|The visionary Lexus LF-FC (Lexus Future-Flagship Car/Fuel Cell) Concept offers a glimpse of the design and technology under consideration for the company’s future flagship sedan.|
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 have a fuel cell car within its model range around 2020.
In looks, the Lexus LF-FC Concept features a fresh new styling theme, the dynamic and refined beauty of which embodies Lexus unique L-finesse design philosophy. From every angle, the sedan is aggressively elegant, exuding the spirit of a true Grand Tourer.
A further evolution of Lexus’ distinctive grille dominates the front, and is flanked by slim, triple LED headlamp clusters and floating, arrowhead motif Daytime Running Lights (DRL). The rear is highlighted by a striking new lamp design which adopts the floating theme of the front DRLs.
In profile, the slim glasshouse and sweeping roofline identify the LF-FC as a 4-door coupe, with sporting, 21-inch aluminium alloy wheels with carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) rims adding a further dose of dynamism and flair to the vehicle’s elegant silhouette.
The interior embodies the next generation of Lexus luxury in an expansive space that wraps the passengers with both innovation and comfort whilst providing the driver with a highly functional cockpit. Featuring ‘floating’ front seats and spacious, limousine-style rear accommodation with reclining seats, the cabin is trimmed in the high-quality aniline leather and genuine wood finishes appropriate to a Lexus luxury flagship model.
The car’s innovative control system can be operated by hand gestures. This eliminates the need to actually press the touch panels. This next generation interface responds to people’s natural movements, providing a more comfortable driving experience. Images of navigation, air-conditioning, audio and other multimedia controls appear in the air above the console. Sensors detect driver movements and analyse the images, and the system then completes the determined control operation.
At the heart of the LF-FC is a high output hydrogen fuel cell power system. The system design is based on existing technologies, with various upgrades to improve vehicle performance, and driving performance (longer cruising distance through higher fuel efficiency) and mass production capabilities.
The system not only drives the rear wheels, but also sends power to two front, in-wheel motors, making the Concept all-wheel drive. This innovative drive system allows for precise torque distribution control between the front and rear wheels, for superior high speed stability and exceptionally dynamic handling.
The strategic placement of the fuel cell stack at the rear of the vehicle, the power control unit at the front, and a T-shaped hydrogen tank running down the spine of the vehicle and across the front of the rear axle equips the LF-FC with ideal weight distribution for the perfectly balanced handling characteristics of a sporting sedan.
The Lexus LF-FC provides a safe and efficient driving experience for its occupants with automated technologies. Adopting the Mobility Teammate Concept, which defines an overall approach to automated driving, it employs a similar system to the Highway Teammate Vehicle, which uses a stereo camera, five millimeter-wave radar and six LIDARs to monitor the vehicle surroundings in a 360 degree arc.