Skip advert
Advertisement

Lexus LF-ZC is a 500-mile Tesla Model 3 rival made of… bamboo?

Lexus has teased its upcoming electric saloon that could offer a 500-mile range and an interior made of bamboo

Lexus LF-ZC - header

Yet another rival for the Tesla Model 3 is on the way, this time from Japan as the Lexus LF-ZC has been unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, with the bamboo-lined concept car previewing an all-new model set to arrive by 2026.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Lexus LF-ZC is set to act as a full-electric successor to the recently-discontinued Lexus IS hybrid saloon and, from what we can tell, will target the more driver-focused cars in a rapidly growing sector of the market, including the BMW i4 and Polestar 2.

Lexus says the production version of the LF-ZC will deliver “engaging and exhilarating dynamics”, aided by the same DIRECT4 dual-motor four-wheel-drive and steer-by-wire systems as the already-on-sale Lexus RZ SUV.

It won’t entirely feature pre-existing technology, however; the Lexus LF-ZC is also set to utilise parent company Toyota’s latest ‘Performance’ battery technology. More efficient, yet cheaper to produce than current battery applications, Toyota says its Performance unit – also set to enter production in 2026 – will offer a range of up to 500 miles. 

The facelifted Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.7 are both already capable of over 400 miles on a charge, but this technology could make the Lexus LF-ZC one of the longest-range electric cars ever.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s unlikely the production Lexus LF-ZC will look quite as extreme as the concept car, although several design traits are likely to carry over. Buyers can expect the same sharp front-end design pioneered by the aforementioned RZ SUV, as well as plenty of creases in the bodywork and a sloping roofline to boost aerodynamic efficiency; the concept’s drag coefficient of under 0.2 CD would make it even slipperier than the Mercedes EQE.

As alluded to earlier, Lexus has chosen to feature bamboo heavily within the design of the LF-ZC’s interior. One of the fastest-growing plants in the world and a hefty absorber of CO2, bamboo has been woven into the seat fabrics of the LF-ZC, as well as the interior trim and door handles.

Sustainable materials aside, perhaps the biggest focal point of the Lexus LF-ZC concept's interior is its yoke-style steering wheel and a multitude of screens. We expect the concept car’s yoke to be swapped out for a revised version of the RZ’s when it hits production, while the interior as a whole will almost certainly be toned down a notch.

Whatever form the Lexus LF-ZC’s infotainment system takes, we know it’ll run Toyota’s upcoming Arene OS software. This is said to offer several personalisation options, as well as downloadable apps and over-the-air updates to bring all the latest features and improvements.

Set to arrive by 2026, the Lexus LF-ZC will be a latecomer to an already rather busy sector of the market, with cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 6 already on sale. Given Lexus’ luxury status, we expect the zero-emissions saloon to cost a chunk more than rivals, likely starting from around £60,000 when it eventually goes on sale in the UK.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Audi RS e-tron GT gets big improvements and welcome changes
2024 Audi RS e-tron GT - front tracking
News

Audi RS e-tron GT gets big improvements and welcome changes

15 Apr 2024
New Genesis Neolun concept paves the way for the GV90 SUV
New Genesis Neolun concept - picture 1
News

New Genesis Neolun concept paves the way for the GV90 SUV

27 Mar 2024
New IM L6 is a 500-mile electric saloon from MG’s posh sister brand
IM L7
News

New IM L6 is a 500-mile electric saloon from MG’s posh sister brand

22 Feb 2024
BYD Seal review: Chinese brand is riding a wave of success
BYD Seal - front tracking
In-depth reviews

BYD Seal review: Chinese brand is riding a wave of success

30 Jan 2024

Most Popular

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology: specs, details and prototype ride of the new EV G-Class
G 580 with EQ Technology roadtrip photo front 3/4 on a hill
News

Mercedes G 580 with EQ Technology: specs, details and prototype ride of the new EV G-Class

The new G 580 will be revealed to the world on the 24th of April, we look at all the details of the forthcoming model and we ride in the prototype
12 Apr 2024
Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?
hydrogen filling station
Your questions answered

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?

A guide to where you can find hydrogen fuel stations for filling up a hydrogen fuel-cell car in the UK
11 Apr 2024
New Vauxhall Frontera Electric is a budget-friendly small SUV with a rugged look and a family focus
Vauxhall Frontera SUV 2024 - front
News

New Vauxhall Frontera Electric is a budget-friendly small SUV with a rugged look and a family focus

The new Frontera Electric gives the UK market a new affordable small SUV option with features designed for the family
8 Apr 2024