Tokyo show debut for flagship Lexus LS+ concept

Autonomous tech set to feature on production cars from 2020.

Car Manufacturer News

The Lexus LS+ Concept, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, previews a host of autonomous driving technology coming to the brand’s future models.

According to Lexus, the technologies are aimed at making driving both safe and smooth while still fun, and some of them are planned to feature on new Lexus models launched in the first half of the 2020s.

Included on the LS+ Concept are systems dubbed Highway Teammate, set to allow fully autonomous-driving on motorways, from joining to exiting, in 2020.

Drivers are already able to make use of systems that allow the car to autonomously merge onto motorways, make lane changes and diverge off them, as well as staying in lane and a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. The technology recognises actual traffic conditions, makes judgements and responds accordingly.

The LS+ Concept takes this a stage further by communicating with a data centre to update its system software, so that new functions can be added. This can include information on roads and surrounding areas to increase the level of automated driving possible.

“In effect, the vehicle can grow with its users, representing a new era for the way in which people can become emotionally attached to their cars,” Lexus says.

Also featured on the Tokyo show concept are indications to the future direction of the  Lexus ‘L-finesse’ design language. The signature spindle grille is made bolder and features a shutter mechanism that improves cooling performance and the car’s overall aerodynamics. Both the headlamps and rear lights partly use lasers for illumination, and the side mirrors are electronic.

Lexus launched its F range of performance models with the IS F in 2007 and also debuting at the Tokyo show are limited edition models to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the F line.

The bespoke specification of these cars will include performance dampers and titanium exhaust silencers, and exterior styling details in CFRP composite material, complementing a matt grey paint finish and blue interior.

Just 50 10th anniversary versions each of the RC F coupe and GS F saloon will be built, but European fans will miss out as they will only be sold in Japan.

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Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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