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Lexus looking at in-wheel electric motors for its EVs

Toyota, the undisputed industry champion when it comes to hybrid technologies, has been slower off the mark to develop all-electric vehicles. The same applies of course to its luxury division Lexus.

According to Digital Trends website, the Japanese automaker wants its full range of vehicles to feature electrified powertrains by 2025. To be sure, this can take a lot of forms, from light-hybrid systems to full-on all-electric powertrains.

Still, Lexus VP Koji Sato told the media outlet that the brand will soon develop a platform for EVs, and that it will feature in-wheel electric motors. He acknowledged that for the moment most of the development work still lies ahead, but affirmed that Lexus is committed to the technology.

Recall that back in 1994, the in-wheel system was developed by Hydro-Quebec.

Photo: D.Boshouwers

One possible by-product of Lexus’ transition to electric powertrains is the abandonment of the brand’s signature hourglass grille. This oversized feature could and probably would be completely revisited since EVs don’t require large air intakes on their front ends. In 10 or 15 years we may see a vastly altered design signature from the luxury brand.

Many, including us, will tell you the change will be most salutary for Lexus. While the design features was a positive addition to several of the brand’s models and made for a strong brand image, on some other Lexus-badged models it was downright hideous.

We could, at the next Tokyo auto show, be introduced to a new Lexus design signature, as the company is planning to unveil there a concept loaded up with new technologies.