At the inaugural Japan Mobility Show 2023, Lexus introduced a range of concept models under the theme “Pushing the Boundaries of the Electrified Experience”, envisioning new possibilities for mobility through electric cars. The Lexus booth hosted the global debut of the next-generation Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) concept car LF-ZC, set for release in2026, along with the BEV flagship concept model LF-ZL, which offers a glimpse into the brand’s future.
Since its inception in 1989, Lexus has pushed boundaries in the automotive industry, consistently challenging the conventional notions of luxury and offering customers new product propositions and experiences. As a luxury lifestyle brand that transcends the automotive sphere, Lexus continues to anticipate changing customer needs and desires with creativity and attention to detail, striving to surprise and surpass expectations.
Lexus is committed to becoming electric brand by 2035, a transition that will involve fundamentally reassessing vehicle architecture though a new modular structure, implementing cutting-edge production technology, and fully integrating a comprehensive new software platform.
The LF-ZC (Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst) concept introduced today is part of the forthcoming next-generation Lexus BEV lineup, due for market launch in 2026. As the name suggests, the model forms the catalyst for new experiences in the electric age, including elevated driving dynamics, uncompromised design, and new exclusive services―the epitome of the Lexus brand promise to craft cars that enrich the lives of discerning customers.
Joining the producion concept is the LF-ZL (Lexus Future Zero-emission Luxury), a BEV vision concept that offers a glimpse into a future where mobility, people, and society are seamlessly connected. Offering an unparalleled level of personalized customer interaction with the vehicle, it provides distinctive driving experiences for each individual, taking hints from their actions and making ongoing suggestions. This future flagship model aims to present an innately sustainable, guilt-free luxury lifestyle that empowers customers to live in tune with their needs and desires while at the same time contributing positively to the environment and society at large.
Next-Generation Lexus BEV LF-ZC Concept to Enter Production in 2026
Over the years, Lexus has honed the precise, intuitive dynamic promise of the Lexus Driving Signature through electrification technology. The brand is committed to continuing to deliver hallmark Lexus craftsmanship through BEVs, producing cars that embody both functionality and beauty without any compromise. LF-ZC embodies this vision, standing as a symbol of Lexus’ electrification journey. LF-ZC is characterized by its sleek proportions, low center of gravity, spacious cabin, and an emotionally charged design that seamlessly blends functionality and aesthetics.
Next-generation Lexus BEVs will achieve more versatile vehicle packaging by minimizing all core components. This translates directly to driving performance, with LF-ZC delivering engaging and exhilarating dynamics where driver and car become one, leveraging the excellent inertia characteristics of BEVs and building on technologies from Lexus RZ development, such as the seamless drive force control by the all-wheel drive DIRECT4 system and the natural, linear steering feel provided by Steer-by-Wire.
The digitalized Intelligent Cockpit features situation-based functionality where customers can access the functions they need, when they need them, making it a control interface that enhances the immersive driving experience. The integration of the new software platform “Arene OS” interface allows continuous updates of functions in line with the evolving times, including advanced safety technology and multimedia features. For a personalized driving experience, the car becomes a true companion to customers by adjusting fundamental performance characteristics, such as acceleration and handling, to driver preferences through software-enabled hardware.
Utilizing advanced AI technology, the next-generation voice recognition system provides customers with a service experience reminiscent of conversing with an attentive and accommodating butler, thanks to its swift response to voice commands and perceptive suggestions. Going beyond the conventional navigation features, it provides route and mode recommendations that align with the driver’s preferences by considering their daily activity patterns and mood.
Throughout the interior, the Bamboo CMF (Color, Material, Finish) Concept represents Lexus’s unique sustainability efforts, focusing on circular resource use while delivering fresh experiential value to customers through an innovative interior design. In this way, Lexus is exploring new possibilities for traditional materials through technology, combining the dual principles of environmental and social sustainability, and luxurious design.
Exterior Design Unique to BEVs, Combining Thrilling Dynamic Performance and Futuristic Visual Appeal
- The design theme of “Provocative Simplicity” represents an evolution of Lexus’ unique identity, creating a striking presence through a sleek, refined design. Focusing on aerodynamics and incorporating unique BEV functional and structural elements, the design team pursued an eye-catching, elegantly condensed form with a low center of gravity that hints at an exhilarating driving experience.
- By crafting a sleek silhouette extending from the low-slung hood and tapering the cabin towards the rear, the prominent rear wheel flares are accentuated, achieving a balance between high aerodynamic performance and a wide stance.
- The spindle body design extends beyond the front face and seamlessly continues along the door sides and rear bumper, symbolizing the all-encompassing evolution of function and design through electrification.
- Functionality has been transformed into distinctive design features by integrating aerodynamic elements like air intakes and outlets. This has resulted in an emotionally engaging and unique exterior that delivers no compromise between aesthetics and efficiency.
Digitalized Intelligent Cockpit and Expansive Interior Space Made Possible by New BEV Architecture
- Positioning the front occupants in a low, forward position creates a sense of spaciousness in the interior. The fully flat floor and panoramic roof add overhead expansiveness, resulting in an unexpectedly open interior design not evident from the exterior.
- Various functions that were previously spread across a wide area of the cockpit, have now been consolidated into the digital pad within arm’s reach. The controls for vehicle functions like shifting, ADAS, and drive mode selection are all located within the left digital pad. Convenience features such as music, climate control, phone and AI functions have been grouped within the right digital pad, designed for an intuitive and easy-to-use layout.
- The “eyes on the road” principle is applied by adopting a set-back meter display that projects information on to the front windshield using the same concept as an HUD. Additionally, digital mirrors are installed on both sides of the vehicle. By projecting images of the vehicle’s surroundings, shifts in the driver’s gaze, focus, and head movement during driving are minimized, achieving an unobstructed cockpit view that promotes concentration.
