Could this be the first serious challenge to Tesla? One look at the outrageous Lexus Electrified Sport Concept and you can’t help but nod.
At a surprise announcement this week in Japan, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda revealed the company’s unprecedented plans to totally overhaul its lagging Toyota and Lexus electric vehicle (EV) lineups, and in the process, throw down the gauntlet to Tesla.
In a bold plan to launch 30 new EVs by 2030, produce 3.5 million EVs a year globally by 2030 and invest $18 billion into next-generation battery development, Toyoda introduced the flagship of the luxury brand range—the Lexus Electrified Sport Concept (LES)—saying that it could do zero to 60-mph in just 2.0 seconds. That means it would out-accelerate the Tesla Model S Plaid and the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
While he did not expound on what power figures or powertrain his new supercar would get, one source suggested the car would look very similar to what you see here and get dual electric motors and four-wheel-drive. However, for the LES to achieve such a blistering pace, it would need to employ more than 200-hp more than the now discontinued 550-hp V10-powered Lexus LFA.
Lexus also revealed that the sports concept has around 435 miles of range which is 170 miles more than the Taycan Turbo S. Our source also mentioned that the Lexus may not only out-accelerate the Porsche but out-charge it as well in terms of charging times as Lexus plan to give the car new fast-charging solid-state batteries.
In addition to its anticipated quicker sprint and charging times, we feel the Electrified Sport Concept would generate significant interest in the market given the way it looks. With its LFA-inspired long nose, pointed headlights and side air intakes, the LEC when it is launched in a few years could well land in showrooms as the best-looking, sleekest Lexus ever.
Lexus also revealed a close to production version of its fully electric RZ SUV that will go on sale in 2022. Featuring a sleek edgy exterior, the RZ is expected to employ dual electric motors, four-wheel-drive and steer-by-wire technology, a state-of-the-art feature with no physical connection between the steering wheel and front tires, that task being left up to electric motors and wires. The firm was silent on potential range but expect this SUV to cover in excess of 250 miles.