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Lexus LF-30 electric concept revealed at Tokyo Motor Show

John Law

Lexus has revealed a futuristic LF-30 electric concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, marking Lexus’ first foray into full-electric vehicle development and highlighting some of the ways the Japanese luxury brand is expected to bring EVs to production in the short term.

At over five metres long, the four-door LF-30 is an F-segment vehicle akin to the company’s production, combustion LS sedan. Beneath the futuristic exterior that takes the company’s ‘spindle grille’ design to its full extent sits an enormous 110kWh battery delivering 500km of range.

The LF-30 concept foreshadows a product assault from Lexus in the next five years that will see every model in their range featuring some sort of electrification. This pledge includes full battery electric vehicles, as well as plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids – the likes of which we see on the road today wearing Lexus badges.

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Lexus claim juicy outputs for the LF-30, with claimed 400kW of power and 700Nm of torque. But, batteries mean weight, and the weight of the LF-30 is a staggering 2.4 tonnes, blunting its claimed 0-100km/h sprint somewhat at 3.8 seconds. 

Providing energy to the motors will be that 110kWh battery that should give the LF-30 a cruising range of 500km (WLTP). The LF-30 sits atop the Toyota group’s new modular e-TNGA platform which Chasing Cars understands will accommodate batteries of up to 100kWh in production form.

The LF-30 exercises a new design language for the brand, with Lexus claiming it utilised the packaging advantages of a BEV powertrain to keep the car very low slung with minimal overhangs. Designed with function in mind, the sharp vents and intakes provide cooling for the batteries and motors.

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Shown here in “voltaic sky” colourway, the LF-30 has its wheels pushed right to each corner of the short, stout body, with the near vertical front valance giving way to a sharp point at the rear, the concept has an almost ominous presence. We hope some of the elements remain in-tact for the production vehicle as the concept looks truly space-age.

Inside the LF-30 is unique too, Lexus referencing the organic connection between a horse and rider with new “Tazuna” (that translates to “reins”) design language. As you would expect with a concept, this has been taken to the extreme, with the driver and passenger each getting their own wrap-around digital read-out, aeroplane style tiller, and minimalist pedals, it’s certainly a ‘cockpit’ more than interior.

As for technology inside Lexus mention a gesture control system, voice control, “artificial muscle technology” for the rear seats, and customisable augmented reality read-outs which will apparently project a starry night-sky on the sunroof if you so wish.

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The LF-30 is also said to have a wireless charging system, so theoretically one could install a charging pad in their garage at home and never have to forget to plug in the car to fuel up.

Lexus’ claim of driver enjoyment will be difficult to test in concept form, and interestingly the LF-30 does away with any physical connection between the steering wheel and tyres, instead the car will make do with a steer-by-wire system.

After Chasing Cars had a chance to talk with designers of the LF-30 and see it in the flesh, it’s safe to say we’re excited for the future of Lexus EVs.

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