Lexus electric cars will be “for driving fun”
The company has confirmed that it will release its first pure-electric car next year, very likely to be a plug-in version of the Lexus UX.
Company sources wouldn’t comment on the potential range of the vehicle, but it’s said to be “more for urban use”, so don’t expect a long range.
While an electric Lexus UX is unlikely to offer a dramatic shift in driver reward, Sato suggests there are longer-term plans to prove that “the meaning of electric at Lexus is to be a better driving experience.”
Sato referenced the in-wheel electric motors and fly-by-wire steering seen in the LF-30 concept (pictured above) that debuted at Tokyo earlier this year: “We are working on making the electric motors themselves lighter, because at the moment they’re too heavy,” he said. “But of course they offer instant torque distribution.
“Also, the fly-by-wire steering allows us to offer big steering response for small steering inputs, and you can change the steering ratio for different modes.”
Lexus remains tight-lipped on when this lighter, performance-oriented battery-electric technology might make it to market, but Sato did clarify that the Lexus plug-in hybrid technology “must also offer a best-to-drive experience, which we can do with the instant torque that electric offers.”
Expect the noise of Lexus’ electric cars to be a big factor. Sato explained how the company is working on a synthesised noise: “It’s almost like making music. We must have a great noise [in our electric cars]. No sound, no fun.”