Lexus Electrified Sport will go into production – when the technology is ready

5 Dec 2022

Lexus is working on a production version of the stunning Electrified Sport Concept that will serve as a halo model for its future line-up of battery electric cars – but chief engineer Takashi Watanabe has insisted it will only be released when the technology is ready.

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First revealed late last year as one of 15 new battery electric concepts from Lexus and parent firm Toyota, the spiritual successor to the Lexus LFA is described as “symbolising the future of the brand” and was seen in action at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year.

So far Lexus has revealed few details about the machine, but as part of parent firm Toyota’s Kenshiki forum event Watanabe has revealed some more insights – most importantly confirming that the firm is working on a production version.

Lexus is working on a 'manual transmission' for electric cars

I cannot tell you when we will be launching a production vehicle based on the Electrified Sport, but I can confirm that we are working on it,” said Watanabe. “This is not just a design concept: it is meant to become reality.”

Speaking to Move Electric, Watanabe added: “We can draw upon the existence of the LFA. I want Lexus to continue being a brand that can produce halo cars, even within the context of carbon neutrality and mobility. Even as the world moves in that direction we want to be a brand that really focuses on making and building cars.”

The Lexus Electrified Sport takes the form os a low-riding sports car, with bold styling that previews the brand’s future design language. So far, Lexus has revealed that it will have a 0-62mph time around the low two-second range, and will be able to travel at least 430 miles between charges.

While the Lexus RZ450e is built on Toyota’s E-TNGA platform, Watanabe said that wasn’t used for the Electrified Sport, hinting instead that it had underpinning that borrowed heavily from a Lexus GT3 racer. The firm has also hinted that the machine would be developed on the race track.

Watanabe wouldn’t be drawn on specifics of the powertrain, and said he was currently working on the performance of the motors and battery – but hinted that it would feature next-gen technology.


“This sort of vehicle is not something that you should look at current battery technology and try to determine a range from that,” he said. Watanabe pointed to the rapid development of the internal combustion engine early in the 20th Century, noting that while EVs have been around just as long the technology has been slower to develop.

Watanabe said he wasn’t yet sure when the Electrified Sport would make production, but added: “We need to go one level high in terms of battery technology, so that will definitely increase the impact and performance in market. The point is how you take that level of technology and really advance it and strengthen that. And doing that is really the mission for this type of vehicle.

“Because it’s a car there should be a minimum requirement that the vehicle should provide that user. So if you make a shape like this that’s really cool but it only has 100 miles of range it’s not worthy of being a Lexus. 

“So the question then is where do we set the targets for this vehicle, and what do we do to make that a reality? Then we need to look at battery performance improvements and the vehicle in areas like aerodynamics and weight reduction.”

Watanabe has also confirmed that the machine will feature the firm’s One Motion Grip steer-by-wire system – which will first be seen on the RZ430e and will be offered on every electric model from the brand.

Because the system uses a digital rather than physical connection between the steering wheel and the wheels of the car, Lexus engineers can programme it to behave in different ways for different vehicles, potentially helping to engineer in sportier handling.

The Lexus Electrified Sport will also use the firm’s twin-motor, all-wheel-drive Direct4 system, which allows for greater control by controlling the torque to each wheel – and it could even feature a virtual manual transmission.


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