Lexus announced new concept electric vehicles for Japan’s Mobility Show, including the new LF-ZC, which is a four-door luxury car that the company plans to use as a basis for a real one that will launch in 2026. The luxury Toyota brand also presented a second concept called the LF-ZL which the company says is for a “guilt-free luxury lifestyle.”
The LF-ZC, which stands for “Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst,” has a low-hanging roofline that smoothly transitions from the hood to the rear. The windshield is long and goes over the heads of the front passengers for an expansive field of vision. The profile and rear shape look like it draws some inspiration from Toyota’s no-longer-ugly Prius. They’re about the same length, too: 187 inches for the LF-ZC versus the Prius at 181.1 inches.
Aerodynamics is key for the LF-ZC, as Lexus claims it has an approximate drag coefficient of 0.2. For comparison, Tesla’s latest Model S sedan achieves a 0.208 drag coefficient. Lexus claims LF-ZC will achieve “twice the range” of conventional EVs thanks to next-generation prismatic batteries that are both lighter and more energy-dense.
Lexus is building a whole new EV architecture that’s combined with a software platform called “Arene OS,” which handles advanced safety features and supports over-the-air updates. The system also runs the vast multimedia features consumable on the long infotainment screen that’s shifted to the right for passenger use.
Meanwhile, the driver has their own control screens to the left and right of the steer-by-wire yoke and has both an instrument panel and a heads-up display. Drivers can also activate an AI-powered “butler” that responds to voice commands, provides directions, and adjusts the drive mode based on driving patterns and “mood.”
The ultra-luxury LF-ZL runs on a new architecture but is designed for owners who prefer the back seat. The interior is spacious and has easy entry thanks to opposing and sliding doors. Passengers can point around to objects and places, and the car responds to provide information, a futuristic experience Lexus calls “Interactive Reality in Motion.” A lot of the interior trim incorporates bamboo in an effort to use more sustainable materials.
Lexus’ parent company, Toyota, is lagging behind in releasing real electric vehicles. The automaker so far has launched the mediocre bZ4X electric SUV, and a similar Lexus RZ 450e. Toyota’s got good concepts, including this Lexus LF-ZC. Now, it needs to just figure out its EV strategy and execute — hopefully with a new EV that comes before 2026.