Lexus is teasing an upcoming new electric SUV powered by the automaker’s new “DIRECT4” drivetrain technology.
Like its parent company, Toyota, Lexus has been lagging behind in electrification.
You could argue that the market disruption is even more important for the luxury brand since premium segments are being electrified much faster than the lower end of the automotive market.
Just a few years ago, Yoshihiro Sawa, the head of Lexus, said that “all-electric vehicles are not yet ready for primetime” when Tesla was taking over the luxury sedan and SUV segments with Model S and Model X.
Lexus has even been trash talking all-electric vehicles in their hybrid vehicle advertising.
But we might finally start to see things turn around when it comes to electrification for Lexus.
Today, Lexus unveiled its DIRECT4 drivetrain technology to power its future electric vehicles:
DIRECT4 precisely controls the delivery of drive torque from front and rear electric motors and braking force to all four wheels. By automatically adjusting the balance of front and rear-wheel drive, the system adapts the driving conditions to the driver’s intentions, changing the driving feel and giving the car the best driving posture. The system uses a front and rear e-axle, each featuring a high-torque electric motor and transaxle, focusing on optimum drive force distribution. As the motor is directly connected to the wheels by a single driveshaft, it operates without delay.
Takashi Watanabe, Lexus electrified chief engineer, and Koichi Suga, chief designer at Lexus, presented the new electric drivetrain and at the end of the presentation, they teased a new electric SUV, pictured above:
They didn’t release a plan or timeline to bring the vehicle to production, but the company has previously indicated that it will launch its first all-electric vehicle next year.
Earlier today, we also reported that Toyota announced a new all-electric SUV to be unveiled in the next few months.
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