Lexus will be heading into the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show with a fully electric concept in a hatchback bodystyle, which will draw cues from the LF-SA concept of 2015, according to Autocar. This iteration of the EV concept will be revised for further production viability, the report notes.
“We feel that our future could resemble this design,” vice president Koji Sato told the website. Forthcoming infotainment technology includes a pair of displays on both sides of the steering wheel, Autocar reported. The luxury marque has yet to disclose technical details for its EV development efforts, though it is focusing on in-wheel electric motors.
“We expect (a setup of) four wheels operating independently will offer greater agility, stability and excitement. We will continue to pursue this exciting opportunity,” Sato said. The company is also investing greatly into the development of the powertrain in order to meets its target of releasing an electrified variant of every model it sells by 2025, according to the report.
Lexus design chief Koichi Suga is defining the aesthetic direction of a Lexus SUV, the report said, which is likely to be in reference to the future, productionised LF-SA concept. Though the final design has yet to be signed off by Toyota chief Akio Toyoda, the Lexus signature spindle grille won’t fully depart from the aesthetic.
Cooling is still required, said Suga, adding that the spindle grille is a necessary part of the brand identity, though at the same time customers will be expecting something more futuristic from an electric vehicle, he said. The company is also developing other alternatives to the petrol engine, the report noted.
“Hybrid technology is our core. Our expertise in electrical control technology and battery technology can be used for other types of alternative powertrains, even fuel cells,” Suga noted of Toyota’s expertise in hybrid powertrain technology. The growth of its fuel-cell vehicles however is strongly tied to available infrastructure, with vice-president Sato saying his team is ‘never giving up on this technology’, although he stressed that Lexus can’t solve the problem alone.