First Electric Lexus Reported to Be City-Oriented Hatchback
【Summary】Instead of targeting Tesla with a long-range machine, Lexus is interested in carving out a niche for city dwellers with its first EV.
The current crop of electric vehicles has undergone a massive transformation from the first ones that came out. With a tiny amount of range and small blueprints, electric vehicles of yesteryear emphasized getting around urban locations with fuel. While only a few pint-sized electric cars are still on the market, it's not something automakers continue to come out with. The goal for the majority of brands now is to increase range and size. With its first electric vehicle, Lexus is planning to go old school.
New Concept Is Coming
Instead of settings its sights on competing with Tesla, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Audi, or Jaguar, Lexus, according to a report from Autocar, is apparently focusing on a small hatchback for use in urban locations for its first electric vehicle. It isn't a revolutionary idea, but, as we pointed out earlier, automakers have moved away from offering city-oriented EVs. BMW still has the i3, the Volkswagen e-Golf is still around, and Fiat is still selling the 500e.
Still, Lexus plans to unveil the unnamed electric car at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The city-focused EV will reportedly take a lot of inspiration from Lexus' LF-SA concept, which came out in 2015. As Lexus vice-president Koji Sato told the outlet, the upcoming concept would paint a picture of what's to come.
"We feel that our future could resemble this design," said Sato.
While the electric powertrain and shocking exterior design would characterize the exterior, the outlet claims the interior will get a unique interior layout with two screens on either side of the steering wheel. If true, it would be Lexus' attempt at keeping up with automakers like Volkswagen and Mercedes that are offering massive screens that take up the vast majority of their vehicles' respective dashboards.
More EVs Are Coming From Lexus
The tiny LF-SA concept was definitely radical in appearance and smaller than the majority of modern electric cars, with a design that appeared to be the same size as the Fiat 500e. Seeing as how Lexus is going with an urban-forward vehicle, it reveals that Lexus is sticking with its original plans. The automaker has stated that it wants a smaller vehicle to fit in underneath the UX crossover, so it looks like things are finally coming together.
Lexus, and parent company Toyota, have been slow to adopt electric powertrains. Both automakers have multiple hybrids in their lineups, but electric vehicles are oddly absent. It's strange, as Toyota was one of the first to pioneer hybrid technology. Between both Toyota and Lexus, the brands are aiming to have 10 electric cars by 2025.
Unlike other brands, Toyota is also betting on fuel-cell technology . But infrastructure for that power source is even further behind than electric vehicles'. More and more automakers are coming out with EVs right now, and Toyota clearly sees that. Whether an affordable, small EV for the city is the automaker's way of testing the waters is the right way to go remains to be seen.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
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