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Lexus Shows Off The LF-1 Limitless Concept At Detroit

Reveal / 14 Comments

This concept shows off the company's future flagship crossover.

With all of the buzz surrounding crossovers in today's automotive market, it does not surprise us that so many automakers are showing off crossover concepts at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Lexus dominates the luxury crossover segment with the RX, but the company realizes that it needs a more diverse range of crossover models. That is why Lexus introduced a three-row version of the RX and is now showing off its LF-1 Limitless Concept, which could preview a new flagship crossover model for the brand.

The LF-1 combines high performance with unrestrained luxury and takes the Lexus design language in a bold direction. Lexus has not specified what powertrain the LF-1 uses, because as the name suggests, the possibilities are "limitless." The LF-1 could be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric drivetrains. Lexus promises that all of its models will be available as an electric vehicle by 2025. Unfortunately anyone who does not like the current Lexus design language probably won't be won over by this concept. The design was drawn up by the CALTY Design Research in California and is called "molten katana."

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Kevin Hunter, president of CALTY Design Research, said that "This is our vision for a new kind of flagship vehicle that embraces crossover capability without giving up the performance and luxury delivered by today's top sedans." The proportions give an aggressive look that emphasizes a rear-wheel-drive platform. The LF-1 sits on massive 22-inch wheels that further add to its bold look. Like all Lexus models, the LF-1 uses the brand's signature spindle grill. However, the LF-1 uses LED lighting around the grill instead of the chrome trim that is used on production models.

The rear of the LF-1 features a split spoiler and a rear bumper area that appears to house openings for exhaust pipes at each corner. In fact, these openings are actually vents that channel air coming past the rear wheels. Inside, the LF-1 focuses on the driver by removing distracting analog knobs and buttons in favor of motion-activated controls. We absolutely love the way that Lexus lit this interior with LEDs, including the fighter pilot-style instrument display. Although this is just a concept, Lexus has given the LF-1 seats that look like they were taken straight from one of the brand's F models. These are some of our favorite seats on the market.

There are a lot of design elements that won't make it to production, but the LF-1 shows that Lexus is well on its way to building an exciting flagship crossover. The RX has been a hot seller for Lexus, but its larger offerings (the GX and LX) haven't caught on with the same amount of popularity. A production version of the LF-1 could be a huge sales hit for Lexus.