Making its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show, the Lexus LF-Ch full hybrid concept is Lexus's first approach to the competitive European premium compact segment.
It reflects the growing demand for cars that are smaller and more fuel and CO2 efficient, but with no compromise in levels of refinement and driving pleasure. By next year the compact segment is expected to claim the largest share of the European premium car market.
The Lexus LF-Ch concept presents a powerful evolution of Lexus's L-finesse design philosophy. Rooted in Japanese culture, L-finesse is expressed in every aspect of the car, not only in the visual harmony between the interior and exterior design, but also in the combination of leading-edge engineering and technology with a user-friendly simplicity of function.
The principles of L-finesse are carried through to the interior where again a powerful simplicity harmonises with hand-crafted quality in the detailing to create a calm, efficient and elegant design.
The designers focused on the careful juxtaposition of opposing major and minor elements. Intriguing contrasts are created between the powerful, machine-like overall surfacing of the bodywork and the painstaking detail of even the smallest elements, creating a synergy between technologically driven design and a fluid, hand-sculpted quality.
The cabin features a strongly asymmetric dashboard that is firmly driver-focused with outstanding ergonomics. The driver's needs are seamlessly anticipated in several surprising elements, for example, when the car is started a greeting is presented on the navigation screen and an ambient lighting pattern appears in the headliner, creating a sophisticated lounge feel.
Extensive use of semi-aniline leather, polished aluminium, wood and soft-touch materials reinforces the theme of harmonious contrast in the dashboard, door panels and seating.
To help keep the driver's focus on the road ahead, distracting instrumentation and switchgear has been kept to a minimum by using Lexus Remote Touch controls, as first seen in the new Lexus RX 450h. Using a multi-information display on top of the dashboard, Remote Touch works like a computer mouse, letting the driver access control and customise a range of information, entertainment and vehicle set-up programmes.
Allied to a wide track, long wheelbase and low centre of gravity, the Lexus LF-Ch's full hybrid powertrain is engineered to deliver all the performance customers expect from a premium compact hatchback, while at the same time returning low fuel consumption, CO2 and NOx emissions.
With the benefit of the full hybrid technology of Lexus Hybrid drive, the car can be driven in a fully electric EV mode, a power option that is not available to drivers of mild hybrids. This allows for urban driving with minimal noise and zero emissions.Published 10 September 2009