Several of Lexus’ ideas on the future of automotive design have appeared on film. In 2002, Lexus was requested by Steven Spielberg, an ardent fan of Lexus and himself an owner of an LX 470 and an RX 400h, to design a vehicle which would fit the requirements of year 2054 for his movie Minority Report. Designers working with Lexus came up with an advanced vehicle which would run on fuel cells and have many advanced safety features including a crash-proof structure and biometric security systems. (Lexus’ cinematic concept car also appears in The Island, though it’s colored blue, not red). A Lexus film tie-in site proposed a Lexus future vehicle that would drive itself, take dinner orders verbally, and select music to match occupant moods. The Lexus 2054 later appeared at several auto shows and public events.
On January 13 2008, Lexus displayed a roadster version of the Lexus LF-A Roadster concept car designated LF-A Roadster or LF-AR. Initial specifications for the roadster are a V10 engine under 5.0L with over 500hp and a top speed of over 200 mph. The vehicle was shown for the first time at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Lexus LF-A Roadster was also revealed to have a retractable rear spoiler for improved handling at speed.
In late 2006, Lexus filed trademark applications for an “F” emblem, leading to speculation that the luxury marque was about to launch a performance brand. At the time it was suggested that “F” stood for “Fast” or “Flagship.” Later reports surmised that “F” referred to the Fuji Speedway in Japan, whose first corner, 27R, was said to have inspired the shape of the “F” emblem. Interviews with company executives in prior years had included mentions of Lexus possibly starting a performance brand to compete with the likes of Mercedes’ AMG, Audi’s S/RS, Cadillac’s V-series, and BMW’s M division, among others. An earlier in-house tuning effort, the TRD-based L-Tuned, had offered performance packages on the IS 300 and GS 400 sedans in the early 2000’s. In December 2006, Lexus announced that the first vehicle in the F-marque lineup, the IS-F sedan, previously known in the press as the IS 500, would premiere at the North American International Auto Show in January 2007. The vehicle subsequently premiered at Detroit along with a redesigned version of the concept LF-A supercar. Compared to the 2GR-FSE V6, 306 hp (228 kW) IS 350, the IS-F featured a 2UR-GSE V8 engine and over 400 hp (300 kW). Media reports suggested that the IS-F sedan would be followed by a GS-F sedan and IS-F coupe. The IS-F is scheduled to be in dealerships by early 2008. The IS-F made its European premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2007, and premiered in Japan at the Fuji Speedway in October 2007.
Lexus LF-XH is a concept crossover hybrid vehicle. The designation stands for Lexus Future-Crossover(X) hybrid. This vehicle was first shown in October 2007 at the Tokyo Motor Show, and is thought to be a concept version of the third generation Lexus RX. The Lexus LF-XH featured a V6 engine with electric motors, LED headlights and taillights, and a concept interior.
Production concept luxury sedan, later developed into the fourth generation Lexus LS. The Lexus LF-SH featured LED headlamps, hybrid all-wheel drive, and exhaust vents integrated into the rear bumper. The designation refers to Lexus Future-Sedan hybrid. The Lexus LF-SH body style transitioned to an actual production vehicle, the LS 460, more closely than any of the other LF Series concepts, with identical exterior dimensions as the standard wheelbase version of the fourth generation LS sedan. However, multiple details on the Lexus LF-SH were changed for production. Among them, the integrated exhaust vents were shifted from a seamless one-piece design to a chrome-plated version. The LED headlamps did not appear on the standard production LS 460, but did later debut on the hybrid ultra-luxury LS 600h / LS 600h L. The long wheelbase model LS 460 L is a lengthened version of the LF-Sh/LS 460 standard wheelbase design. The LF-Sh concept premiered at the Tokyo Motor Show in late 2005, following the debut of Lexus in the home market of Japan, and predating the January 2006 debut of the LS 460 North America. The Lexus LF-SH concept was not fitted with an interior, allowing the interior reveal of the LS 460 to occur at the North American International Auto Show in 2006.
The Lexus LF-C is a concept car Lexus unveiled at the 2004 New York Auto Show. This concept featured a retractable hardtop design which allowed for coupe, convertible, targa, or speedster configurations via a four-position glass roof. The designation stands for Lexus Future-Coupe. The Lexus LF-C is fitted with a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. Unique features included a one-touch activation button, crystal LED taillamps, suede bucket seats, a 3D instrument panel, drive-by-wire, and a translucent crystal center console with blue backlighting. The Lexus LF-C also featured retractable rear-view cameras in place of side mirrors on the doors and rear bumper. Rumors persist that that LF-C hints at the general design direction for the next-generation Lexus SC. It may, however, hint at a future convertible version of the IS 250/350. Design cues from the Lexus LF-C, particularly in the front fascia, appeared in production form with the debut of the second generation Lexus IS.
The Lexus LF-S is a concept luxury sedan which Lexus unveiled in 2003 at the Tokyo Motor Show, signaling its intentions to launch Lexus in its home country. The designation stands for Lexus Future-Sedan. Unique features of the Lexus LF-S concept included side-mounted cameras instead of mirrors, an air stream style windshield cleansing system, transparent panoramic roof with security illumination, and keyless entry. Design cues from the LF-S, particularly the slingshot cabin, sleek profile, and rear deck lid, appeared in the third generation Lexus GS production sedan. The vehicle was designed to seat 5 passengers. The Lexus LF-S was powered by a high-output hybrid V8 system with all-wheel drive, marking the conceptual debut of a Lexus vehicle with hybrid technology (the first luxury hybrid, the RX 400h, subsequently premiered in 2005 with a V6 hybrid powertrain, and in 2007 the LS 600h and LS 600h L hybrids debuted with hybrid V8 systems). The Lexus LF-S and GS sedans were displayed together at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2005, alluding to the design similarities between concept and production model. Overall length was 193.3 in (4910 mm)., width 74.6 in (1895 mm). and height 53.0 in (1346 mm).