Lexus unveiled a futuristic electric car called the LF-ZC.
The concept previews a new Tesla rival that Lexus plans to make starting in 2026.
The LF-ZC aims to offer "twice the range" of conventional EVs, Toyota's premium brand said.
One of the biggest hurdles potential electric car buyers face is driving range — or, more precisely, range anxiety. Survey after survey shows that more people would buy electric cars if only they were more confident they could get places without running out of juice.
On Wednesday, Toyota's upscale brand revealed the LF-ZC, a concept car that, unlike so many quirky designs displayed at auto shows, is actually going into production. Better yet, Lexus shared some key details about the car, most notably that it "aims to achieve approximately twice the range of conventional BEVs." (That's short for battery electric vehicles.)
We've reached out to Lexus to get a better idea of what the brand considers "conventional," but the LF-ZC should provide a massively upgraded EV ownership experience no matter how you slice it.
Twice the range of Toyota's bZ4X SUV would be around 500 miles. Doubling the range of Lexus' equivalent, the RZ450e, gets you around 450. Another hint: Toyota has said that its next-generation EVs arriving in 2026 will provide at least 800 kilometers of range (497 miles), thanks to new battery technology.
Most EVs these days enable somewhere between 200 and 350 miles of cruising. The Air, the debut model from California startup Lucid Motors, earns an EPA range rating of up to 516 miles. But it costs $125,600. The rangiest Tesla is the Model S sedan, rated at 405 miles.
After years biding its time on the sidelines of the EV transition, Toyota is accelerating its plans to meet the moment. That includes releasing the LF-ZC in 2026.
And although the production car will look at least somewhat different from this concept — for example, the final vehicle will need side mirrors to be street legal — the initial design indicates where Lexus' head is at.
The striking, four-door concept features lots of hard edges and an overall silhouette that falls somewhere between a sedan and a crossover. On top of just being plain cool, that sleek exterior design reduces drag and boosts range, Lexus says.
The brand advertises a spacious interior with a flat floor and the front seats that are pushed far forward to stretch the cabin. Little touchscreens flanking a rectangular steering yoke control major vehicle functions like gear shifting, cruise control, and music. In addition, there's a huge display for passenger entertainment.
We'll just have to wait a few years to see how much of this concept makes it to reality.
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