Concept Cars

Lexus debuts lunar mobility concept vehicle

Lexus designers submitted their ideas for lunar mobility to Document Journal magazine.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

To infinity and beyond! Okay, maybe not all the way to infinity. Lexus has contributed a sketch of a concept vehicle for the journey to the moon. The sketch has been selected to appear in Document Journal's issue No. 15.

The issue of the art and fashion magazine centers around The Lunar Design Portfolio. It seeks to answer the questions, "How shall we live? What will we wear? What will we drive?"

The European Advanced Design Studio for Toyota and Lexus, ED2, is dedicated to developing advanced concept proposals and was selected to take on the task of conceptualizing lunar mobility.

Design characteristics were harvested from the recent LF-30 Future Concept vehicle. To get to the finish line, ED2 created seven concepts from five different designers, together depicting a full lineup of space vehicles.

"When Document Journal approached us about the Lunar Design Portfolio, our team was working on the LF-30 Concept, which represents the "Lexus Electrified" futuristic vision for Lexus. The design team was already looking beyond near-term production and ahead to how advanced technology will change the way we interact with vehicles," said Ian Cartabiano, President of ED2. "The lunar project came at the right time, half way through the LF-30 development. It gave the team a chance to dream further out, and then apply some of the design language from the LF-30 interior to their lunar proposals."

One of the concepts presented to Document Journal made it to print. Zero Gravity is a single rider vehicle that evolves the LF-30's "Lexus Electrified" vision to incorporate Magnetic Levitation technology.

According to a release, "The design reinterprets the signature Lexus spindle grille and uses the motorcycle-style of driving to employ the new concept of Tazuna (which mean "reins" in Japanese): the fundamental human-centered philosophy. Inspired by how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, the steering control provides active driving enjoyment created by the direct communication between human and machine."

See all the concepts below with descriptions by Lexus.

Bouncing Moon Roller, by Julien Marie

Bouncing Moon Roller, by Julien Marie

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

A bouncing moon roller protected by a flexible graphene nanotube based bubble, this structure allows the space roller to jump and roll with any angle over a wide range of terrain. In the gyroscope cell, a cockpit and batteries sit together. The wheel-like stabilizer creates a fun yet protected feel.

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Refreshed luxury crossover

2022 Lexus NX earns Top Safety Pick +

The 2022 NX earned a Top Safety Pick + award.

Lexus

The redesigned 2022 Lexus NX just got its crash test scores, and they're strong. The new crossover picked up a Top Safety Pick + award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency's top award. It's the NX's fourth consecutive Top Safety Pick + award, and before that the vehicle earned Top Safety Picks.

2022 Lexus NXThe NX has picked up top awards for several years in a row. Lexus

The 2022 NX picked up top scores in testing, earning a "Good" rating in all crash-test categories, a "Good" score for headlights, "Superior" scores for both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian crash prevention, and a "Good+" score for LATCH system ease of use. Though the 2021 model also picked up a Top Safety Pick + award, it scored lower for its car seat anchors.

Lexus offers the new NX with a whopping four propulsion options, including a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 203 horsepower, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 275 horsepower, a 2.5-liter hybrid with 239 horsepower and a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 302 horsepower. The two gas engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive, while the two hybrids both get all-wheel drive.

2022 Lexus NXLexus offers the NX with four powertrain options. Lexus

Pricing for the 2022 NX starts at $39,025 for the base NX250. Moving up the line, the NX350h starts at $42,125 and the NX450h+ starts at $56,725.

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New luxury EV

Lexus announces all-electric RZ 450e

Lexus just announced the new RZ 450e

Lexus

Lexus and Toyota have finally jumped onto the EV train, and we’ll soon see new all-electric SUVs from both. The Lexus variant, named RZ 450e, features a reasonable range, upscale interior, and neat all-wheel drive technology. We don’t have firm pricing for the Lexus, but expect it to start in the mid-to-high $40,000 range.

2023 Lexus RZRange is expected to reach 225 miles per chage. Lexus

The RZ shares a platform and much of its underlying engineering with the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but will take a more upscale approach. Though its size and overall shape are similar to the others, the Lexus’ exterior styling is sharper and sportier, with functional aerodynamic bodywork. A new Lexus logo is spelled out on the rear gate, instead of the traditional “L” of previous models.

The SUV comes with a 71.4-kWh battery that should deliver a range of around 225 miles on a charge. All-wheel drive is standard, and uses the RZ’s dual electric motors to shift power between the wheels that need it most.

Inside, the RZ features a minimalist, open space with controls meant to remind drivers of a horse’s reins. Ultrasuede upholstery and woodgrain trim come standard. Lexus notes the RZ’s head-up display is controllable via steering wheel-mounted buttons that handle navigation, audio, and other functions.

2023 Lexus RZThough similar to the Toyota bZ4X inside, the Lexus IS more upscale and minimalist. Lexus

Speaking of the steering wheel, the first RZs will be available with a round wheel only, but later on, Lexus will offer a yoke-style wheel like the one seen in the Toyota bZ4X concept and Tesla’s Plaid models.

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