The 2023 Tokyo auto show provided the stage for Lexus to offer a glimpse into the future of electric vehicles (EVs) and cutting-edge technology. The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the LF-ZC concept, an elegant hatchback that Lexus has slated for production in 2026.
This concept, denoted by the acronym “Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst” (LF-ZC), boasts dimensions of 187 inches in length, putting it in the same size category as the current Lexus IS compact sedan. However, it cleverly utilizes its dedicated EV platform to provide internal space akin to a larger vehicle.
The underpinning platform, designed modularly and to be shared with Toyota, introduces a novel approach to body formation known as mega casting. Unlike traditional methods involving the assembly of numerous small components, mega casting consolidates the body into just three major parts—one for the front, one for the center, and one for the rear. This approach, pioneered by Tesla, streamlines production processes while simultaneously enhancing structural rigidity.
Furthermore, the initial batteries for this platform feature a prismatic structure, a departure from cylindrical designs. This shift promises greater battery efficiency, ultimately doubling the range of these next-generation EVs compared to current models, according to Hiroki Nakajima, Toyota’s chief technology officer.
Aerodynamics play a pivotal role in extending the range of future Lexus EVs. The production LF-ZC, for example, targets a remarkable drag coefficient of under 0.2 cd, positioning it as one of the most aerodynamically efficient vehicles in the market. Consequently, Lexus EVs will exhibit distinctive styling compared to their gas-powered counterparts.
Another notable feature showcased in the LF-ZC concept is Toyota’s upcoming operating system, Arene. Expected to debut around 2025, this OS will include a version tailored for Lexus EVs. With an AI component, it will learn a driver’s unique driving style and adapt performance characteristics accordingly, including acceleration and handling.
Among the advanced technologies slated for these forthcoming EVs are steer-by-wire systems and all-wheel drive equipped with sophisticated torque-vectoring capabilities.
In addition to the LF-ZC, Lexus introduced the LF-ZL, an electric flagship SUV concept, hinting at potential future production models.
Before transitioning to the next-generation EVs, Lexus plans to introduce more EVs based on its existing technology, including a three-row SUV. Ultimately, the automaker aims for zero-emission vehicles, encompassing hydrogen-powered options, to constitute 100% of its sales in the U.S., Europe, and China by 2030, with the rest of the world following suit by 2035.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lexus LF-ZC Electric Vehicle
What is the LF-ZC concept unveiled by Lexus?
The LF-ZC concept is an electric vehicle (EV) showcased by Lexus at the 2023 Tokyo auto show. It provides a glimpse of Lexus’ forthcoming next-generation EVs and technology.
What does “LF-ZC” stand for?
LF-ZC stands for “Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst,” emphasizing its role in Lexus’ commitment to zero-emission vehicles.
When is the LF-ZC concept expected to enter production?
Lexus plans to commence production of the LF-ZC concept in 2026.
How does the LF-ZC concept optimize internal space?
Despite its compact sedan size, the LF-ZC maximizes internal space due to the advantages of its dedicated EV platform.
What is the significance of the mega casting approach in its platform?
The platform adopts a mega casting approach, consolidating the body into three major parts (front, center, and rear), simplifying production processes and enhancing structural rigidity.
What are the key features of the batteries used in this platform?
The initial batteries feature a prismatic structure, promising greater battery efficiency and doubling the range compared to current Lexus EVs.
How does aerodynamics play a role in extending the range of Lexus EVs?
Lexus aims for a drag coefficient of under 0.2 cd in the production LF-ZC, making it one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars on the market and consequently extending its range.
What is Toyota’s Arene operating system, and how does it integrate with the LF-ZC concept?
Arene is Toyota’s upcoming operating system, expected to launch around 2025. It will have a version developed for Lexus EVs, featuring AI that learns a driver’s unique style and adjusts performance characteristics accordingly.
What other advanced technologies are planned for these upcoming Lexus EVs?
Lexus plans to introduce steer-by-wire systems and all-wheel drive with sophisticated torque-vectoring systems in these forthcoming EVs.
What are Lexus’ broader goals for zero-emission vehicles?
Lexus aims to have zero-emission vehicles, including hydrogen-powered options, account for 100% of its sales in the U.S., Europe, and China by 2030, with global adoption by 2035.
More about Lexus LF-ZC Electric Vehicle
- Lexus LF-ZC Concept
- 2023 Tokyo Auto Show
- Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst (LF-ZC)
- Toyota’s Arene Operating System
- Tesla’s Mega Casting Process