Twenty years ago, Lexus established the luxury crossover segment with the unveiling of the all-new RX at the 1998 North American International Automobile Show in Detroit. Today, once again in America’s ‘Motor City’, Lexus aims to repeat that achievement with the full reveal of the new LF-1 Limitless concept. It is a vehicle that we believe introduces a new genre of luxury vehicle – the flagship crossover.
What do Lexus enthusiasts need to know about its design, performance, technology and other innovations? Read on to discover seven important facts.
1) Lexus LF-1 Limitless: design
The innovative design was inspired by the concept of molten metal being forged into a fine Japanese sword. Penned by the artists at Lexus’s Calty Design Research facility in California, it attempts to visualise the transformation of a smooth, flowing mass of liquid metal into a solid, chiselled shape.
There is a clearly defined flow front to rear, with a shoulder line that emerges from the grille and extends across the bonnet all the way to the base of the D-pillar. That straight, unbroken perimeter contrasts with the more complex surface treatments below, such as the crisply creased front wings that transition into smooth, deeply scalloped doors.
2) Lexus LF-1 Limitless: spindle grille
Like all current Lexus models, the spindle grille is a core element of the vehicle’s overall design. But on the LF-1, the informing is reversed in that the spindle shape is first suggested at the rear of the vehicle and then continued forward to the nose.
The grille pattern radiates from the central Lexus emblem in a design inspired by metal filings attracted by the pull of magnetism. There is also no chrome framework, as the grille is surrounded by LEDs that illuminate on your arrival.
3) Lexus LF-1 Limitless: proportions
As a car that has the potential to shape the future of luxury crossovers, the LF-1 Limitless offers novel proportions. Like a sports car, the driver is located midway between the axles within a cabin that sits deeply into the rear-wheel drive chassis.
The low roofline and arch-filling 22-inch alloy wheels deliver an athletic profile that evokes the sense of a high-performance grand tourer rather than a squared-off load-lugging estate. Meanwhile, deep scalloping around the front doors and flared arches give the LF-1 a hourglass shape that is evocative of classic muscle cars.
4) Lexus LF-1 Limitless: powertrain
As a concept designed to cater to diverse lifestyles, it is appropriate that the LF-1 Limitless offers the broadest possible range of powertrains. The concept could therefore be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, petrol or all-electric power sources.
By around 2025, every Lexus model will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option.
5) Lexus LF-1 Limitless: light
The LF-1 Limitless uses light as a key element in creating a sense of atmosphere and drama. Natural light is welcomed through the use of a split rear spoiler that creates a huge expanse of glass extending over the rear seats.
Pressing the start button initiates a dramatic lighting sequence within the dashboard, while the wooden door trim has tiny perforations that allow indirect light from miniature LEDs to shine in a variety of colours that complement the more direct overhead lights.
6) Lexus LF-1 Limitless: interior
The LF-1 Limitless exudes luxurious comfort, welcoming all passengers with equal enthusiasm in the finest Japanese tradition of omotenashi.
For the driver, that means the removal of distracting analogue knobs and buttons in favour of motion-activated controls and a minimalist display directly ahead. The front passenger space is even more open, offering a wide and unobstructed dashboard, while those in the back can relax in seats of equal quality with expansive legroom and individual display screens for adjusting the climate control and entertainment options.
7) Lexus LF-1 Limitless: technology
Technology is used not only to enhance the vehicle’s luxurious feel but to offer greater options to the driver. All powertrain controls and mode displays fall readily to hand through the steering wheel, while hands-free operation is available through Chauffeur mode for smooth, carefree driving with maximum efficiency.
A four-dimensional navigation system is designed to act as a concierge for occupants by anticipating their needs based on the vehicles’ progress, traffic and road conditions along the programmed trip, suggesting time-sensitive options such as fuel stops and rest breaks, even offering to make hotel reservations. Navigation and route information can be streamed directly to each passengers’ tablet or smartphone.
What do you think about some of the proposed features of the new
Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept?
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