Luxury car manufacturer Lexus has given motorists a taste of what electric vehicles will look like in the near future. Dubbed the LF-30 Electrified, it represents the apex of Lexus’ electric production vehicles, which will start hitting roads in 2020.
Lexus dedicated its entire Tokyo Motor Show press conference to the single advanced concept car. Designed at the ED2 European Design Centre in France, it is a bold departure from Lexus’ previous models, being a full-electric BEV with a fully autonomous driving mode.
Here’s the official announcement video:
We saw the LF-30 Electrified in the flesh at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
The design is futuristic in every sense of the word. It looks like the kind of vehicle you’d see in a big-budget sci-fi flick — from the touch-screen laden cockpit and continuous wrap-around windows to those huge gull wing doors.
The LF-30 boasts maximum outputs of 400kW and 700Nm and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 3.8 seconds. Noteworthy features include an advanced posture control that regulates the drive-power output from high-torque electric motors, opacity-adjustable windows, inbuilt gesture controls and – get this – a personal drone for transportation of the driver’s luggage.
As mentioned, the car also boasts a fully autonomous driving mode. In a handy touch, the colour of the vehicle’s front face changes to identify whether or not a human is driving. Interestingly, the front seats have taken their design cues from first-class seats on an aeroplane. This suggests drivers will be able to catch up on some sleep during lengthy road trips.
The LF-30 is an acronym for ‘Lexus Future’, with the ‘30’ representing Lexus’ 30 years in the business. In typical luxury car fashion, Lexus has likened the LF-30 to several majestic beasts in a presumed bid to inject some additional gravitas.
The Lexus LF-30 isn’t the type of car I can imagine the average boardroom executive zipping about in — it’s the automobile equivalent of a business laptop in electric blue with flashing LED lights. With that said, I’m sure there are plenty of rich and famous people who would jump at the chance to acquire one. It’s a status symbol for people who really want to be noticed.
According to Lexus, the LF-30’s designers embraced a theme of “predator chasing prey” that evokes the cheetah. Because one metaphor is never enough, they were also inspired by the reigns that connects a horse to its human rider.
“The cockpit design is based on the new Lexus concept of ‘Tazuna’, a Japanese word for ‘reins’. Inspired by how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, the steering controller-mounted switches and head-up display have been co-ordinated to a high degree,” explains Lexus’ marketing material.
“The driver is therefore able to focus on driving while controlling various functions, such as the navigation and audio system and driving-mode selection, without having to shift their vision or operate manual switches.”
Here are the car specifications announced thus far:
|0–100 km/h acceleration||3.8 seconds|
|Max. output (kW)/max. torque (Nm)||400/700|
But don’t expect to see LF-30-style cars at your local dealership any time soon — according to Lexus’ own projections, production models that utilise this technology won’t be available until around 2030.
Instead, you’ll need to make do with Lexus first full-electric production vehicle which is due to arrive in 2020. Lexus plans to have electrified versions of all models available by 2025 at which point sales of electrified vehicle models are anticipated to outpace its conventional petrol models. Lexus will announce detailed release plans next month.
Chris Jager travelled to the Tokyo Motor Show as a guest of Toyota.
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