Cars

Lexus unveils LF-1 Limitless Concept

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Lexus is showcasing the LF-1 Limitless Concept at Detroit show, which the company says is a future of a flagship luxury crossover.

We could mean that the LF-1 might be the next generation LX. The LX, currently in its third generation, has been around for a decade now and is starting to feel very old, naturally. In fact, the LX looks rather outdated compared to its recent siblings in the Lexus line up.

The LF-1 has been designed by the folks at CALTY Design Research in California, whose recent works include the Platform 3.0 automated vehicle.

They call the design language “molten katana”. This design fuses the organic shapes of liquid metal with the sharp edges of a traditional Japanese sword. Imagining that shift from a smooth, flowing mass into a solid, chiseled shape formed the basis for the fluid, yet aggressive design of the LF-1 Limitless, they said.

It is built on a rear-wheel drive platform, but Lexus says, the production model could be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric.

By around 2025, every Lexus model around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or have an electrified option.

Cabin
As for the cabin, the LF-1 adheres to the Japanese tradition of omotenashi, or hospitality, welcoming all who enter with equal enthusiasm. The cockpit is designed to allow the driver to concentrate on the task by removing distracting analog knobs and buttons in favor of motion-activated controls and a minimalist display directly ahead, Lexus said. The front passenger space is far more open, with even fewer controls and a wide unobstructed dashboard. Those in back get the same seats as those in front with expansive legroom and individual display screens for adjusting the climate control or entertainment options.

Engaging the start button initiates a dramatic lighting sequence based on which of the several available driving modes is engaged. For a more subtle effect, the wooden door trim has tiny perforations that allow indirect light from miniature LEDs to shine in a variety of colors that complement the overhead lights.

Options for the driver starts with the Chauffeur mode, which allows for hands-free operation thanks to the vehicle’s by-wire steering, braking, acceleration, lights and signals. For sporty, hands-on driving, all powertrain controls are on the steering wheel to keep the driver engaged and focused on the road.

There is also a four-dimensional navigation system which builds on traditional systems by adding the element of time to the equation, Lexus said. It acts as a concierge for the occupants by anticipating the needs of the driver and passengers based on the progress, traffic and road conditions along the programmed trip, suggesting fuel stops, rest breaks and restaurants, even offering to make hotel reservations. Navigation and route information are displayed on the in-dash monitor, the rear seat entertainment screens, or wirelessly connected to passengers’ tablets and smart phones.

Touch-responsive haptic controls can be reached from the steering wheel interface with the 4D navigation system and so are the comfort and entertainment systems. A touch-tracer pad embedded in the leather-covered center console supports character recognition for data entry. An additional haptic controller in the rear seat center console allows passengers to make their own comfort and entertainment choices.

The concept measures 5,014 mm in length, 1,986 mm in width and 1,605 mm in height. Wheelbase measures 2,974 mm.

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