Lexus redesigned its flagship LS sedan for the 2019 model year, releasing it in ICE and hybrid versions. The hybrid version is good, but Lexus– and its parent company, Toyota– seem to be falling behind in the premium ZEV/EV race, though, especially considering the launch of the Hardware 3 Teslas. Toyota hopes to start clawing some of that gap back next year, however, with the launch of the 2021 Lexus LS FC, caught here in testing by Paul Tan.
That news may upset some readers who are under the impression that hydrogen fuel cells are bad, bad things, but there’s still quite a few companies– namely, Toyota/Lexus and Honda— who are believers. They’re partnering with other companies like Shell and Kenworth, too, who have a stake in a liquid fuel infrastructure, so I wouldn’t count the hydrogen future out quite yet.
It’s also interesting to note that, even though Toyota has committed to an all-electric future, it still seems to be hedging its bets in terms of the battery charger/fill up station section of that.
Regardless, we can expect the production version of the 2021 Lexus LS FC to follow in the footsteps (design-wise) of the Lexus LS+ Concept shown at the 2017 Tokyo show. That concept’s turbine wheels, 3D formed aluminum grille, and fancy blue lighting are expected to make it to production, as are the promised AI and self-driving features, as well as an ability to download software updates over the air. There should also be a few hydrogen-specific menus and graphics in the infotainment system, too, to help set it apart from the hybrid version that much more.
So, what do you think? Is Toyota finally taking the Tesla threat seriously with the launch of this electric Lexus, or is this hydrogen fuel-cell powered LS just the wrong thing at the wrong time for Lexus? Let us know in the comments sections.
2021 Lexus LS FC | Spy Photos
Source | Images: Paul Tan.