Lexus set out its strategy for a new generation of all-electric vehicles at its annual Kenshiki forum in Brussels, and for becoming a 100% battery electric vehicle (BEV) brand globally by 2035, and in Europe by 2030, if market conditions allow. The next generation of Lexus BEVs will use the opportunities of downsizing and weight reductions in structural parts to offer more versatile packaging. Advances in electrification technologies will enable further evolution of the Lexus Driving Signatures. And while we are updating car new ARES MODENA unveils the Ares Coupè for Rolls-Royce Phantom: a masterpiece of Luxury and Elegance Rolls-Royce, the epitome of opulence, tradition, and grandeur in the automotive world, reaches new heights.
The LF-ZC (Lexus Future Zero-emission Catalyst), which made its European debut at the Kenshiki event, previews a new Lexus production sedan scheduled for launch in 2026. It has sleek proportions, a low centre of gravity, spacious cabin and a design that blends functionality with pleasing modernist aesthetics.
The LF-ZL (Lexus Future Zero-emission Luxury) is a study for a flagship battery electric SUV that enables seamless connection between people, mobility and society. The driving experience can be tailored to each user’s preferences and interaction with the vehicle will reach a higher level with the car making personalised suggestions, based on the driver’s style and habits.
The use of bamboo as the signature material in the cabin references Japanese tradition but also reflects a sustainable approach, industrial use of this fast-growing plant is essential to prevent over-growing and protect nature.
Both concepts combine functionality with beauty with a new “provocative simplicity” design theme. This evolves the Lexus identity, using refined, simple design to create a striking presence.
The fully digital intelligent cockpit gives the driver quick access to controls in an immersive environment. The central feature is a steering yoke to operate Lexus’s exclusive One Motion Grip steer-by-wire technology. Functions are consolidated on small digital screens either side of the driver. Operational controls such as shifts, safety and driver assistance (ADAS) systems and drive mode selection are located on the left-hand pad, while convenience features such as audio, climate control phone and AI functions are grouped on the right. The concepts are also fitted with digital rear-view and side mirrors and an ultra-wide monitor on the front passenger side for accessing entertainment and mobility apps.
Arene operating system
Lexus’s new Arene Operating System will open new entertainment and connectivity possibilities. Using AI (artificial intelligence), the voice recognition system will provide swift response to commands and be able to make personalised, flexible suggestions. The system will even be able to learn the driver’s routines and preferred apps and functions and activate them automatically, without having to be asked.
Lexus will leverage the specific performance characteristics of BEVs, such as the powerful acceleration and the smooth drive force control provided by its DIRECT4 all-wheel drive technology to enhance the pleasure of driving and make the driver feel at one with their car.
DIRECT4, already featured on the all-electric Lexus RZ and RX 500 performance hybrid, constantly balances the drive torque between the front and rear axles, according to the load on each wheel. This ensures optimal traction in all driving conditions, with more linear acceleration, improved cornering performance and a more stable vehicle posture. With a steer-by-wire system, future Lexus BEVs will offer a more intuitive steering experience, especially when driving on winding roads.
The new Arene Operating System will change how the vehicle feels and behaves with different driving modes – luxury car or performance car, for example. Going further, the driver can raise the level of sensory experience, changing the car’s sound and vibrations. These features will be made possible with the adoption of a steer-by-wire system and over-the-air access to software options.
Modular vehicle structure
The next generation of Lexus BEVs will use a new modular structure that divides the vehicle body into three parts – front, centre and rear. This will be made possible by using gigacasting, a system that gives greater freedom in vehicle form. Reducing the number of parts; the front and rear sections of a vehicle structure currently comprise around 175 separate elements. It will drastically reduce production time and give the flexibility for speedy development of different vehicle types.
The front and rear modules can each be produced in less than two minutes. The modular structure will also being the benefits of higher rigidity and weight reduction, which in turn will contribute to linear, natural-feeling vehicle dynamics. Consideration will also be given to repair costs, ensuring that minor accidents do not result in high repair bills for customers.
The manufacturing process will also be transformed with cars moving autonomously through each stage of production on a self-driving assembly line.
Multi-technology approach and product developments
In the near-term, through to 2026, Lexus will continue with its multi-technology electrification approach, based on three vehicle types: models offering multiple powertrain options, such as the UX, NX and RX SUVs; BEVs using Lexus’s current global architecture platform, such as the RZ; and BEVs constructed using gigacasting on a next-generation platform, such as the future model based on the LF-ZC concept. Over the next few years, vehicles will be introduced in each of these three categories, including BEVs, to expand and diversify the Lexus range.
They will also all benefit from powertrain enhancements and continuous improvements in battery technology. Lexus will be the first adopter of new battery technologies, including a new lithium-ion performance battery that is expected to offer a 10 to 80 per cent recharging time of about 20 minutes and a cruising range of about 800 km (WLTP cycle). A lower-cost battery will also be made available, increasing customer choice.
In spring 2024, the RZ range will grow to include a new front-wheel drive version. Later, the option of One Motion Grip steer-by-wire will be offered for the first time. Also planned for the future is system replicating the feel and operation of a manual transmission for BEVs – another dimension in Lexus’s mission to focus on driving pleasure. From the outside, the vehicle will be as quiet as any other BEV, but at the controls the driver will experience all the sensations of a manual transmission vehicle, including engine sound and vibrations.
ARES MODENA unveils the Ares Coupè for Rolls-Royce Phantom taking it to the pinnacle of automotive magnificence. The Phantom, and transforms it into an exquisite two-door grand tourer, redefining luxury in the world of bespoke coachbuilding. Designed in a breath-taking exercise of bespoke automotive coachbuilding, ARES MODENA has sculpted the regal presence of the Rolls-Royce Phantom into an elegant and streamlined Phantom Coupé.
While retaining the original proportions, the design team has reduced them to create a new, dynamic shape. For the discerning connoisseurs of luxury, Ares Coupè for Rolls-Royce Phantom will be available in two timeless colours: the timeless elegance of black or the pristine purity of white. Elevating the design further, both color options feature a distinctive touch – the front bonnet and the frame of the windshield adorned in exquisite rose-gold, adding an extra layer of opulence and individuality to this already exceptional masterpiece.
This meticulous attention to detail ensures that each vehicle is a unique expression of luxury. To match the enhanced performance of the Ares Coupè, the Brand opted for 24” wheels, with 10-inch wide forged wheels supporting the rear-wheel-drive of the 2.6-ton saloon. The result is a harmonious blend of advanced technology, unparalleled quality, and handcrafted mastery, making the car a symbol of automotive excellence. Interior Inside the Ares Coupè Rolls Royce Phantom, Ares specialists have meticulously crafted a triumph of fine materials and handmade finishes. The transformation into a two-door model required a complete redesign of the interior, seamlessly integrating new panels and seats while maintaining the original wheelbase for unrivalled passenger comfort. Every detail is considered, providing a bespoke automotive experience.
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