Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept may be a preview of the upcoming LX

Article by Christian A., on January 22, 2018

The current Lexus LX has been around for quite some time now. That means that it will have to be given a major upgrade if it is to continue to keep up with its rivals. The answer to this dilemma appears to be the recently unveiled LF-1 Limitless Concept. Though it may just be a concept for now, this could actually be a preview of the all new LX. After all, Lexus did say in an interview that their next concept could likely shape the future of a flagship luxury crossover.

To design the Lexus LF-1 Limitless, the automaker partnered with CALTY Design Research in California. The collaboration came up with a concept that has a bold exterior design, which was created by the same team that helped in the FT-1 project that acts as a preview to the new Supra. Similar to some concepts out there, it sits on a set of large 22 inch wheels, while adopting a sharp appearance in line with the company’s recent models.

To be more specific, the LF-1 Limitless’ dimensions are: 5014 mm (197.4 inches) long, 1986 mm (78.2 inches) wide, and 1605 mm (63.2 inches) in height. The concept is just a little bit longer and wider than the LX, and also sits closer to the ground. As for the wheelbase, it is a bit shorter than that of the LX, stretching at 2974 mm (117.1 inches).

It does not take a big SUV and crossover fan to appreciate what Lexus has done with the LF-1 Limitless. Though the rear spoiler and the spindle grille may be a bit too much, the Limitless has a sleek design overall as well as an appealing roofline. We hope that the cool bits don’t change too much when they reach the production line. The concept gets a somewhat high tech look, because of the futuristic design of the headlights and the taillights. It also features flush door handles, while eliminating side mirrors to contribute to the vehicle’s modern design.

The cabin looks very minimalistic with only a few conventional controls, while the driver’s digital display can be found just beside a wide infotainment screen. It also features touch sensitive buttons to fiddle with. There is a 4D navigation system that has been implemented together with more screens incorporated into the backrests of the front seats, to keep back passengers entertained.

As for the powertrain, Lexus has not confirmed anything just yet, and it will be difficult to guess what will be underneath the hood of this vehicle. Nonetheless, Lexus did say that they will be offering a wide variety for customers to choose from. In fact, they are considering several options for it including a combustion gasoline engine, a hybrid / plug in hybrid, a pure EV and even a fuel cell hydrogen setup.

Lexus will be introducing another crossover concept, the UX, which will likely be turned into a production model. This will be the automaker’s smallest high-riding offering.

Press Release

LEXUS CARVES OUT A NEW FLAGSHIP LUXURY CROSSOVER WITH LEXUS LF-1 LIMITLESS CONCEPT

Like molten metal being forged into a fine Japanese sword, the lines of the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept have the potential to shape the future of a flagship luxury crossover for Lexus.

Lexus established the luxury crossover segment two decades ago with the global debut of the RX 300 at Detroit. It remains the top-selling luxury crossover despite nearly 50 competitors that have since entered the segment.

Now, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept introduces a new genre of luxury vehicle: the flagship crossover. Combining high performance with unrestrained luxury, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless is a showcase of technology, innovation and the latest evolution of design at Lexus.

Like its name, the possibilities for powertrains are limitless. The LF-1 concept could be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric. By around 2025, every Lexus model around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or have an electrified option.

The innovative spirit of the LF-1 was created at CALTY Design Research in California. The design language is rooted in the simple yet elegant design concept dubbed “molten katana”. This design visualization fuses the organic shapes of liquid metal with the sharp edges of a traditional Japanese sword. Imagining that shift from a smooth, flowing mass into a solid, chiseled shape formed the basis for the fluid, yet aggressive design of the LF-1 Limitless.

“This is our vision for a new kind of flagship vehicle that embraces crossover capability without giving up the performance and luxury delivered by today’s top sedans,” said Kevin Hunter, president, CALTY Design Research. “The LF-1 Limitless concept incorporates imaginative technology while creating a strong emotional connection by improving the human experience for the driver and passengers.”

It starts with the right proportions. The Lexus LF-1’s exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio gives it an athletic profile that’s more sports car than station wagon. Combined with a cabin that sits deep within the rear-wheel drive chassis and aggressive 22-inch wheels barely contained under bulging fenders, the LF-1 has a powerful stance that conveys its performance intentions at a glance. The low roofline and elevated ride height further emphasize that this is a crossover designed for performance with practicality.

