Redefining the Driving Experience
Making its debut at the 2016 Paris motor show, the Lexus UX both redefines the future of the compact SUV and the driving experience itself. Challenged with creating a new genre of concept cross-over, the Lexus UX features a Lexus unique “inside-out” design concept, a “deconstructed” interior, and a range of immersive in-vehicle technologies designed to enhance the lives and lifestyles of an ever-connected progressive luxury buyer.
The unique architecture of the Lexus UX carries the anticipation of the exterior into the interior. Front fenders flow seamlessly into the cabin. The roof bar penetrates the cabin – creating the A-pillar– then re-emerges as the door camera mounting. The A-pillar itself is transparent, further blurring the boundaries between the exterior and interior. Key exterior elements are linked together by highly sculptural, sensual surfacing, reinforcing the dramatic performance promise embedded in the whole of the design.
‘Deconstruction’ is a second key design principle of the new Lexus UX Concept. Most powerfully represented in the front of the cabin where, in place of a conventional dashboard, sharp, angular forms overlap to create a strong interplay of shadows and contrasts. The inside-out approach is also present, reflected in layout and colour scheme. The spirit of the aggressive front end is evident in the darker tones of the cockpit, communicating a premium, driver-focused environment. Taking its cues from the softer rear exterior treatment, the rear passenger compartment is styled as a soft-lounge sofa that wraps around the rear-hinged back doors. The result is two perceptions of luxury seamlessly brought together in a single vehicle.
Drawing inspiration from both nature and natural forces, Lexus UX features an adaptation of the breakthrough Lexus’ Kinetic Seat Concept – a total re-evaluation of car seat technology. The concept seat’s webbed net is constructed from environmentally-conscious synthetic spider silk materials that offer superior shock absorbance properties. Both cushion and seatback are incredibly flexible, molding to fit body shape, and designed to stabilize head movement by enabling the pelvis and chest to rotate in opposite directions – mimicking the very actions of the human spine. The result is greatly enhanced ease of driving and comfort even after long journeys.
Innovative, 3-D Human Machine Interface (HMI) technology offers a uniquely immersive driver experience. A floating, hologram-style driver’s instrument binnacle and centre console display create a highly functional yet unexpected user interface. Windows are electro-chromatic, changing from clear to opaque in concert with ambient light. Door mirrors are replaced by e-mirror camera housings that display left-side and right-side images on internal screens. And all switchgear is electro-static – controlled smartphone-style by the touch of a finger.
Even the body colour has been designed to emphasise 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.