Lexus reveals DIRECT4 Electrification Technology
Last year, Lexus set its sights on electrification. With the debut of the LF-30 concept car, the automaker established that it wasn’t looking to sacrifice athletic performance for efficiency. And to achieve that goal, Lexus has developed something it calls DIRECT4 electrification technology. Here’s what we know so far.
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The Lexus Electrified strategy aims to improve both efficiency and performance. DIRECT4 is all about delivering precision control to all four wheels, allowing your vehicle to sense driving conditions and optimize its balance between rear- and four-wheel drive. The DIRECT4 system takes advantage of the front and rear e-axle. Each e-axle has its own transaxle and electric motor, allowing for fine-tuned drive-force distribution. It also allows for instant responsiveness, since each motor is connected to the wheels via one driveshaft.
Lexus hopes that DIRECT4 gives drivers an intuitive, engaging experience behind the wheel, while also providing safety, comfort, and predictability. The automaker intends for DIRECT4 to be a central part of Lexus Electrified technology, for use in both hybrid and purely electric vehicles.
The future of DIRECT4 technology
Lexus Electrified Chief Engineer Takashi Watanabe showed off DIRECT4 in an interview, in which the new tech was showcased by prototypes being put through the paces. Watanabe wants Lexus Electrified tech to help drivers feel more in tune with their vehicles.
That idea goes hand-in-hand with the “Lexus Driving Signature” that the automaker is currently striving to create for its next generation of models. Much like the engaged feeling that DIRECT4 is meant to give, the Lexus Driving Signature is all about making drivers feel like one with their vehicle, with an emphasis on thoughtful comfort features along with a blend of excitement and security.
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Aside from giving Lexus vehicles a fresh new feel, DIRECT4 may also open up new possibilities for vehicle designs. Koichi Suga, Lexus chief designer, looks forward to how electrification will open up new opportunities for innovative vehicle designs. In fact, there’s already a vehicle in the works that takes advantage of this new freedom — it’s a new concept car that’s slated to be revealed during the first quarter of 2021. Stay tuned to The News Wheel for more info when it arrives.
Kimiko Kidd is a native Daytonian. She graduated from Wright State University with degrees in environmental science and sociology. She loves her trusty old Honda Civic, but dreams of owning a 1974 Ford Falcon XB with a custom paint job and a vintage Kawasaki Z1000. In her free time, Kimiko can be found watercolor-painting, baking muffins, collecting rocks, playing old-school Nintendo games, writing her novel, sewing stuffed animals, and cosplaying as her favorite Mad Max characters. See more articles by Kimiko.