Lexus is planning on introducing seven EVs for its next generation of electric vehicles, and the company’s president wants them to be fun to drive.
Lexus has been struggling similarly to Cadillac, Mercedes, and other luxury brands. Many consumers see the brand’s products and think of their grandmother who (much as my own) drives a Lexus — or they think of the bland color offerings from the mid-2000s, or perhaps they think of working a job they don’t like until they finally settle and buy a Lexus. The company has an opportunity to change perceptions as it transitions to electric vehicles, and Lexus President, Koji Sato, is looking to take advantage of it.
In a recent interview with Top Gear, Sato reiterated that the Lexus brand is now more than ever focused on performance and making their vehicles “fun to drive.” Under directives from Akio Toyoda himself, the President hopes to achieve these goals through four main design goals: light weight, aerodynamics, chassis control, and exciting design that takes advantage of the EV format.
President Sato highlighted the benefits of each. Lightweight vehicles feel more playful and agile to the driver while ensuring the vehicle is more efficient. Aerodynamics reduce the need for larger batteries while aiding in driving dynamics (if implemented well.) “Chassis control” refers to new technology that Lexus hopes to implement in coming vehicles to a greater degree. And, through exciting design, Sato hopes to make “the driver more connected with the car” by making the vehicle look “more intelligent, (and) more intuitive.”
President Sato has quite the challenge in front of him. Not only does Lexus have to reinvent itself to appeal to a wider (younger) audience, but it must do so while employing an entirely new technology platform that Toyota already has issues getting to the public. And while driving pleasure could be the key to this transition, Lexus will have to start production sooner rather than later if it hopes not to be left behind by its luxury competitors.
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