Lexus LF-ZC: electric sports saloon heading to production in 2026 | CAR Magazine

Lexus LF-ZC: electric sports saloon heading to production in 2026

Published: 25 October 2023 Updated: 25 October 2023

► New Lexus BEV concept revealed in Tokyo
► LF-ZC concept previews new saloon due in 2026
► One of two concepts from Lexus

You’re looking at the Lexus LF-ZC, a preview of a new, electric production car that’ll be on the road by 2026. Revealed at the Tokyo mobility show today, the new EV contains cutting-edge tech Lexus hopes to put into full-scale production, but wraps it up in a low-slung, high-performance package.

Lexus LF-ZC front

It looks like a Lexus

Lexus calls this design theme ‘Provocative Simplicity’ but that’s basically marketing-speak for Lexus 2.0. It may look futuristic, but there are several design touches that ensure the LF-ZC looks like something from Toyota’s premium brand. 

The spindle grille remains at the front, though now it’s more of a ‘spindle-shape area,’ and like all other Lexus cars, it’s flanked by the brand’s familiar arrow-shaped headlights – which are even pointier here. At the rear Lexus’ designers have continued the pointy theme, opting for a chunky bumper and a combination of horizontal and rear lights. 

Will this exact design make it to the production car? Almost certainly not, but it’s still got the potential to be the most interesting-looking Lexus since the LC. It’s also incredibly slippery; Lexus is targeting a Cd of 0.2, which will help the range.

What’s the interior like? 

The LF-ZC’s swooping greenhouse makes for a huge interior – and as you’d expect it’s covered in tech. The driver uses a more advanced version of Lexus’ steer-by-wire tech and a small cockpit screen, while the passenger benefits from two touchscreens. The idea here is driver focus; the LF-ZC’s low CoG and four-wheel drive system hints at a car you’ll want to divert all of your attention to. 

When you don’t want to drive, the LF-ZC’s cutting-edge ADAs systems can be accessed via a pad on the left of the yolk, while infotainment functions are accessible on the right. 

The interior will run Arene OS, a Lexus-designed operating system designed to keep the LF-ZC at the forefront of safety and infotainment tech. In time, Lexus says it’ll also help you improve your driving. The Arene OS makes Lexus the latest brand to try and create its own, in-house operating system, and follows Mercedes’ MB.OS – revealed earlier this year in Munich.

Speeding up production

Lexus LF-ZC rear

Lexus says its forthcoming BEVs will be more modular than before, thanks to a gigacasting process. By putting battery tech in the middle, Lexus believes it’ll be easier to produce and manufacture new designs, making future development more agile. 

What’s more, Lexus’ upcoming EVs will also autonomously drive themselves through the production line using their electric motors and basic sensors. This manufacturing ‘drive-thru’ technology will speed up production and reduce the need for extra equipment. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes