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Lexus hinted Monday about what's to come with the LF-1 Limitless concept that debuted Monday at the Detroit Auto Show. The high-end brands are struggling to respond to the dramatic changes that restructure the global automotive industry.

Full-size sedans, such as the Lexus LS, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series, have traditionally served as the pinnacle of wh in those brands they represent. But in a market where SUVs account for half of all sales and traditional passenger cars are rapidly declining in demand, the focus is changing. The LF1, according to the Lexus space "digs" for a new "flagship luxury crossover".

"This is our vision of a new type of flagship vehicle that adopts the ability to cross without sacrificing performance and luxury delivered by the current top sedans," said Kevin Hunter, president of CALTY, the advanced design center near Los Angeles for the Lexus Toyota. "The LF-1 Limitless concept incorporates imaginative technology while creating a strong emotional connection enhancing the human experience for the driver and passengers."

One could argue that Lexus already has a premium utility vehicle, the big LX. But that three-row model is based on a classic body-on-frame design with a limited niche appeal. The LF-1, as the star model to come, is based on a platform more similar to a car. That translates into a more comfortable driving experience, while maintaining the highest seat and the capabilities for all types of weather of a classic "ute".

For those accustomed to the traditional slab appearance that for a long time defined the Lexus brand, meanwhile The designers took very seriously the mandate of the CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, to "put more passion in the brand". The LF-1 offers a much bolder and potentially polarizing shape than Lexus compares to "molten metal forged into a thin Japanese sword". . "

The model car has an athletic look that is both a sport utility vehicle and a sport utility vehicle, with a low roofline and massive 22-inch wheels barely concealed by its flared fenders.The face, of course, features the rear grille. Lexus axis now familiar, although it adopts a more three-dimensional appearance.One of the most distinctive details comes with the use of LED lighting, instead of chrome, to frame the grid.

Inside, the Lexus LF-1 combines features of traditional luxury, such as the two-tone Cocoa Bean and the Chiffon White leather, with more modern technology, including indirect LED lighting that can be adjusted to the color preference of the driver.There is also what Lexus calls a "four-dimensional" navigation system "which aims to" anticipate the needs of the driver and the occupants, "according to Lexus, not only adjusts to traffic and road conditions, but also suggests fuel stops, breaks and hotel reservation during a longer trip.

And to reflect another trend, the Lexus LF-1 introduces Toyota's "Chauffeur" autonomous driving system that would allow a motorist to switch to a hands-free mode or re-manual for a more sporting experience. The gear levers frame the steering wheel of the rear-wheel-drive crossover prototype.

The use of the word, "Limitless", in the name of the concept, also reflects the recent promise of the CEO Toyoda to offer alternative powertrain technology for each of the company's future products. The automaker insinuates that the production version of the LF-1 could be powered not only by a conventional gasoline engine, but also by hybrid, plug-in, all-electric or even fuel cell transmission systems.

Lexus is not ready to discuss production plans for the LF-1 Limitless Concept, but with competitors as diverse as Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW and other manufacturers who turn to their own iconic crossings, Lexus experts They imply that we can expect the Japanese luxury manufacturer to have something in its showrooms within the next few years.

Lexus also launched its new RX 350L, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The crossover has a seat option in the third row.

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