Lexus revealed the future direction for their flagship vehicles this week at the Tokyo Motor Show – showing the LF-FC concept that not only gives a peek into future design and technology, but also a new powertrain utilizing power cells and automated smart control features.
Advanced Fuel Cell Powertrain
At the heart of the LF-FC is a high output fuel cell power system that energizes the rear wheels, and also sends power to two in-wheel motors in the front, making the LF-FC all-wheel-drive. This innovative drive system allows precise torque distribution control between the front and rear wheels, that will give the full-size sedan exceptional dynamic handling and superior road stability.
The strategic placement of the fuel-cell stack at the rear of the vehicle, power control unit at the front and T-formation configured hydrogen fuel tanks result in front and rear weight distribution optimal for a sporty sedan.
Smart Technology Control
Lexus says that inside the LF-FC is an advanced human machine interface that can be operated by simple hand gestures, without the need to touch a panel or controls. A small holographic image on the center console indicates where the system can interpret your hand gestures to control the audio system and ventilation.
Using automated driving technologies, with elevated traffic environment recognition, prediction, and judgment function, the LF-FC can be expected to provide a safe and efficient driving experience for its occupants and supports the vision of a world without traffic accidents, according to Lexus.
“Lexus wants to surprise and evoke emotion with its distinctive design and forward-thinking technology. For us, it is more than just a car, and we should exceed conventional imagination. The LF-FC expresses our progressive luxury and high-tech vision of a not so distant future,” said Tokuo Fukuichi, Lexus International President.
Futuristic Styling Approach
The LF-FC features a fresh new styling theme that embodies Lexus’ “L-finesse” design philosophy. From every angle, the sedan is aggressively elegant, exuding the spirit of a grand touring vehicle. An evolved version of Lexus’ signature grille with a new mesh design dominates the front, while floating “L-shaped” daytime running lights (DRL) extrude flawlessly from the front fenders.
The rear is highlighted by striking new taillights that adopt the same floating theme as the DRL. The roofline flows from front to rear in the manner of a “4-door coupe,” suggesting that this vehicle isn’t just meant for straight highways, but to also be enjoyed on twisty roads, says Lexus. The sporty 21-inch aluminum wheels with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) rims, add an extra dose of flair to what is already a dynamically styled machine.
The seriously spacious interior of the LF-FC has been designed to wrap its occupants in a comfortable yet futuristic environment, while providing the driver with a highly-functional cockpit.
The cabin has been designed in two sections, top and bottom. The top conveys a sense of openness, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road ahead without feeling constrained. When seen at eye level, the front seats seem to be floating. The rear seats have been designed for those who enjoy being driven, offering a reclining feature and plenty of head and knee space. High-quality aniline leather on the seats, doors and dashboard enhances the level of luxury of the interior.
The development of the LF-FC with fuel cell drivetrain was a predictable step for Lexus as their sibling brand, Toyota is already into hydrogen power cells with the introduction of the 2016 Toyota Mirai which has just entered selected markets in the U.S. and in Japan.
Read more about the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle by clicking on the Suggested Links below.