- The expansive monitor on the front passenger side functions as a highly programmable open platform for entertainment and diverse applications, broadening the prospects for future mobility.
“Bamboo CMF Concept”, a Sustainability Innovation Exploring New Possibilities for Circular Resource Use Through Technology
- In line with Lexus’s sustainability philosophy, bamboo has been chosen as the signature material to exemplify the commitment to a circular economy that efficiently reduces, reuses and recycles valuable environmental resources. Bamboo strikes a balance between its fast growth, significant CO2 absorption capacity, and the enduring beauty it has offered in Japan for centuries as a material for construction and crafts. By incorporating bamboo into the design of next-generation BEVs through various techniques, Lexus elevates electric vehicles to a new level of luxury and beauty. The features have both practical and decorative appeal: elements incorporating bamboo fibers, and fabrics woven with bamboo thread, open the door to captivating experiences as they interact with light.
With Exceptional Driving Characteristics Unique to BEVs, Advanced Customization Features Create a Truly Personalized Vehicle
- Leveraging a BEV’s more compact powertrain, the aesthetic form with high aerodynamic performance aims for a Cd (Coefficient of drag) value of approximately 0.2. The low hood and cowl lead to an immersive cockpit with an unprecedented, expansive field of vision, allowing drivers to fully engage with the road.
- By using next-generation prismatic high-performance batteries, LF-ZC aims to achieve approximately twice the range of conventional BEVs, alleviating range anxiety concerns and offering customers the pleasure of driving in all situations, from city commutes to long-distance journeys.
- The next-generation voice recognition system utilizes advanced AI technology called “Butler”, using self-learning functions for software customization and allowing the vehicle to automatically set optimal personal settings for each customer with every drive. Butler also aims to provide a more personalized driving experience through the accumulation of driving data. It goes beyond just understanding customers’ characteristics and providing suggestions that address their immediate needs – it also identifies preferences that customers may not be aware of, offering new experiential value.
- The adoption of the all-new Arene OS will provide an unprecedented experience in terms of vehicle driving dynamics. With just one vehicle, it will be possible to replicate various car operations, driving characteristics, sounds, and vibrations tailored to individual preferences. The combination of Steer-by-Wire and OTA will allow Lexus to bring vehicle settings from the virtual space into the real world. Customers will be able to engage in e-sports using Steer-by-Wire technology inside the vehicle, for example, then implement their preferred settings through OTA to allow them to experience it in the real world. With the aid of such OTA updates, the car will grow with the customer, for an ownership experience that becomes even more fulfilling over time.
Next-Generation Production Technology
- Next-generation Lexus BEVs will feature a new modular structure formed through gigacasting, which splits the vehicle body into three parts: front, center, and rear. Casting provides greater freedom of form, while the integration of parts also increases rigidity, for linear and natural vehicle dynamics. Positioning the battery in the central section of the vehicle body ensures that the front and rear remain structurally independent, enabling the rapid integration of battery advancements into the vehicle and contributing to more agile future development.
- The production process introduces a self-driving assembly line, where cars can autonomously move to the next stage of assembly. This enables the vehicle to drive itself with only the battery, motor, tires, and wireless terminal components in the front, center, and rear sections. The elimination of conveyor belts from the production line provides more flexibility in rearranging the factory layout as necessary, enabling a reduction in the production preparation period and significantly reducing factory investment costs for more agile business operations.
- LF-ZC and other next-generation BEVs will features advanced high-performance batteries. Made with a prismatic structure, the batteries are engineered to increase range through improved aerodynamic integration and weight reduction, enhancing vehicle efficiency and battery performance. The low profile of the battery contributes to increased design flexibility for the vehicles, resulting in a more attractive silhouette. Furthermore, it offers a low center of gravity for improved driving dynamics. Additionally, high energy density is achieved by simplifying and compacting the battery structure, allowing for the integration of more energy into the vehicle.
LF-ZC Main Specifications*1
|Overall Length||4,750 mm|
|Overall Width||1,880 mm|
|Overall Height||1,390 mm|
|Cd value||Under 0.2 (Target Value)|
|*1||Display Vehicle Specification Values|
LF-ZL, a Flagship BEV Concept with a Vision of the Electrified Future
The LF-ZL represents a future Lexus flagship luxury model, aiming to offer a prestigious ownership experience beyond just the car, driven in next-generation BEV architecture and software advancements from the new Arene OS. Taking advantage of the freedom in BEV-specific packaging and optimizing interior space, LF-ZL has a spacious and serene cabin where traditional Omotenashi features are elevated through technology, for an unprecedented mobility experience.
By harnessing the full capabilities of the Arene OS, Lexus has establish advanced information integration that learns and anticipates the driver’s needs, resulting in a personalized mobility experience. Additionally, it generates fresh experiential value by enabling interaction with a range of societal infrastructure and services. Through “Interactive Reality in Motion*2“, the car’s onboard sensors work in conjunction with digital data from the surroundings. When drivers point to objects or places of interest during their journey, the car’s display promptly delivers information along with voice guidance, enabling the car to enhance the connection between occupants and their surroundings.
Furthermore, the utilization of big data allows management of the charging process and power supply, enabling the vehicle to seamlessly connect to the network and become an integral part of the societal infrastructure while parked. This approach ensures the seamless integration of mobility solutions with the customer’s lifestyle.
*2 Concept for an interactive reality experience platform. By combining data from maps and vehicle cameras with AI chat functionality, and in-car voice and gesture recognition, the goal is to link information held by the car with digital information from the surroundings.
LF-ZL Main Specifications*3
|Overall Length||5,300 mm|
|Overall Width||2,020 mm|
|Overall Height||1,700 mm|
*3 Approximate spec values