- lexus unveiled a new battery-electric concept vehicle at the tokyo auto show today.
- the compact suv is called lf-30. the name refers both to the 30th anniversary of lexus and to the 2030 future that this car imagines.
- the car's extreme design and lofty tech goals suggest that a production version is far in the future.
lexus revealed a concept for an electric crossover today at the tokyo auto show. there's nothing extreme about an ev or a crossover these days, but consider this: lexus doesn't yet have a single all-electric vehicle in its lineup. this concept is called the lf-30 and features an extreme exterior design, plenty of autonomous driving technology, and a four-motor electric powertrain. lexus says that the car is designed to look forward to 2030, a time when lexus plans for most of the vehicles it sells to be electrified.
if nothing else, the lf-30 shows that lexus is serious about a plan to build evs; the company has offered hybrids since the 2005 launch of the rx400h, and next month the company says it will roll out its first production battery-electric vehicle for global (non-u.s.) markets. the lf-30's planned powertrain would have a motor in each wheel, a large battery under the vehicle's floor, and wireless charging capability. in keeping with the green theme, lexus says that the lf-30 features sustainable materials including traditional japanese cedar wood and fabric made of recycled fibers.
the car's exterior design is arresting, with sharp angles all over the body designed to echo lexus's bold spindle-grille design. the windshield glass extends all the way to the rear seats, and passengers can adjust the opacity of the rear windows to allow for privacy or sightseeing as passengers see fit. inside, the steering wheel was designed with horse reins in mind, to signify a close connection between car and driver. the cabin is designed to coddle passengers, who would be able to recline in the rear seats and use gesture-based controls to manage the infotainment settings without reaching for buttons. lexus even imagines a hovering drone support vehicle to carry luggage from door to door.
the lf-30 has performance in mind, too. lexus says that the four-motor strategy allows for what the company is calling "advanced posture control." details on that system are thin, but lexus promises it will provide for quick handling and passenger comfort. a motor in every wheel also means that the lf-30 can switch between front-, rear- and all-wheel drive. if you tire of driving yourself in the lf-30, lexus promises plenty of autonomous driving capability, including a self-parking feature and front-door pickup, in which the car drives from the driveway to the front door. presumably this will be limited in some cases by landscaping.
don't look to see the lf-30 on the roads anytime soon, but expect that the design ethos and the basics of its electric powertrain will serve as an inspiration for future lexus offerings to come.