At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Lexus LF-30 Electrified Concept was just more of the same thing we’ve seen at many auto shows. A sculptural BEV, with attention-grabbing design flourishes like gullwing doors and an oversized front fascia, that opens up to reveal a cabin seemingly borrowed from a science fiction movie set. Look beyond the glitz, though, and Lexus’ Tokyo Motor Show 2019 concept is something else, too.
It’s also a vision of how the automaker aims to integrate electrification with its luxury car range. The LF-30 has in-wheel electric motors, four drive units integrated with the wheels, that allow it to switch between front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive. The battery pack is low, under the cabin, while the drive-by-wire system allows for a greater flexibility in interior design as well as a choice between engaging driving dynamics when you want fun, but a more cosseting experience when you’re commuting.
That’s not to say there isn’t some fanciful tech, too. A glass roof that uses augmented reality to show star constellations and movies; electrochromatic side windows; and an autonomous drive mode that uses the vast, light-up grille to communicate the car’s intentions with other road users. Peer past the whimsy, though, and you’ll see hints of what Lexus intends for its first BEV due to be unveiled later this year, and a whole new BEV platform early in the next decade.