SHIMOYAMA, Japan -- Lexus aims to tap into the wide transformation capabilities possible with the shift to software-defined cars.
Toyota Motor’s premium brand will lead the transition in 2026 by launching the company’s first software-defined vehicles, which will feature Toyota’s proprietary Arene operating system, which is under development.
Using a modified RZ electric midsize SUV, Lexus in October showcased to the media at Toyota’s technical center in Shimoyama, near Nagoya, the extent of the transformations possible via software. This included changing the performance settings for the accelerator pedal, steering wheel and suspension as well as torque delivery.
What this means is that the midsize SUV’s performance can mimic that of everything from a sports car to a minicar to a large pickup in a matter of seconds.
The personality transformations are made more realistic by sounds from a loudspeaker installed in the cockpit. The sounds included the high-revs produced by the Lexus LFA sports car and the rumbling gear changes from a Toyota Tundra V-6 pickup.