The UX 300e was Lexus' shy effort to hop on the EV bandwagon, but Toyota's luxury division is now determined to fully embrace electrification. Meet the LF-Z Electrified, a zero-emissions concept car that paves the way for an array of more eco-friendly production models due to be launched by 2025. The goal is to introduce 20 cars with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and purely electric propulsion by the middle of the decade.
The LF-Z Electrified signals the styling, performance, and tech that will be available in four years' time. The concept takes the shape of a low-slung SUV with a fastback-esque roofline and a central fin that bisects the rear glass. You've heard about the spindle grille, but Lexus says the new showcar features a spindle body with prominent character lines and slim LED lights at the front and rear.
Gallery: Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept
Being a concept, it has typically oversized wheels and side cameras instead of conventional mirrors. As seen already on some high-end EVs, the LF-Z Electrified ditches traditional door handles for electronic ones that pop out only when you need them. These can be opened by touching a sensor mounted inside the handle, and won't fully open if the vehicle's sensors detect incoming cars.
We're particularly fond of the massive glass roof, which is of the electrochromic variety, meaning it can go from opaque to transparent depending on whether you want privacy or more illumination. The avant-garde interior seats four in a minimalist cabin where the number of conventional controls has been drastically reduced.
The concept has been envisioned with a 90-kWh lithium-ion battery pack offering 373 miles (600 kilometers) of range in the WLTP cycle and with support 150-kW charging. Even though the vehicle weighs 4,630 pounds (2,100 kilograms), it only takes three seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) and tops out at 124 mph (200 km/h).
It's all possible thanks to the Direct4 setup providing a total output of 536 horsepower (400 kilowatts) and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) of torque.
We also know the concept boasts steer-by-wire technology, meaning there's not a mechanical connection through the steering shaft, which should improve steering response. The unspecified battery pack is mounted longitudinally under the floor to lower the center of gravity and sharpen up handling, That said, there's no word about its capacity, available range, or how long it takes to recharge it.
In its effort to intensify EV development in the coming years, Lexus will inaugurate a business and technical center at the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama (TTCS) in Japan in March 2024.