Following in the tire tracks of the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, Lexus is planning its own luxury version to arrive by 2020.
Speaking with British car magazine Auto Express, Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe said that Lexus is adapting the hydrogen fuel technology developed by parent company Toyota and that there are only a few hurdles left to overcome.
“The problem is packaging the technology into a normal sized car,” he said. ”It will fit into an SUV. We just need to get the right level of performance for a premium car.”
The new fuel cell car could be similar to the large fuel-cell flagship sedan LF-FC that debuted at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
The show car was powered by fuel cells that sent energy to all four wheels, with two in-wheel motors.
The fuel-cell stack is mounted in the rear of the vehicle, with a control unit in front and a T-shaped arrangement of hydrogen tanks.
Uyttenhoven’s comments indicate that the new car would have a significant bump in power compared to the Mirai, which produces 152 horsepower.
Lexus could launch a fuel cell LS in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which Toyota is sponsoring.
The Olympics have long favored using zero-emission electric vehicles to accompany events, given concerns over the quality of the air athletes must breathe.
A fuel cell LS would be a “statement” car, a way for Lexus to show off to the world its forward-thinking technology and get the jump on competition.