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Lexus is pushing ahead with electric innovation including an EV LFA-like sports car

Lexus is developing a range of electric technologies which will help with its continued push towards a fully electrified fleet. Most excitingly, it has released more images and scant details of a sports car which would be the successor to the iconic V10-powered LFA first revealed in February.

This development is designed to “maximise the potential of electrification” beyond the emissions benefits and into performance, dynamics and driver engagement. It launched its plans at its Kenshiki media forum in Brussels where it also laid out a roadmap towards full electrification and carbon neutrality.

TME Vice President of Lexus Europe, Pascal Rauch, said: “All future development will be based on the principle of leveraging electrification to reinvent the driving experience. We want our vehicles to be truly enjoyable to drive.”

Perhaps the most exciting prospect that came from the forum was the Lexus Electrified Sport – its vision for a future halo sports car with a BEV powertrain. In essence, an EV LFA. Lexus originally revealed the Sport in February but there is more weight behind the project now. In many ways, it looks like the original LFA has been used as a baseline on which to base the Electrified Sport, with a long, swooping bonnet, aggressive aero features and a hunkered down coupe shape.

Few details have actually been put forward beyond the images; however Lexus is aiming for 0-62mph in less than two seconds, knocking off at least 1.7 seconds from the 0-62mph time of the petrol variant.

Alongside cars themselves, Lexus is developing new tech which is either already being deployed, or will be down the line. Chief among these is a new bi-polar nickel-metal hydride battery which reduces resistance and increases load and unload capacity, in essence allowing for more power without increasing physical dimensions. Lexus is also working on the development of a solid-state battery.

Given the propensity for EVs to come in all-wheel drive variants, and the fair likelihood that the Electrified Sport will join those ranks, the brand is looking to enhance vehicle dynamics with DIRECT4 and One Motion Grip tech. The former is already featured on the RZ 450e EV launched earlier this year and uses smart torque vectoring to improve the car’s capabilities across terrains, as well as improving dynamics.

One Motion Grip will also see service on the RZ 450e and is a steer-by-wire system which does away with any mechanical link between the steering wheel and front wheels. Purists will no doubt scoff at the idea, and it would seem an unnatural fit for the Electrified Sport, but for other production models, it will see wide service.

Another development that Lexus is working on which is more likely to appear on the Electrified Sport is a manual transmission. It’s far from the first such system to see the light of day on an EV, but with changing gear being part of a pleasurable driving experience for many, Lexus has developed a working prototype using a UX 300e. We reckon that for sports car purposes, it’s a great way of keeping driver/vehicle engagement.

#electric-vehicles

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