High-tech Lexus LF-FC luxury concept runs on hydrogen, contains a hologram

Lexus' LF-FC concept is a clear indication of a new generation for the LS model, although hydrogen power is debatable. We took a look at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2 min read
Lexus LF-FC
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

TOKYO -- Lexus' LS model has been a stalwart in the luxury sedan segment, but the current model is showing its age. At the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus unveiled the LF-FC, a strong suggestion of what the next generation LS will look like.

High-tech features such as a hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain and a gesture-controlled electronics system with a hologram guide probably won't be ready for production, however.

The LF-FC is an impressively large sedan with LED headlights, Lexus' signature spindle grille and a curving body and cabin structure. Those design elements are not quite in harmony with Lexus' sharp-edged crossovers, such as the RX 450h . Still, the LF-FC has the grand and graceful appearance fitting a flagship sedan.

Lexus, possibly inspired by brand-owner Toyota's recent hydrogen predilections, specifies a drivetrain consisting of one rear electric motor and two in-wheel front electric motors. Those motors would get electricity from a fuel cell stack and onboard hydrogen tanks, similar to the system in the Toyota Mirai .

Given the LF-FC's fuel cell drivetrain, the large spindle grille seems more ornamental than practical.

Lexus LF-FC hints at a curvy new LS model (pictures)

See all photos

With three drive motors, the LF-FC would benefit from all-wheel-drive, which could be used to fine-tune stability and traction control. Lexus also notes the wheels use carbon-fiber reinforced plastic components, presumably to lighten the car.

Photos of the interior released by Lexus show plush seats with a business-class look. Electronics in the dashboard would be controlled by gestures, according to Lexus, with a hologram on the console guiding passengers.

Lexus certainly needs a new generation for the LS model, and the body design of the LF-FC looks like something that could appear as a production model next year. LED headlights are certainly practical, but the fuel cell drivetrain likely won't be ready for prime time, mostly due to the lack of infrastructure support.