Lexus Debuts LF-Z Electrified Concept

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 31, 2021

Lexus and parent company Toyota have been slow to come out with all-electric vehicles. At the moment, Toyota is betting on hybrids and plug-in hybrids, which explains why Lexus’ electrified lineup is made up of six hybrids. That’s probably going to change, soon, as the brand won’t be able to hold off from having an electric vehicle for too long. As a way to showcase what’s in store to come, Lexus recently came out with the LF-Z concept – a battery-powered EV with a sharp look.

As a concept, there’s a good chance that the LF-Z won’t make it into production. Instead, the concept’s design could pave the way forward as inspiration for future electrified vehicles from the brand. From a design standpoint, the LF-Z concept has a lot of design elements as modern cars from the brand, but things have been turned up to 11. The controversial spindle grille is gone, but the overall shape of it prominently sits at the front. From the side, the silhouette of the LF-Z looks like a crossover, but has a sharply raked roofline to look low slung. A futuristic diffuser, a full-width taillight with “Lexus” spelled across it, and “Electrified” illuminated at the bottom of the liftgate are at the back.

Lexus LF-Z

The interior of the LF-Z is just as futuristic as the exterior with a yoke-style steering wheel that utilizes a drive-by-wire steering system that allows for adjustable steering ratios on the fly. Lexus claims the head-up display and steering-wheel-mounted switches have been coordinated to make it easier for the driver to change various functions, like the audio and navigation systems, without having to take your eyes off the road. That’s a good thing, because the four-screen layout seems like it would be tricky to use when on the go. The LF-Z also has artificial intelligence that learns the driver’s preferences and adapts to the driver’s habits to choose driving routes and make restaurant reservations.

Lexus didn’t say much about the powertrain, but the LF-Z concept features Lexus’ Direct4 all-wheel-drive system. It’s capable of going from front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive as needed, which should make the powertrain more efficient, enjoyable to drive, and stable in inclement weather. The concept sits on a new dedicated EV platform that allows engineers to nestle the battery pack longitudinally under the floor for a low center of gravity.

As far as electrification strategies go, Lexus’ isn’t nearly as aggressive as what General Motors has in store for Cadillac. By 2025, Lexus wants to have more than 10 new hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-powered EVs on sale. Since Lexus’ current plan has been to offer hybrid versions of regular models, we believe that it would continue to do the same, but with higher levels of electrification. We wouldn't be surprised to see a flagship model like the LF-Z, though.

We’ve seen a similar concept from Lexus before with the LF-30 concept from 2019. The electric car had the same overall shape, a similar interior design, and cutting-edge technology. Compared to the LF-30, the LF-Z looks like it’s closeer to being production-ready.

Explore the current Lexus lineup »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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