Lexus has dropped a huge hint at the direction of its next LS limousine, due in the next couple of years. The new LF-FC, unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo motor show, is a flagship four-door coupe ‘that provides a glimpse into Lexus’s design and technology direction for a future flagship saloon.’
Yep, sounds like the new Lexus LS, alright. Tellingly, this one is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell, however – with less reliance on a hybrid drivetrain like most current roadgoing Lexus models. It’s four-wheel drive with a pair of in-wheel motors in the front axle, driven by electricity generated onboard by the rear-mounted H2 stack. Lexus claims handling is aided by active torque vectoring, switching torque instantly between axles.
The design story: Lexus LF-FC
This is a further evolution of the now-familiar L-finesse design handbook: from that huge, gaping ‘spindle’ grille to the crisp surfacing, you’d never mistake this for anything other than a large Lexus limo.
But it’s changing: note the new mesh finish to the grille, the tick-shaped LED day-running lights bleeding into the front wings and a more rakish profile, especially when viewed side on.
Knock the 21in carbonfibre wheels off, add a few more production-realistic door mirrors and handles, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what the next LS should look like…
It looks huge!
It is. At 5300mm long, 2000mm wide and 1410mm high, this is one huge limo that’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with a LWB Merc S-class and even smaller Rolls-Royces. And those comparisons are apt when you delve into the sumptuous cabin, for the LF-FC has four very comfy-looking reclining seats, a cockpit trimmed almost exclusively in leather and gesture-control to operate most minor controls. There’s even a hologram projected on the centre console to show you what you’re controlling as you karate-chop your hand through the air. Neat.
‘Lexus wants to surprise and evoke emotion with its distinctive design and forward-thinking technology,’ said Tokuo Fukuichi, Lexus international president. ‘For us, it is more than just a car; we want to exceed conventional imagination. The LF-FC expresses our progressive luxury and high-tech vision of a not-so-distant future.