Details about a new and advanced AWD system are also here.
Lexus doesn't sell an all-electric vehicle in the US but this will soon change. The luxury Japanese automaker has previewed a new concept car set to debut early next year that will feature a battery-electric powertrain. Equally important, it'll have distinctive styling only to be used on EVs. The darkened teaser image is all Lexus released so far and it shows a somewhat different take on the dramatic light signature and spindle grille, complete with an illuminated Lexus badge.
We don't know yet whether this will be an SUV or not, but it's highly likely the vehicle rides on parent company Toyota's new e-TNGA global platform. Lexus design chief Koichi Suga says the concept's spindle grille will differ compared to combustion-engined models for one simple reason: the lack of a radiator.
The brand has also provided details about its new Direct4 electric drive control system designed for the next generation of hybrids and EVs. This system is capable of controlling torque delivery from front and rear electric motors and braking force at all four corners. It can also automatically adjust the power and torque balance of front and rear-wheel drive, meaning the system adapts the driving conditions to the driver's intentions.
One key aspect of the Lexus Electrified vision is to utilize new technologies to enhance the driving experience, not weaken it because of electrification, according to chief engineer Takashi Watanabe.
The camouflaged vehicles shown here, a Lexus GS Hybrid and an EV mystery model (notice its covered grille), have been fitted with the new Direct4 system as part of the demonstration. The choice of the GS is particularly interesting because the sedan is being discontinued. The EV, however, is definitely a crossover SUV and could possibly be the production version of the concept we'll be shown shortly.
Lexus has not yet declared when its future lineup will consist of purely battery electrics, but given the rate in which some countries, including Japan, intend to ban new combustion-engined vehicle sales, this change will have to happen within a decade. Lexus is clearly already preparing.