27 / 11 / 2018

FROM RADICAL DESIGN CONCEPT TO HEAD-TURNING UX CROSSOVER

  • New UX inspired by a concept unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show

  • Strong synergy between the exterior and interior styling

  • ‘Cross-Create’ design approach based on the Lexus ‘YET’ philosophy

  • Captivating crossover design with meticulously crafted surfaces

The first sign that Lexus was about to enter the highly competitive compact crossover market came at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, with the launch of the UX Concept: a radical design study combining a coupé-like roofline with the muscular appearance of a rugged 4x4.

The UX Concept was developed at Lexus’ ED2 design studio in the South of France: “Our brief was to create a new genre of crossover; a vehicle that would progress the ownership experience and create something really unique. We studied ideas from many sources, but the main inspiration came from the 'Secure YET Agile' motif,” explained Stephan Rasmussen, Exterior Designer at ED2.

The UX Concept highlighted Lexus' intention to attract an ever-wider group of younger, highly connected urban customers: “We paid particular attention to the human-centric aspect of the design. Using a Japanese architectural style called ‘engawa’, we developed a powerful symbiosis between the exterior and interior of the car,” said Alexandre Gommier, Interior Designer at ED2.

‘Cross-Create’ design approach

Enthused by the excitement of the UX Concept, Chief Designer Tetsuo Miki and his team worked to create a road-going version of the new crossover. Guided by the three Lexus design principles of ‘YET philosophy’, ‘human-centred’ and ‘pioneering,’ they developed the ‘Cross-Create’ design approach which lead to the following creative statements:

1. Exterior YET Interior

Using the idea of ‘engawa’, Lexus designers worked to smooth the boundary between the exterior and interior of the car, connecting them with near seamless continuity. This approach is most evident in the UX driver’s seat, where one really senses the extremities of the car, making it much easier to drive and manoeuvre.

2. Rugged SUV YET Dynamic car

By combining distinctive features from two very different types of car — such as the rugged wheel arch mouldings of a 4x4 juxtaposed with a fin-shaped rear combination light inspired by the rear spoiler of a sports car - this unconventional mix of styles has resulted in a highly original crossover design.

3. Robust exterior YET Glamorous image

Here the combination of robust exterior and intricately sculpted bodywork gives the UX its unique identity, resulting in an exterior which exemplifies the Lexus brand.

4. Stylish YET Functional

Whilst wheel arch mouldings are generally installed to protect SUV bodywork from stone chips, they have a secondary function on the new UX: that of aerodynamically stabilizing the car. The same is true of the rear combination light and 17” alloy wheels, which both perform an aerodynamic function.

5. Driver-oriented YET Relaxing for passengers

Inside, the designers created a "driver-oriented" cockpit, while at the same time using central ornamentation to achieve a smooth connection between the driver and passenger areas.

 6. Secure interior YET Open feel

Positioned low in the cabin, robust structural elements provide peace of mind. Waist upwards, the UX is designed to offer a class-leading field of vision and feeling of space.

Captivating crossover design with meticulously crafted surfaces

At the reveal of the production car, UX Chief Designer Tetsuo Miki said: “The new UX combines a compact body with the robust strength of a crossover vehicle. Its meticulously crafted surfaces express simple yet captivating design, as well as suggesting great strength and dynamism.”

Triple LED headlights and Lexus ‘signature grille’

Describing the front of the new UX, Miki continued: “Each headlight is made up of a compact pod of three LED units (optional) which, together with the arrowhead-shaped Daytime Running Lights and Lexus ‘signature grille’, give a distinctive character to the car’s face.”

Aerodynamic rear LED combination light

At the rear, the ultra-thin one-piece LED combination lamp is beautifully shaped. It also makes a surprisingly significant contribution to the car’s handling and performance. “When we tested the car, we could really feel how the aerodynamic fins integrated in the rear light gave the vehicle added stability,” smiles Miki.

With the first UX models arriving soon in Europe, the order books are open and you can already admire this stunning new crossover at your Lexus dealer.

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