This story contains independent illustrations made by CarScoops’ artist Josh Byrnes based on the Lexus LF-Z concept. The renderings are not related to nor endorsed by Lexus.
After much acclaim surrounding its conceptual debut back in March, the Lexus LF-Z Electrified is shaping up to be one slick battery electric vehicle. The mid-sized crossover that is rumored to wear the RZ 450e moniker after Lexus trademarked the name in the U.S., Europe and Australia, spearheads a significant push to electrify the brand’s lineup with many new BEV’s, self-charging hybrids and plug-in hybrid models.
The production LF-Z will also be the first Lexus to use a dedicated EV platform that promises better packaging efficiencies and a svelte new design direction. But what else can we expect? Let’s take an illustrated presumption and explore everything else we know to date.
Like the concept, the production variant will be a stunner, with futuristic styling that is luxurious, sleek and well-sculptured. The shark-nosed front end makes its best Gene Simmons impression with a body-colored, reverse spindle grille flanked by textured side inlays that cascade down from the LED headlamps.
Viewing from the side reveals a low-slung, five-door coupe profile with a two-tone roof. A concave character line sweeps up from the front fenders into the rear doors, while pop-out ‘E-latch’ door handles cement the innovative aesthetic. Out back, the LF-Z wears a full-width LED tail light cluster and an integrated hatchback spoiler for a powerful stance.
A Luxurious Outlook
Lexus interiors are known for superb craftsmanship, and the LF-Z ups the ante with sublime detailing mixed with impressive levels of occupant space. While the concept’s yoke steering controls are unlikely to carry over into production, the strategically minimalist styling and human-centered approach to ergonomics will.
The cabin will also be a tech-fest with a vast array of goodies. These include a wraparound digital instrument cluster, digital key, augmented reality heads-up display (HUD) and an infotainment display that incorporates AI-assisted voice commands. The latter can learn preferred routes and commonly frequented places – although, understandably, some may want that feature switched off…
Platform & Performance
Unlike the UX 300e compact crossover that uses an existing hybrid platform, the LF-Z will be the first Lexus underpinned by a dedicated EV architecture. Shared with Toyota’s bZ4X BEV and its Subaru Solterra twin, the new e-TNGA platform promises a dynamic driving experience due to the underfloor 90kWh lithium-ion battery and its lower center of gravity.
Lexus markets the LF-Z’s powertrain and torque vectoring management under the ‘Direct4’ banner. This system features dual electric motors (one on each axle), feeding power to the front, rear, or all four wheels depending on the driving situation. It also has advanced steer-by-wire technology, which changes steering feel and stability at various driving speeds.
While power figures remain a tight secret, the concept sported 536 hp (400kW), resulting in a blisteringly 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time of 3 seconds. While the production Toyota bZ4X is offered with a 201-horsepower single electric motor or a 215-horsepower twin electric motor setup, it’s safe to assume that Lexus will want to stand out with more powerful offerings and justify its premium pricing. WLTP range will exceed 373 miles (600 km), and it will offer DC fast-charging capabilities of up to 150kW.
Electrified Rivals & Reveal
Potential battery-electric competitors could include Tesla’s Model Y, Audi Q4 e-tron, Genesis GV60, BMW iX, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Jaguar I-Pace, Polestar 2 and Cadillac Lyriq.
Lexus has confirmed that a production model reminiscent of the LF-Z will debut within the next few months and go on sale in the second half of 2022.
What are your thoughts on the LF-Z? We’d love to hear your views in the comments below.