Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept, Unveiled in Detroit, Foreshadows Future Flagship Crossover SUV
Lexus revealed a glimpse of a future premium flagship SUV with the debut of the LF-1 Limitless Concept at this week’s previews at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Officials from the Toyota premium brand compared the exterior of the new lux SUV to a “forged Japanese sword”. Powertrains for the LF-1 SUV study are “limitless” and could be fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline or all-electric. By 2025, Lexus says most of its models worldwide will be offered as EVs or with an electrified option.
“Organic shaping of liquid metal with sharp edges” is how officials from CALTY Design Research in Huntington Beach, CA, described the design. Lines are aggressive and flowing, which is a vision in contrasts for an SUV that looks more like a sports car than a wagon. The cabin sits deep on large 22-in. wheels with bulging fenders. A low roofline and elevated passenger interior height add performance and practicality.
The LF-1 retains the spindle grille that extends through character lines from the front to the vehicle’s rear end. LED lighting surounds the grille rather than chrome trim. A split spoiler grabs attention on the rear. Air vents are sculpted and shoulders over the large wheels are mounts for sculpted tail lights. An expansive glass rooftop extends over rear seats.
Inside, the LF-1 cockpit is driver-centric with motion-activated controls rather than distracting analog knobs or buttons. The dashboard is wide and open. In back the seats are the same as those in front with lots of leg room and individual infotainment and climate control screens. Interior trim is satin metallic finish to match the champagne exterior paint. Cocoa leather trim adorns seats that are covered in white perforated leather. Lighting ambiance changes in conjunction with available driving modes.
Toyota’s latest technology includes a Chauffeur mode that allows hands-free operation—with by-wire steering, braking, acceleration and activation of lights and signals. For hands-on driving, all controls, including paddle shifters, reverse and park, are on the steering wheel to keep the driver focused on the road.