October 25, 2023 – Lexus unveiled a futuristic electric flagship SUV concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, named the LF-ZL. This vehicle boasts the latest hardware and software technologies, promising a highly personalized driving experience. While it draws upon the design elements of existing models like the RZ, the LF-ZL features innovative exterior aesthetics and a completely reimagined interior.
Lexus showcased the LF-ZL alongside the LF-ZC sedan concept to demonstrate how the next generation of technology will transform the driving and ownership experience. Lexus has already disclosed that the production version of the LF-ZC is set to launch in 2026, but they have yet to announce a release date for a model based on the LF-ZL.
The LF-ZL measures 5300 millimeters in length, making it larger than the recently introduced Lexus LM luxury MPV and the Toyota Land Cruiser-based LX. This concept car has a width of 2200 millimeters, a height of 1700 millimeters, and a wheelbase of 3350 millimeters, all aimed at maximizing interior space.
Similar to the LF-ZC concept, the LF-ZL employs Toyota’s next-generation modular electric architecture. This architecture aims to provide significant flexibility in vehicle size, shape, and powertrain layout. The vehicle is divided into three parts (front, middle, and rear) using a new giant casting production process, granting designers more freedom in shaping the exterior. Notably, vehicles on this platform will be built on an “autonomous assembly line,” with cars autonomously moving through each stage of the process using their own batteries and motors.
The LF-ZL incorporates design elements from the existing RZ electric SUV, featuring a redesigned grille on the front, a sleek SUV form with an elongated hood and a spacious cabin area, and a short rear section.
The interior of the concept car is truly futuristic, with rear doors that appear to pop out and slide backward. The front of the cabin centers around the driver, featuring a yoke steering wheel, indicating the use of Lexus’s steer-by-wire system. Two digital control panels are positioned on either side of the steering wheel. The left panel controls critical vehicle systems such as driving modes, assistance, and safety features, while the right panel manages entertainment and climate functions. Much like the LF-ZC concept, passengers can use a large touchscreen for controlling key vehicle functions.
The rear seats seem to be seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s body, resembling large “business class” reclining chairs with pop-up leg rests.
Lexus envisions the LF-ZL as a glimpse into a future where “mobility, people, and society seamlessly integrate.” It offers a highly personalized driving experience by utilizing AI to gather “cues” from the driver’s habits within its in-car Arene OS software, providing tailored suggestions. Lexus claims this will promote unparalleled interaction.
Lexus has not disclosed any technical details about the LF-ZL yet, but it is expected to feature many of the technologies currently under development, including the drive-by-wire throttle found in the RZ and the Direct4 all-wheel-drive system. Notably, these two new concept cars showcase the next-generation prism battery unit, which promises improved energy efficiency and a range of up to 600 miles.
Furthermore, the concept vehicle aims to extensively employ a next-generation voice recognition system, using AI to provide a service akin to conversing with a meticulous and attentive personal butler. Lexus claims that Arene OS software, which will be used in future vehicles by both Lexus and Toyota, will adapt the car’s characteristics, sounds, and vibrations to the driver’s preferences, significantly influencing driving dynamics. This can be combined with Lexus’s in-development “manual” electric transmission.
The company also states that the on-board sensors in the LF-ZL will drive a system called Interactive Reality in Motion, which means that when the driver points to an area of interest during the journey, the car’s display screen and voice guidance will provide relevant information.
Lexus has not disclosed when a production model based on the LF-ZL will be released or any performance, range, or pricing information. The LF, which stands for “Lexus Future,” is a name used for a series of concept cars in recent years, and future production versions may adopt the ZL name.