The ED² team decided it was vital to start with the principles of L-Finesse, Lexus’ design philosophy built upon three thematic pillars: Seamless Anticipation, Incisive Simplicity, and Intriguing Elegance. Through its foundation, L-Finesse, which has served as the mantra for the brand’s design language since its official introduction in 2003, identifies Lexus as a global brand with Japanese roots. From there, the ED² implemented what it calls “Yet” philosophy into the soul of the LF-30 Electrified Concept.
What is Yet philosophy? According to Cartabiano, Yet philosophy describes how seemingly contradictory characteristics can combine to form a symbiotically balanced outcome. And the LF- 30 Electrified Concept is filled with examples of this, such as “comfortable yet sporty,” “handcrafted yet high tech,” “smooth yet powerful”, and “flowing yet stable.” The vehicle also possesses Lexus’ core design philosophies of “Omotenashi” and “Experience Amazing”. But Cartabiano says LF-30 Electrified has something new, something he calls “Seamless Emotion.”
“Seamless Emotion is the brand’s vision on the way it will implement ‘electrified’ design language for the future.” he explained. “It’s all about seamlessly bringing in the elements that can make EVs cool. Not just in styling terms, but also performance, comfort, and tech, bringing them all together in a seamless manner.”
The LF-30 offers a dramatised glimpse of the electrified future for Lexus. It is, in fact, a dream car; therefore, the design team used these key words – Brave, Artistic, Futuristic – to define every one of its facets, from the exterior and interior to the materials and finish.
“Our goal was to look to the future for inspiration and find the next authentic luxury performance image. What was absolutely crucial was that Lexus Design in Japan asked us to ‘go for it,’ giving us the freedom to dream the entire project from start to finish, with no restrictions whatsoever, so we did what they asked. We went for it,” Cartabiano said.
While the LF-30 Electrified’s exterior adheres to the basic discipline of automotive design, Cartabiano wanted the LF-30 Electrified to be, above all, provocative – make it turn heads and create a visual impact on everyone who laid eyes on it.
“It is a polarising, provocative design. Not everybody is going to love it, but that’s okay because that’s our brand identity. We wanted to keep this level of provocativeness, but move it to a smoother contrast,” he said. “For the starting concept, we focused on the symbiotic combination of these key phrases: ‘Active Driver-Focused Control’ and ‘Active Luxury Lounge Environment,’ and this resulted in a totally new exterior shape that you see here.”
THE EXTERIOR: AN EXERCISE IN BREAKING CONVENTION
Thanks to the flexibility provided by the EV platform, chief exterior designer, Hideaki Lida, was able to incorporate totally new design ideas into the vehicle.
“We have a new powertrain that allowed me to create a new category and profile. I wanted to use the EV platform to create something that would break the tradition of a conventional luxury sedan, one that conveyed power, agility, and luxury,” he said.
The proportions of LF-30 Electrified are characterised by a profile that designers call the Speed/Lounge Profile. Intended to maximise the layout provided by the EV drivetrain, it breaks convention with today’s sedans to allow the vehicle to achieve the best of both worlds: sport and luxury.
THE INTERIOR: A REALM OF OMOTENASHI AND TAKUMI CRAFTSMANSHIP
The cabin’s thematic direction aligns near perfectly with that of the exterior, emphasising the LF-30 Electrified’s sportiness and agility through the front interior space in what designers labelled “Active Performance.” It simultaneously accentuates comfort for rear-seat passengers in a style they call “Active Zen.”
“We wanted to offer a direct connection experience for the driver. We call this the ‘Tazuna Cockpit,’” Alex Gommier, the chief interior designer of the vehicle, explained.
“Tazuna refers to how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, as he or she melds with the outside environment. We also included steering controller- mounted switches, a gesture-control system and a head-up display to create a cockpit that enables drivers to focus on driving, even while operating different controls inside the car,” he said.
The highest calibre of first-class airline seats inspired the LF-30’s front passenger space. Gommier and his team researched the newest and finest air cabins and incorporated the best of what they found. All switches and controls are placed within easy reach and a gesture-control large-screen display for the passenger adds extra convenience.
The LF-30 Electrified is ripe with features and details may be seen in future Lexus vehicles. Perhaps the most popular – and fantastical – of these will be the Lexus Airporter, an autonomous drone that can assist transporting bags from your doorstep to the vehicle’s luggage area aka George Jetson.
“The LF-30 Electrified truly represents a leap forward for Lexus design as we prepare for the coming steep evolution of the automobile. With ultramodern features like Lexus Airporter and Sky Gate, we have created a vehicle that provides a highly imagined and fun glimpse into what the future may hold,” Cartabiano said.