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The shape of few

The Lexus LF-30 Concept shows what is to come, and why that matters

By Kap Maceda Aguila

AS A BRAND SPACE, Lexus at Mitsukoshi — a stone’s throw from the lone Lexus dealership also at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) — is a warm, inviting venue showcasing the intangible and tangible about Toyota’s luxury marque. From actual vehicles to lifestyle items and, yes, even excellent coffee, Lexus at Mitsukoshi is the place to be. It also reflects the electrification aspirations of the brand — encapsulated in Lexus Electrified, “where the brand’s heritage, sensibilities, and future design inspirations will be showcased,” reported Lexus Philippines.

The future is something that is definitely on display until April 29 for the general public to get up close to, photograph, and even have selfies with. Lexus is displaying the LF-30 Concept vehicle front and center at its Mitsukoshi location.

“The future is predicted by concept cars,” said the company in a release. “They take the form of bold and brave design ideas and propel the imagination into the future and expand a brand’s horizons — often through unexpected means and with a creative energy that makes the seemingly impossible possible. Mobility is the inspiration, and Lexus remains committed to producing cars that tackle the needs of today — while exploring the future of the Lexus brand.”

First revealed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, LF-30 is a highly angular, dynamic-looking vehicle that is said to “distill” the Lexus “DNA of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.” It was released on the 30th year of the company, and even then had “demonstrated the future of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with new technologies and features.” Interestingly, many of these aspects are now in contemporary Lexus vehicles. Expect designs and concepts to continue pushing the envelope.

Lexus Philippines Brand Manager Jade Sison said to “Velocity,” “We brought the LF-30 Concept here in the Philippines to give people a taste of what is becoming a reality — an electrified, sustainable, and a design-forward luxurious future.”

Ms. Sison added that 48% of the Lexus lineup today is comprised of hybrid electric vehicles. “This will continue to increase,” she stressed. The LF-30 is surely pioneering that new era of greater electrification.

The LF-30 unmistakably channels the signature “spindle grille” that Lexus has been known for, reinterpreting it not just on the fascia but elsewhere as well. This calls to mind the directive that Toyota and Lexus Chief Akio Toyoda issued for the all-new RX SUV, which now bears a “spindle body.” In the LF-30, a continuous stretch of glass from front to rear, large fenders, and the headlights suggest that iconic spindle shape.

The maw of a front fascia is said to flow into the “linear and sharp rear.” Wing-shaped headlights are complemented by sharp rear lamps and massive air intakes. The intent of the designers is to imbue the LF-30 with “excellent aerodynamics and cooling performance.”

Imagining the (near) future does not begin and end with only exterior aesthetics. The cabin and the driver experience also get a reimagining. Lexus said that the LF-30 is a showpiece of “features like Advanced Posture control, which offers complete independent control of the front and rear drive wheels, and allows appropriate provision of front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the driving situation; a Steer-by-Wire System, which eliminates a mechanical connection to allow more flexible turning control and more precise steering feel aligned with the driver’s intention (and also contributes to a greater sense of openness as the steering controller can be shifted forward and out of the way during autonomous driving); Wireless Charging, which offers an even more convenient way of charging a BEV; the use of sustainable materials; and the ‘Tazuna’ cockpit, (the brand’s) fundamental human-centered philosophy for the interior which employs next-generation interfaces, such as gesture control and enhanced presentation of vehicle information through AR (augmented reality).”

For the more impatient observer, the LF-30 might look exciting but still a little bit further ahead in the future. Addressing this quite nicely is the imminent arrival of the first Lexus BEV.

“This year, people can expect our first BEV,” declared Ms. Sison. She confirmed the revelation of Lexus Manila Chairman Alfred Ty, who said the same at the opening of Lexus at Mitsukoshi.

The model in question will be the RZ 450e, the brand’s first full EV and an SUV that shares a platform with the Toyota bZ4X. It is expected to be equipped with a 65.6-kWh battery pack and a dual-motor Direct4 powertrain that blurts out 308hp.

This surely ups the ante anew. Remember that Lexus in the Philippines was already quietly but efficiently selling hybrids way before it became fashionable to do so.

For more information, visit the Lexus Philippines website at lexus.com.ph or its social media pages on Facebook and Instagram (@lexusphilippines). Updates and premium services are available via the MyLexus app for both Android and iOS users. Mitsukoshi BGC is at the corner of 8th Avenue and 36th Street, Grand Central Park, North BGC, Taguig City.