Lexus has vowed to offer a dynamic driving experience in its future models as part of a rapid and wide-reaching electrification programme – and it will kick off its new-era line-up in 2022 with its first dedicated electric car.
The Japanese luxury brand’s new EV, previewed by the radical LF-Z Electrified concept, will be its second pure-electric model, following the UX 300e. It’s also set to be the first Lexus to use the new e-TNGA architecture jointly developed by parent company Toyota and technical partner Subaru. As such, it will initiate a new era of design for Lexus models and usher in a raft of new technological solutions, which, the brand hopes, will help it to drastically expand its sales footprint.
Lexus will launch 10 new hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric models by 2025, by which point it anticipates electrified cars will account for more than half of its global sales. The new, second-generation iteration of the brand’s best-selling NX crossover, on sale later this year, will play a core role in this strategy, with its new 302bhp PHEV powertrain expected to match the sales figures of the already-popular full-hybrid variant.
The new stand-alone Lexus EV will be similar in size and positioning to the NX, but heavily differentiated in terms of styling and performance. While the existing combustion-fuelled SUV shares its platform and powertrains with the Toyota RAV4, the electric Lexus will be closely related to the production version of Toyota’s new bZ4X concept.
The e-TNGA architecture used for Toyota’s bZ line-up has so far been confirmed for use in seven new Toyota-badged EVs by 2025, but Lexus has yet to state how many of its 10 electrified models will ditch combustion completely.
As previewed by the LF-Z concept, Lexus’s first dedicated EV will sit lower to the ground than its existing SUVs – including the UX 300e – and adopt a more overtly performance-oriented stance. Design cues previewed by the concept – and expected to be rolled out to future Lexus EVs – include a decorative reimagination of the brand’s trademark ‘spindle’ grille, slim, angular LED headlights, a wraparound rear light bar and a new logo spelling the brand’s name across the bootlid.