Concepts

More Thoughts on the Lexus LF-1 Limitless Flagship Crossover Concept

Lexus LF-1 Crossover Concept

This week, Lexus revealed the first teaser image for a new concept debuting at the Detroit Auto Show: The LF-1 Limitless crossover.

Right from the name, it’s clear this vehicle will have some significance in the Lexus lineup. This will be the first time Lexus has used a single numeric designation for one of its concepts, and it’s a #1 at that — a pretty strong signal that the LF-1 will be no ordinary debut.

And then there’s the second part, Limitless, which is defined as “without end, limit, or boundary”. Why add this to the name if it wasn’t important?

Here’s my theory: Limitless refers to the LF-1’s powertrain. Could it be full-electric, powered only by batteries? Depending on how it’s generated, electricity is an almost limitless power source. From a branding perspective, Limitless could also be a play-on-words regarding EV range anxiety.

At the same time, the reasons above could work equally as well for a new gas-electric hybrid or even a fuel cell vehicle — Limitless could refer to any multitude of things, so I’ll keep my guess to some new powertrain.

And then there’s the badge:

Lexus LF-1 Badge

Lexus hybrids have always had a blue badge accent, which would suggest the LF-1 could be gas-electric. Only trouble with that theory — the fuel-cell Toyota Mirai also has a blue-tinged badge.


The press release also provided some insight, explaining that the LF-1 Limitless is “a flagship crossover that redefines the boundaries of luxury”.

Lexus has classified the LS sedan, LC coupe, and LX SUV as its flagship category, and it’s doubtful the LF-1 is a preview of the next-generation LX. Instead, this could signal plans to add a fourth flagship model to the mix. This would put the LF-1 up against the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne, a performance crossover at the upper edge of luxury. A completely new model, likely with a completely new name.

This is backed up by an easter egg included in the teaser image, hidden in the rear seat entertainment system:

Lexus LF-1

The overall profile looks nothing like any existing Lexus, though it could be argued that it’s the LS nose merged with the RX rear. The long hood and short front overhang point to the LF-1 Limitless being the first Lexus rear-wheel drive crossover.


The LC & LS have started a revolution of sorts at Lexus, standing above the rest of the lineup in stature and craftsmanship — it feels like every other Lexus model needs to catch up.

Even so, the LC & LS are both cars at a time when SUVs and crossovers are straight dominating the automotive landscape. If this new concept can transfer that elevated flagship quality to a crossover, then the sky may be the only limit for the LF-1 Limitless.

Comments
R
Hopefully a new top crossover to go against Porsche and Range Rover. The LX is to my mind a different kind of vehicle from these it is more rugged go anywhere type of vehicle, I see this as a slick top class top crossover not really meant for Africa but for city and highway driving powerful and very luxury, Bently Bentago rival?
@Gecko
The GX was meant to be the GL competitor from the beginning
So this means that it's the competitor of current Benz GLS which is one of 2 flagships in the current benz
maiaramdan
@Gecko
The GX was meant to be the GL competitor from the beginning
So this means that it's the competitor of current Benz GLS which is one of 2 flagships in the current benz
Not really. GX has always been body-on-frame, came out before the GL/GLS and costs significantly less ($51k base vs $70k base).

If anything, the GLS has always been a bit of a half-assed, stop-gap effort from Mercedes and is more geared towards being a family hauler than a flagship vehicle. Yes, it's their largest SUV, but the interior is no more plush than a decade-old ML/GLE. It's far from being the "S Class" of Mercedes' SUV line, and many regard it as a bit of an "in betweener" among cars like GX and LX. I think the next generation will be different as GLE and GLS will both grow and leave behind their awkward sizes and status, becoming truly midsize (GLE) and full size (GLS). GLS is most often compared to X5 and Q7, not truly flagship SUVs like LX, Escalade, Range Rover, etc.

I'm failing to see how a sporty two-row, admittedly "flagship" crossover will challenge what has historically been a three-row family hauler? If anything, the best competition for this new Lexus will be the GLE Coupe. If Mercedes makes the GLS larger and more luxurious in the next gen, as is widely rumored, it will compete more directly with the LX. If they make the GLE slightly larger with three rows, it will compete somewhat with the GX.
@Gecko

I am not talking this from your or most of people point of view, I am saying this from Lexus own point of view, depending on a past conversation with executive from year 2007

I am searching this conversation for you , he said that the GL competitor inside the Lexus lineup is the GX not the LX
M
See that grey piece going along the top on the side? I think that may be a roof rack that comes up when activated from the inside. Probably only a concept gimmick, however.
meth.ix
See that grey piece going along the top on the side? I think that may be a roof rack that comes up when activated from the inside. Probably only a concept gimmick, however.
Haha, similar to the speed activated rear wing on the LC. Like that idea. :)
L
maiaramdan
@Gecko

I am not talking this from your or most of people point of view, I am saying this from Lexus own point of view, depending on a past conversation with executive from year 2007

I am searching this conversation for you , he said that the GL competitor inside the Lexus lineup is the GX not the LX

Something must be lost in translation that was never the case. The GX and GL are far to different in size and drive really different. Not to mention the GLE (today) offers an amazing AMG model for 120-130k.

M
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