Like all current Lexus models, the spindle grille on the LF-1 is a core element to the overall design. On the LF-1 it’s been taken even further, with details that suggest the start of the spindle form at the rear of the vehicle that then continues forward toward the nose. The grille itself features a three-dimensional design with colors developed in-house by CALTY. Ridges radiating away from the central emblem suggest magnetism guiding metal filings into shape. There is no chrome, as the LF-1 instead uses LED lighting around the grille that greets you on arrival.

“There’s no doubt that luxury crossovers are an increasingly popular choice for luxury customers,” said Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken. “This LF-1 Limitless concept illustrates what could happen if Lexus were to add a flagship crossover to our line-up. It’s a gorgeous execution and we’re anxious to see our customers’ and dealers’ response.”

In profile, the LF-1 has a clearly defined flow from front to rear starting with the front fender line that extends from the hood all the way to the bottom of the C pillar. That line contrasts with the more complex surfaces below it like the wide, crisply creased front fender that transitions to the smooth, deeply scalloped front door. From there, the bodywork slowly builds back out again to envelop the rear wheel giving the LF-1 a broad, powerful stance.

A split spoiler grabs your eye at the rear of the Lexus LF-1, but there are interesting curves and details along every inch of the rear fascia. The beautifully sculpted openings at each corner might look like exhaust pipes but they’re actually vents for the air coming past the rear wheels. The shoulders above those wheels provide sturdy mounts for the sculptural taillights that extend well past the metalwork. Above the lights is the huge expanse of glass that extends over the rear seats to offer an uninterrupted view thanks to the split spoiler on each side.

Maximum comfort for every passenger was CALTY’s goal for the cabin. The Lexus LF-1 adheres to the Japanese tradition of omotenashi, or hospitality, welcoming all who enter with equal enthusiasm. The cockpit is designed to allow the driver to concentrate on the task at hand by removing distracting analog knobs and buttons in favor of motion-activated controls and a minimalist display directly ahead. The front passenger space is far more open, with even fewer controls and a wide unobstructed dashboard. Those in back get the same seats as those in front with expansive legroom and individual display screens for adjusting the climate control or entertainment options.

The metallic interior trim is finished in the same champagne-tinted color as the exterior, but with a satin finish for a warmer feel. Accents around the instrument panel and on the steering wheel further enhance the cockpit feel for the driver. Additional metallic accents throughout the interior contrast with the dark Cocoa Bean leather trim and seats covered in Chiffon White perforated leather.

Lighting also plays a key role in the look and feel of the interior. Engaging the start button initiates a dramatic lighting sequence based on which of the several available driving modes is engaged. For a more subtle effect, the wooden door trim has tiny perforations that allow indirect light from miniature LEDs to shine in a variety of colors that complement the overhead lights.

Technology enhances the luxurious feel of the Lexus LF-1 by expanding the options offered to the driver. It starts with the LF-1’s Chauffeur mode, which allows for hands-free operation thanks to the vehicle’s by-wire steering, braking, acceleration, lights and signals. The result is smooth, carefree driving with maximum efficiency and reduced risk of accidents.

For sporty, hands-on driving, all powertrain controls are on the steering wheel to keep the driver engaged and focused on the road. Paddles mounted to the steering wheel control the acceleration for sporty driving while buttons on the lower section of the steering wheel engage options like park and reverse.
There is also a four-dimensional navigation system which builds on traditional systems by adding the element of time to the equation. It acts as a concierge for the occupants by anticipating the needs of the driver and passengers based on the progress, traffic and road conditions along the programmed trip, suggesting fuel stops, rest breaks and restaurants, even offering to make hotel reservations. 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 leather-covered center console supports character recognition for data entry. An additional haptic controller in the rear seat center console allows passengers to make their own comfort and entertainment choices.
With its innovative technology and captivating styling, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept represents the potential for an amazing experience for future luxury customers.

Specifications
Length 197.4 inches 5014 mm
Width 78.2 inches 1986 mm
Height 63.2 inches 1605 mm
Wheelbase 117.1 inches 2974 mm
Lexus' passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 239 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With five models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F performance models.

Source: Lexus

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