Radical new Lexus concept previews long-range EV for 2026

Lexus concept teaser front

Preview image suggests concept will be a low-slung sporting EV

Lexus will give a dramatic first look at its next-generation electric cars in Tokyo next month

Lexus will show a radical new concept next month, which previews a ‘next-generation’ electric car it will launch in 2026. 

Said to “revolutionise the modular structure of the vehicle body, drastically change the production method, and completely revamp the software platform”, the new car will serve as a statement of intent for the Japanese luxury brand as it pushes forward with a plan to electrify its entire line-up by 2035.

It is expected to be conceived along the lines of the recently revealed BMW Neue Klasse, Mercedes Concept CLA and Vauxhall Experimental show cars as an all-encompassing vision of the design cues, technological upgrades and performance potential that will distinguish the marque’s upcoming EVs from its current line-up. 

Previewed as part of a recent Lexus Showcase event in Japan, the concept looks to be a dramatic, low-slung EV, possibly derived from the rakish saloon concept the firm showed briefly in late 2021. If it adopts a similar five-door fastback silhouette, it will serve as a natural rival to the likes of the BMW i4 and Hyundai Ioniq 6.

Lexus has given no further details of the concept – or the production car it previews – but parent company Toyota revealed last week that it will also begin launching a new family of electric cars, touting drastic improvements in range and price compared with the marque’s current EVs.

The headline upgrade for the Japanese firm’s new family of EVs – set to be shared with their Lexus counterparts – is a new type of lithium ion battery that claims a range of 497 miles from a single charge.

The new, more efficient chemistry allows for slimmer battery packs, which facilitates lower-slung and more aerodynamically optimised car designs with roomier interiors – features that could reasonably be expected to define the new Lexus concept. 

The new lithium ion battery chemistry will eventually be offered alongside a ‘High Performance’ solid-state battery option that boosts range to 621 miles, Toyota claims. Lexus has not yet expressed an ambition to match that figure with a production car but has suggested it will use solid-state technology for the production version of its Electrified Sport supercar concept

The Lexus concept will also preview a new approach to car construction, which is expected to be based on Toyota’s plan to integrate propulsion, suspension and steering systems into space- and cost-efficient module units.   

The design of the concept Lexus will show in Tokyo is “thoroughly focused on Lexus characteristics”. Details visible in a grainy preview image include new arrow-shaped headlights, rear-view cameras in place of mirrors and an aggressive, muscular front end that bears a faint resemblance to that of the V10-powered Lexus LFA supercar. 

It is anticipated that the design will evolve, rather than be radically overhauled, for the production car – as was the case when 2021’s LF-Z concept became the Lexus RZ crossover, Lexus’s first bespoke electric car. 

Source: Autocar

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