|Lexus UX Concept|
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Showcasing Lexus' vision for a compact SUV of the future, the UX Concept made its world debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Designed by ED2, Lexus' design center in the South of France, the UX Concept represents a new step in the company's design journey and a redefinition of the driving experience.
"The biggest challenge for any designer is always to create something new and original, yet with relevance to both the customer and the brand. Overall, this is a product which gives another hint of the potential for Lexus' design approach to satisfy those criteria. The expression of a progressive, strong yet artistic, and premium product which further enhances Lexus' unique and challenging brand position." - Simon Humphries, President of ED2
A powerful reinterpretation of the Lexus design signatures, the UX Concept reflects the brand's determination that each of its models should have a unique, standalone character with a strong concept behind it; represented here by the powerful, "inside-out" design concept and deconstructed interior styling. This bold design embodies imaginative, forward-thinking technologies to provide occupants with a fully immersive experience. This sensation is generated through cockpit ergonomics which flow from the driver's body, and innovative three-dimensional HMI technology.
The vehicle also features a first design execution of a breakthrough seat technology, the Kinetic Seat Concept, designed by Lexus in response to a re-evaluation of the principles of car seat occupancy.
The entry luxury SUV segment is the fastest-growing luxury segment in the U.S. Thanks to two groups-young customers upgrading in the quest for distinctive styling, a versatile interior, and an engaging driving experience, and premium customers looking for an impressive, high-function interior in a vehicle sized for urban living. The UX Concept highlights Lexus' intention to attract an ever-wider group of new, younger, ever-connected urban customers ("Urbanites") to the brand for the first time.
"Our brief was to create a new genre of compact crossover; a vehicle that could progress the user experience and create something unique from a customer's point of view. Inspiration came from many sources, but the main source of inspiration comes from the key phrases representing the character of the car: 'robust yet agile' and 'inside-out styling concept'. This comes from one of the Lexus fundamentals, the 'Yet' philosophy. We were looking for inspiration representing the synergy of contrasting values, in architecture, fashion design or nature, with a view to fusing lightness, structural, artistic and emotional values." - Stephan Rasmussen, Exterior Designer, ED2
The UX Concept is a new variety of four-seater crossover which contrasts the appearance and 4x4 presence of an off-roader with a low ground clearance and a coupe-like driving position, reinforcing the dynamic performance promise embedded in the compact packaging of the design.
"The 'inside-out' concept came from a lot of discussions within the team. We wanted to show the human-centric aspect of the concept in a visually as well as philosophically strong way. A strong symbiosis between the exterior and interior was felt to be important by all the designers involved. To create the anticipation from the exterior, which could then have a visual link and expand into the interior, was a key goal."- Alexandre Gommier, Interior Designer, ED2
At the heart of the design lies a futuristic, "inside-out" concept which creates a strong synergy between exterior and interior styling. In top view, this is most strongly represented by an X-shaped movement in the architecture from the cabin outwards and vice-versa.
In the front, the car's fenders flow seamlessly into the cabin to form housings for e-mirror screens showing the image from door-mounted, rear-facing cameras. The dashboard top sits lower than these screens to combine a deconstructed look with excellent forward visibility. To the rear, the bodywork again flows into the cabin, forming the main structure of the rear-seat headrests.
X-shaped movement from the inside outwards is similarly reinforced through the 4x4 style emphasis of the powerful fenders, with aerodynamically efficient wheel arch cladding adding a further dimension to the design.
The "inside-out" styling theme is further emphasized by the wheel arches, roof bars, and door cameras. They are all finished in the same material, and represent a form of continuous yet interrupted bone structure. For example, the inner skeleton of the vehicle coming into view as the roof bar penetrates the cabin-creating the A pillar structure-and re-emerging as the door camera mounting.
"We worked extensively in clay as well as digital methods; not to be the most efficient, but to be able to achieve the best quality of surfacing and design. Having a highly skilled Takumi clay modelling team on the project allowed us to explore many ways to create the beautiful surface interactions that are a key element to this design's muscular yet elegant boldness."- Stephan Rasmussen, Exterior Designer, ED2
A further evolution of the Lexus spindle grille marks an important step forward, wherein the whole volume surrounding the grille creates the identity of the vehicle-a more three-dimensional starting point which informs the shape of the body shell. These key external elements are linked together by highly sculptural surfaces reminiscent of a classic sports car. This architecture is unique to Lexus; a bold horizontal design is achieved through volume rather than merely character lines, where the sum of those lines equals the horizontal axis of the car. From the side, the length of the hood further emphasizes the strong linear aspect of the design, while the peak of the cabin is deliberately set back to create a dynamic and characteristic profile.
Even the body color has been designed to emphasize the shape of the car. In the absence of character lines, the multi-layered depth of the newly-developed "Immersive Amethyst" paintwork serves to highlight volume changes, giving definition to the sculpture and expressing the car as a volume rather than simply a line-oriented design.
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|Article||Image gallery (5)||Specifications|