For the second time this month, the Toyota/Lexus juggernaut has unveiled a new concept. But while the previous unveiling showcased a playful diminutive SUV unlikely to see the road in this part of the world, last night’s unveiling was something altogether more interesting.
The car in question was Lexus’ new LF-Z Electric Concept. And, we can just about ignore that ‘concept’ tag, because this model is slated for production in 2025. Don’t expect much to change.
The model represents Lexus’ first dedicated electric car, built on Toyota’s new EV-specific platform and paired to the brand’s DIRECT4 torque-vectoring four-wheel drive system. Curiously, the system can allow the driver to choose between all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or rear-wheel drive driving.
The Japanese luxury marque hasn’t detailed much else about the LF-Z’s mechanicals, although it’s probably fair to assume that the model will at the very least be offered with dual motors. The lack of info means that numbers concerning range and performance don’t yet exist.
The LF-Z’s exterior appears almost production ready, with flush door-handles and camera-based wing-mirrors among the features that may receive some form of tweak before production.
The rest of the exterior is a blend of current Lexus visual tropes and next-gen tweaks. You can see some LC 500 in the LF-Z’s headlights, and some UX in the model’s rear end — particularly in the tail-light bar that spans the width of the car.
Lexus’ huge hour-glass grille has been given an update, too. It’s now solid (no need for grilles on electric cars, of course), save for some neat looking perforations on its flanks. Expect this kind of grille to become the norm on future electric Lexus products.
Speaking of new Lexus products, the brand confirmed alongside its LF-Z that it plans to roll out 25 new models by 2025, just four years from now. This will include 10 electrified models, spread across full electric, plug-in hybrid, and traditional hybrid powertrains.
By 2025, Lexus says all models it offers will come with an electrified variant, adding that it expects sales of these models to exceed the sales figures of their petrol-powered cousins. The firm has also pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 across the lifecycle of its line-up.
Some have said that the firm’s overnight pledges don’t go far enough in a green direction, having come after the likes of Jaguar, Bentley, and others pledged that they would completely eradicate internal combustion by 2030.
But, Toyota’s tact on electrification has always been different. And given its mountain of expertise in the field of hybrids, writing off their strategies when it comes to going fully electric is done at one’s peril.