Lexus is keen to showcase its technological advancement, as well as its new driving signature attributes inspired by the LFA supercar. With a limited production of just 500 units between December 2010 and 2012 (and priced from a whopping USD400,000 back then), the halo supercar was said to be a loss-maker for the Japanese auto giant.
In a recently concluded digital broadcast of Toyota Motor Corp’s (TMC) battery electric vehicle (BEV) plans that included Lexus, President Akio Toyoda said Lexus will develop a next-generation BEV sports car that inherits the driving taste, or ‘the secret sauce’ of the performance cultivated via the development of the LFA.
During the brief of the concept, Chief Branding Officer Koji Sato said the development of a new Sports BEV will showcase the unique driving performance of a Lexus and become a model that symbolises the future of the brand.
Acceleration will be close to the fastest recorded, be in the low two-second range for 0 to 100 km/h whilst cruising range is expected to be over 700 km all thanks to the use of solid-state batteries.
Placed in between two rows of Toyota BEVs, the proposed sports car will be joined by the new Lexus RZ (the electric Lexus RX?), a larger SUV as well as a mid-sized sedan the size of Lexus IS to rival the Tesla Model 3. A short test drive impression of the RZ, as well as animation of the Sports EV, can be found here.
In terms of timelines and volumes, Lexus aims to have a full line-up of EVs in all segments by 2030 with key markets of Europe, North America and China going fully electric and contributing to 1 million units of sales. By 2035, the company will only offer BEVs in its showrooms globally.
As for Toyota, the company previewed an even more extensive line-up of concept cars, under the new bZ series of BEVs, spearheaded by the bZ4X mid-sized SUV. Apart from three distinctively sized SUVS (small crossover, compact and large), a bZ sedan will also join the ‘beyond zero’ family of vehicles. Toyota markets the bZ series as carbon-neutral vehicles that run on clean energy and achieve zero CO2 emissions in the whole process of their use.
Akio Toyoda, who is also the brand’s motorsport division’s Team Founder at Toyota Gazoo Racing as well as ‘Master Driver’, perhaps convinced his fellow colleagues to add another sports car for the masses.
In the background, directly behind the Lexus Sports EV concept, lies a bronze coloured low-height two-seater sports car that resembles the first-generation Mk.1 Lotus Elise and could it be even a successor to the little Copen GR. The concept car is even fitted with the ‘GR’ emblem, similar to the Toyota GR Yaris and Toyota GR86.
Although presenting such a diverse line-up of battery EVs, Toyota says this range is not the single direction the company is heading, as it is difficult to meet very varying market demands. The company intends to continue to offer hybrids and even keep the combustion engine prolonged via research and development of synthetic fuels.
Lexus Sports EV Concept
Lexus EV Concept range
Toyota bZ Series
Toyota Lifestyle EV Concept