistaking this is an electric vehicle when viewed from the back, mostly because it’s clearly and prominently showcased across LF-Z Electrified’s rear with a horizontal slender rear combination lamp and illuminated branding (a trope among many electric vehicle concepts). The rear’s grillwork suggests the passive exchange of a heat sink, with a single graphical red dividing line perhaps intended to continue the vehicle’s bifurcating roofline dorsal while mirroring the front’s vertical cutout (where a camera and additional sensors are to be housed).
The LF-Z Electrified interior takes a more drastic turn, with the cockpit exhibiting Lexus’s new “Tazuna” design language (“tazuna” is Japanese for “rein”), one inspired by the single rein relationship between horse and rider. In lieu of a rein, the LF-Z Electrified’s yoke-style steering wheel is equipped with an array of mounted switches and supplemented with a head-up display to simplify access to controls and information.
Lexus’ future plans also include that other buzzword – artificial intelligence – with an AI-enhanced system there to aid drivers by perpetually observing and learning occupants’ preferences and behavioral characteristics. Voice recognition and commands are built-in “to recognize, learn, and adapt to a driver’s habits and preferences”. While integration specific to the vehicle are a given, we’re curious how responsive and accurate it will perform in comparison to current digital assistants we all already carry within our pockets.
By 2050, Lexus hopes to achieve carbon neutrality throughout the lifecycle of its entire model lineup – from the manufacturing of materials, parts and vehicles, to vehicle logistics, to the final disposal and recycling of older vehicles. While the LZ-F is not a concept intended to be a direct preview of a specific future Lexus electric model, it’s not unimaginable for Lexus to reveal a production-ready interpretation with a similar all-in-one, genre-merging silhouette marrying the look and features of a sedan, crossover and hatchback. We’ll know soon enough, at least before 2025.