Lexus wants to redefine crossovers with LF-1 Limitless concept
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Lexus has thrown the covers off its LF-1 Limitless concept, a design study aimed at redefining the crossover SUV while previewing the brand's latest technology and bold new design language.
Lexus established the luxury crossover segment with the global debut of the RX 300 at Detroit in the mid 90s. Two decades later and at the same show, the Japanese automaker says the LF-1 concept has the potential to be just as revolutionary.
The exterior design, penned by Toyota's Calty Design and Research centre in California, is said to be a fusion of organic shapes, liquid metal and the sharp edges of a traditional Japanese sword, with an exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio giving the crossover an athletic stance.
Like all current Lexus models, the spindle grille on the LF-1 is a core element to the overall design. The grille features a three dimensional design with colours developed in-house by the team at Calty.
The front grille also establishes the crossover's main feature line which splits the front fender and bonnet, continuing from the hood all the way to the bottom of the D pillar.
The low roofline and split rear spoilter are designed with performance and practicality in mind, while a huge single-piece glass window extends over the rear seats providing an uninterrupted rearward view.
In terms off engine options, Lexus appropriately say: 'The possibilities for powertrain are limitless,' with the LF-1 concept capable of being powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline or all-electric powertrains.
Though the LF-1 has not been imagined with off-roading in mind (in the concept's case at least) as the new crossover features a rear-wheel drive chassis and aggressive 22-inch wheels.
Inside the cabin, the LF-1 concept shows off some of Lexus' latest technology housed within a spacious four-seat interior.
The cockpit is designed to allow the driver to concentrate on the task at hand with all powertrain controls and mode displays on the steering wheel, while the front passenger space is far more open with fewer controls and an unobstructed dashboard.
The rear passengers enjoy the same legroom as the front, and individual display screens for adjusting the climate control or entertainment options.
The interior trim is a blend of rose-gold and copper, with a satin finish for a warmer feel. Metallic accents throughout the interior contrast with the dark Cocoa Bean leather trim and seats covered in Chiffon White perforated leather.
For added luxury, the LF-1 also features a 'Chauffeur mode' allowing for hands-free operation of the vehicle’s by-wire steering, braking, acceleration, lights and signals.
A four-dimensional navigation system acts as a concierge for the occupants by anticipating the needs of the driver and passengers based on progress, traffic and road conditions along a programmed trip, suggesting fuel stops, rest breaks and restaurants. The system can even make hotel reservations on the go if need be.
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 easily reached from the steering wheel interface with the 4D navigation system and integrated comfort and entertainment systems.
A touch-tracer pad embedded in the leathercovered front centre console supports character recognition for data entry, with the same setup in the rear seat centre console for rear passengers to select their own comfort and entertainment choices.
“The LF-1 Limitless concept incorporates imaginative technology, and brave design while catering to the diverse lifestyles of customers,” says Paul Carroll, Senior General Manager of Lexus New Zealand.
Only time will tell if the LF-1's design will make it into a production car, but one thing is for sure. If it does, everyone in the supermarket parking lot is going to notice your arrival.