Making its debut at the 2015 Toyko Motor Show, the Lexus LF-FC (Lexus Future-Flagship Car/Fuel Cell) Concept offers a glimpse of a potential future for the brand’s future flagship saloon in terms of both design and technology.
Powered by a high-output fuel cell and all-wheel drive incorporating both gesture control and automated driving technologies, the LF-FC Concept underlines Lexus’s commitment to having a fuel cell car within its model range.
Not only does hydrogen fuel cell technology’s extreme efficiency save energy and drive down costs, but it also provides a long driving range and a refuelling process as quick as that of conventionally powered vehicles.
Lexus believes the idea of a fuel cell powertrain is suitable for the luxury automotive segment as it delivers a uniquely quiet, smooth driving experience with the bare minimum of noise, vibration or harshness, key qualities of every Lexus model.
Lexus LF-FC: exterior
The Lexus LF-FC presents a new styling theme that embodies Lexus’s L-finesse design philosophy. From every angle, the concept is powerfully elegant, exuding the spirit of a grand tourer, with a new evolution of Lexus’s signature grille dominating the front end. The L-shaped daytime running lights emerge seamlessly from the front wings with a floating effect that is also applied to the tail lights.
The profile view is when the LF-FC’s true character is evident. The roofline flows from front to rear in the style of a four-door coupe, expressing how this is a car designed for enjoyment on winding roads rather than straight motorway cruising. The 21-inch aluminium wheels with carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) rims add an extra dash of flair to what is a dynamically styled car.
Lexus LF-FC: interior
Inside, the Lexus LF-FC’s spacious interior wraps its occupants in a comfortable yet futuristic environment, while providing the driver with a highly functional cockpit. The cabin has been designed with distinct top and bottom sections: the top conveys a sense of openness, helping the driver concentrate on the road ahead without feeling constrained.
When viewed at eye level, the front seats appear to be floating. The rear seats are designed for people who enjoy being driven, offering a reclining feature and plenty of head and knee room. High-quality aniline leather on the seats, doors and dashboard enhances the level of luxury in the interior.
The LF-FC features an advanced human–machine interface that can be operated using simple hand gestures, with no need to touch a panel or switch. A small holographic image on the centre console indicates where the system can interpret hand gestures to control the audio system and ventilation.
Lexus LF-FC: powertrain
A high-output fuel cell power system is at the heart of the Lexus LF-FC, which drives the rear wheels and also sends power to two in-wheel motors at the front, giving the concept all-wheel-drive. This innovative drive system allows precise torque distribution control between the front and wheels, giving the vehicle exceptional handling and stability. The strategic location of the fuel cell stack at the rear and the power control unit at the front and the arrangement of the hydrogen fuel tanks in a T-formation result in optimum front-rear weight distribution for a sporty saloon.
Like every Lexus, safety is a key priority for the LF-FC with automated driving technologies, with an elevated level of traffic environment recognition, prediction and judgement functions to provide a safe and efficient driving experience, supporting the vision of a world without traffic accidents.
Adopting the Mobility Teammate Concept (MTC), which defines an overall approach to automated driving, it employs a similar system to the Highway Teammate Vehicle, which uses a stereo camera, five millimetre-wave radar and six LIDARs to monitor the vehicle surroundings in a 360-degree arc.
Designed to ensure highway safety, reduce fatigue and lower traffic congestion, the system is designed to fully automate all operations necessary for highway driving including merging, lane keeping, speed adjustments, lane-changing and overtaking.
Lexus LF-FC: specifications
All information is correct at the time of publishing.