That strategy was demonstrated by the LF-1 idea Lexus unveiled earlier this yr. It was designed to accommodate electrical, fuel-cell, hybrid and petrol powertrains.
Sawa has spent his profession below the umbrella of Toyota, working in engineering, analysis and growth and design and planning earlier than taking up at Lexus in 2016. Autocar requested him in regards to the firm’s future plans.
What do electrification and autonomous driving imply for a luxurious model like Lexus?
“For Lexus, it is one other probability to be completely different. We will see alternatives with the know-how, however the firm philosophy set by president Akio Toyoda is that we’ll by no means promote commodities. We are going to all the time have ‘enjoyable to drive’ as a core asset of our vehicles and we’ll by no means permit know-how to lose what we’re. We must not ever be boring. Nevertheless it’s additionally clear that electrified vehicles could be enjoyable. The important thing can be in how you utilize electrification to manage particular person wheels. A hybrid, particularly, has potential to attract collectively the thrilling worlds of the engine and electrification.”
Does this current you with alternatives for radical new exterior designs?
“We have already got some alternatives, largely as a result of we solely have a small mannequin vary. Consequently, we will fill the gaps in a different way – maybe the place larger makers have two vehicles spanning two segments, we may have one which sits between them. The automobile trade is sort of a constellation. If all the celebrities are too shut, then it’s laborious to see the form. If they’re additional aside, shining extra brightly, you’ll be able to see them.”
The place does that go away your comparatively regular hatchback, the CT?
“It’s nonetheless very profitable, however the arrival of the UX has led folks to ask why we now have a hatch and SUV of the identical dimension. We are going to watch how that market develops after which we’ll resolve on what occurs with the CT.”
And does this clarify the extra radical styling your vehicles undertake as of late?
“Prior to now, folks would say Lexus design was boring. Not now. We’ve discovered that we now have to be distinctive. If one thing has character, some will adore it and a few gained’t. That’s superb. In case you play to the established guidelines, you’ll all the time be in a pool. In case you play to your individual guidelines, you don’t need to compete.”
Lexus LF-1 Limitless previews flagship Highway Rover rival
Lexus LC evaluate
Lexus NX evaluate