Lexus' new EV concept can be tuned using settings from video games

Lexus showed off a pair of EV concept cars at the Tokyo Mobility Show designed to highlight its electrified future. The first is the LF-ZC concept designed to go into production next year and includes wild features like using the steering wheel for racing games. The other is the LF-ZL flagship that represents the “future vision” of the brand, Toyota said in a press release. 

The luxury Toyota sub-brand is committed to becoming fully electric by 2035, and the LF-ZC will be a big part of that with a market launch by 2026. Unlike Honda’s Prelude concept that looks nearly production ready, however, the LF-ZC looks more like a showcase for ideas than a real car. 

Lexus

Some of those ideas include “more versatile vehicle packaging” that minimizes core components. That will improve performance, according to Toyota, allowing for a low center of gravity, steer-by-wire, and an all-wheel drive powertrain. The company is also focusing on aerodynamics, promising drag coefficient of just 0.2, while still allowing for a wide stance. The design is certainly eye-catching, but is unlikely to bear any resemblance to the final production vehicle.

Details on the drivetrain are vague, but Lexus is aiming for “twice the range of conventional BEVs.” That will be achieved through the use of “advanced high-performance batteries” made with a prismatic structure, designed to increase range via improved aerodynamic integration and reduced weight. These notably won’t be solid state batteries, which won’t arrive until a few years later.

Lexus

The concept mentality extends to the cockpit, as well. Along with a yoke-style steering wheel, there’s a left-hand “digital pad” that controls functions like shifting, driver assistance functions, drive mode and more. On the left hand pad are secondary controls like music, climate, phone and AI functions. It also features digital mirrors and a heads-up display that’s de rigeur for such vehicles. 

The dashboard wide display, meanwhile, is what Lexus calls an “open platform for entertainment and diverse applications.” The seating is low, and the LF-ZC features materials like bamboo fibers and threads. It’ll also use AI tech Lexus calls “Butler” that uses self-learning to customize personal settings for each driver and user, while also allowing for a personalized driving experience.

Lexus's latest concept EV that represents the 'future vision' of the brand

Lexus

One particularly crazy feature is using the drive-by-wire feature to somehow marry gaming with 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.” In other words, you can tune the steering and brakes using Gran Turismo or Forza, then take those settings into the real world. 

Lexus also unveiled the LF-ZL (below), calling it a “flagship BEV concept with a vision of the electrified future.” It didn’t go into much detail about that vehicle, other than promising some very high-tech features like “Interactive Reality In Motion” that seem implausible for a vehicle at this point. “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,” the company said. 

Lexus shows off concept EV that represents the 'future vision' of the brand

Lexus

The company also talked up things like using “big data” to allow the LF-ZL to integrate into the electrical grid. Lexus also took car show-speak to a new level, promising “Omotenashi” features that will allow for a serene cabin and “unprecedented mobility.”

Treat all these promises and designs with appropriate skepticism, as it’s unlikely that much of the loftier ideas will arrive to market anytime soon (though gaming on your car’s steering wheel sounds fun). Toyota is famously late to the EV game, though it is trying to catch up quick by releasing seven “beyond zero” all-electric models by 2025. The company is also working on solid-state battery technology, promising a range of over 600 miles and saying it’s near production with a potential launch in 2027 or 2028. If it achieves those goals, great, but so far solid state batteries have been nothing but hot air. 

Lexus's latest concept EV that represents the 'future vision' of the brand

Lexus

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Source: Engadget