As reported early last month, Lexus finally showed the world what their vision of the compact crossover looks like with the unveiling of the UX Concept together with the big reveal of the 3-D Human Machine Interface (HMI) and the Kinetic Seat Concept.
Lexus calls the concept’s exterior a ‘powerful inside out design’ with ‘deconstructed interior styling’ put together by the brand’s design center in the South of France called ED2.
"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 & premium product which further enhances Lexus' unique and challenging brand position," said Simon Humphries, President of ED2.
This four-seater compact crossover concept takes a totally new approach by starting with low ground clearance and a coupe-like driving position.
To complete the entire concept’s look, an ‘inside-out’ design was implemented between the exterior and interior styling epitomized by the X-shaped movement emanating from the cabin outwards that is visible from the top.
E-mirrors on both sides show the sideview on screens in the cockpit that are positioned on top of low-rise dashboards to provide a bigger view of the road ahead.
The highly stylized inner skeleton of the UX Concept is clearly seen on the roof bar that penetrates the cabin to create the A-pillar structure while also acting as the door camera mounting.
Completely changing the lighting system, the L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which was traditionally located below the main lamp, now pierces the main lamp design while the rear is more three-dimensional and is integrated with the rear spoiler.
“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.
The front of the cabin uses Lexus’ ‘deconstruction’ design principle that doesn’t employ a fixed dashboard and yet the UX Concept still present all the vital data for a complete yet unique driver experience.
In order to let the driver feel the ‘seat in control’ principle, Lexus de-prioritized the front passenger area while also installing the Kinetic Seat Concept behind the steering wheel.
Using HMI technology, the UX Concept gives a highly three-dimensional feel of the instrumentation projecting data on the instrumentation panel further away and under the bonnet so that the driver has a clear view of what’s ahead.
The driver's instrument binnacle houses a transparent globe, floating like a hologram, while the center console also sports a hologram-style display of the climate control and infotainment system.
Carrying advanced features as well, the UX Concept also has electro-chromatic windows, e-mirror camera housings replacing the sideview mirrors, electrostatic switchgears, the front passenger has separate center display track-pad control built into the door armrest panel.