Exciting day in Tokyo! The Lexus LF-FC concept is official, with more than a few surpriss along the way!
First off, what are we looking at? Our initial hunch about this previewing the 2017 LS sedan appears wide of the mark: the proportions of this LF-FC are actually very low and sporty, much like a 650 from BMW versus a 750. Yet another wrinkle in the mystery: the LF-FC is huge with a length of 208-inches. This is up from the 192-inch length of the GS, or 203-in max length for the current LS600hL. It is also five inches wider than the current LS, and three inches lower.
So clearly a flagship superlimo, with a the sporty new stance to shout coupe coolness. This is critical to compete with the Tesla Model S and Panamera S e-Hybrids of the world. To date, Fuel Cell is like instant Nyquil — just puts you to sleep. Lexus obviously wants the design and scale of the LF-FC to counteract Hydrogen hybrid malaise.
The FC in the concept’s name stands for Flagship Concept officially, but also neatly signifies Fuel Cell as well. A super-strong Hydrogen powerplant connects directly to the back wheels, while the fronts feature in-hub motors for partial AWD traction. All this is a bit like a performance and luxury-upsized version of the Mirai fuel cell vehicle’s hydrogen drive system.
2015 Lexus LF-FC
Lexus LF-FC Flagship Concept Revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show
TOKYO (Oct. 28, 2015) — Taking center stage in the Lexus booth at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, Lexus revealed the LF-FC flagship concept, a visionary new vehicle that offers a peek into the design and technology direction of the brand’s future flagship sedan.
“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.
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. When seen from its profile, the LF-FC’s true character is revealed. 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. 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 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.
Highlighting the new technology 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.
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, giving 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.
Using automated driving technologies, with elevated traffic environment recognition, prediction, and judgment function, the LF-FC provides a safe and efficient driving experience for its occupants and supports the vision of a world without traffic accidents.
LEXUS LF-FC Specifications
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
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