Strip away a few of the Lexus LF-FC flagship concept’s more ridiculous design elements and you have a close approximation of what the next-generation Lexus LS sedan will look like. And while some of its technology features can be dismissed as show-car nonsense, other elements of the car, like its fuel-cell powertrain and autonomous driving systems, have a good chance of making it to the production LS that’s expected to arrive within the next year.
At 208.7 inches long, the LF-FC concept is a few inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and features a slightly smoother version of Lexus’ “L-Finesse” design ethos. A huge spindle grille still features up front and is flanked by angular headlights, but the car’s profile has a sleeker, more streamlined look than many of Lexus’ current models. Wraparound LED taillights in the rear are a bit more polarizing, as they reach down onto the rear fenders in a style reminiscent of the new 2016 Toyota Prius and the Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle.
Perhaps the visual link to the Mirai is intentional, because the Lexus LF-FC concept also uses a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain. The fuel cell itself is mounted at the rear and drives the rear wheels as well as two hub-mounted electric motors in the front wheels that give the car all-wheel drive. Lexus isn’t revealing any technical details, but says that the combination provides “high output” befitting a large luxury car. Rumors have suggested that the next Lexus LS would offer a fuel-cell version, so keep an eye out for a powertrain similar to this in a production Lexus in the near future.
Other features on the Lexus LF-FC concept that may make it to production include gesture controls for the audio system and climate control interfaces, and certain traffic recognition and prediction systems that would further the car’s semi-autonomous driving capabilities. The concept car’s over-the-top interior design, with swoopy door panels and a holographic center stack, on the other hand, will be toned down for production.
Stay tuned over the coming months to hear more about Lexus’ plans for its next-generation flagship LS sedan, and see more photos of the LF-FC concept in the gallery below in the meantime.