Lexus has chosen the Japan Mobility Show to unveil two stunning battery electric vehicle (BEV) concepts showcasing next-generation technology and its exciting electrified product future. Under the theme "Pushing the Boundaries of the Electrified Experience," the concept model lineup shows the brand's future vision for cars and mobility experiences through electrification.
A completely new modular structure for vehicle design, innovative production technology and an advanced software platform will reimagine the Lexus Driving Signature, along with new levels of personalised luxury, as Lexus commits to being an electrified brand by 2035.
The next-generation of zero-tailpipe emission Lexus BEVs are expressed through the LF-ZC (Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst) concept, set for international release in 2026, and the futuristic LF-ZL (Lexus Future Zero-emission Luxury) flagship concept.
The Lexus approach to sustainability is also visualised in the interior design with the Bamboo CMF Concept1. The brand is exploring new possibilities with traditional materials by weaving bamboo fibres and threads into high-quality elements of the luxuriously crafted interior. Bamboo grows quickly, has a high CO2 absorption capacity and its beauty has been used by Takumi craftspeople in Japanese building materials for centuries.
In terms of driving performance, the inherent excellent inertia characteristics of BEVs together with Lexus technologies such as DIRECT4 all-wheel drive pioneered through the RZ, provides seamless drivability control and an intuitive, linear steering feel for the Steer By Wire system.
Lexus targets 2026 for LF-ZC introduction
As the name suggests, the Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst forms the catalyst for new electrified experiences, including elevated driving dynamics, uncompromised design, and new exclusive services - the epitome of the Lexus promise to craft cars that enrich the lives of its discerning customers.
As a model that symbolises the electrification of Lexus, the LF-ZC has a low centre of gravity and a compact silhouette with sleek proportions and a roomy cabin. The styling foreshadows a stirring driving experience where excellent vehicle functionality and the emotionality of beautiful design come together.
Lexus LF-ZL shows possibilities for a future BEV flagship
The LF-ZL is a flagship future Lexus model, aiming to offer a prestigious ownership experience beyond just the car, with innovation in next-generation BEV architecture and advancements from the new Arene OS software platform.
Lexus has created a spacious and relaxing cabin by taking advantage of the freedom in BEV-specific packaging and optimising interior space. It has also elevated traditional omotenashi features into being more advanced and pleasurable, ensuring an unparalleled experience.
Interactive Reality in Motion
The integration of Arene OS software platform enables the vehicle to learn and anticipate the driver's needs, resulting in a truly personalised mobility experience. Additionally, Arene OS generates fresh experiential value by enabling interaction with a range of societal infrastructure and services.
Through "Interactive Reality in Motion"2, the car's onboard sensors work in conjunction with digital data from the surroundings. As a result, when drivers point to objects or places of interest during their journey, the car's display promptly delivers information along with voice guidance, enhancing the interactive connection between people and their cars.
Furthermore, the utilisation of big data allows management of the charging process and power supply, enabling the vehicle to seamlessly connect to the network and become an integral part of the societal infrastructure while parked. This approach ensures the seamless integration of mobility solutions with the customer's lifestyle.
Digitalised intelligent cockpit and expansive interior
Positioning the front occupants in a low, forward position creates a sense of interior spaciousness. The fully-flat floor and panoramic roof add overhead expansiveness, resulting in an unexpectedly open cabin not apparent from the exterior.
Various functions that were previously spread across a wide area of the cockpit are now consolidated into the digital pads within arm's reach. Controls for vehicle functions like shifting, advanced driving assistance systems, and drive mode selection are all located within the left digital pad. Convenience features such as audio, climate control, phone and AI functions are grouped within the right digital pad, designed with an intuitive and easy-to-use layout.
The "Eyes on the Road" principle is applied by adopting a distant view meter that projects information on to the front windscreen using the same concept as HUD. Additionally, digital mirrors are installed on both sides of the vehicle. By projecting images of the vehicle's surroundings, shifts in the driver's gaze, focus, and head movement during driving are minimised, achieving an unobstructed cockpit view that promotes concentration.
The expansive monitor in the front passenger seat functions as an open platform for entertainment and the expansion of diverse applications, broadening the prospects for future mobility.
Exterior design with futuristic visual appeal
The design theme of "Provocative Simplicity" represents an evolution of the unique Lexus identity, focusing on a provocative presence and refined, simple design.
By prioritising aerodynamic performance and incorporating distinctive features and structural elements specific to BEVs, Lexus designers could pursue an eye-catching silhouette with a low centre of gravity that hints at an exhilarating driving experience.
The low-slung hood tapers through the cabin towards the rear, where the prominent rear wheel flares are accentuated to achieve a balance between high aerodynamic performance and a wide stance.
The spindle body design flows beyond the front face and seamlessly continues along the door sides and rear bumper, symbolising the all-encompassing evolution of function and design through electrification.
Functionality is transformed into a distinctive design feature by integrating the aerodynamic elements such as air intakes and outlets. This results in an emotionally engaging and unique exterior.
Advanced customisation creates a truly personalised vehicle
Leveraging the BEV's lack of a traditional engine compartment, high aerodynamic performance and design aesthetics are able to be balanced, delivering a target Cd (Co-efficient of drag) value of approx. 0.2.
By using next-generation high-performance prismatic batteries, LF-ZC aims to achieve approximately twice the range of conventional BEVs. The goal is to alleviate range anxiety concerns and offer customers the pleasure of driving, from city commutes to long-distance journeys.
A voice recognition system utilising advanced AI technology has a key role. Using self-learning functions for software customisation, the vehicle can automatically personalise optimal settings for each guest with every drive.
It also aims to provide a more personalised driving experience through the accumulation of driving data, beyond providing suggestions that may address a driver's immediate needs - such as hidden preferences guests may not be aware of, adding experiential value.
The adoption of Arene OS provides an unprecedented experience in terms of vehicle driving dynamics. It will be possible to replicate various car operations, driving characteristics, sounds, and vibrations tailored to individual preferences.
The combination of Steer By Wire and OTA updates will allow Lexus to bring vehicle settings from the virtual space into the real world. Customers will be able to engage in e-sports using Steer By Wire technology inside the vehicle, and then implement their preferred settings through OTA, allowing them to experience it in the real world. With the aid of such OTA updates, Lexus intends to make the car ownership experience even more fulfilling for customers.
Next-generation production technology
Next-generation Lexus BEVs will feature a new modular structure through gigacasting, which splits the vehicle body into three parts: front, centre, and rear.
Casting provides greater freedom of form, while the integration of parts also increases rigidity for improved vehicle dynamics. Positioning the battery in the central section of the vehicle body ensures the front and rear remain structurally unaffected. This enables the rapid integration of battery advancements into the vehicle, contributing to swifter implementation of future technology.
The production process introduces a self-driving assembly line, where cars can autonomously move to the next stage. This enables the vehicle to drive itself with only the battery, motor, tyres, and wireless terminal components in the front, centre, and rear sections.
The elimination of conveyor belts from the production line provides more flexibility in the factory layout, while also bringing significant cost savings.
LF-ZC and other next-generation BEVs will features advanced high-performance batteries. Made with a prismatic structure, the batteries are engineered to increase range through improved aerodynamic integration and weight reduction, enhancing vehicle efficiency and battery performance.
The low profile and positioning of the battery also contributes to increased design flexibility, allowing for a more dynamic silhouette. And a low centre of gravity for improved driving dynamics.
Venturing beyond the conventional, challenging accepted notions of luxury and providing an unrivalled customer experience that goes beyond expectations is not new to Lexus, as these were the very foundations on which the brand was born in 1989.
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