Lexus LF-SA Concept: Ultra-bold city car of tomorrow
Employing avant-garde styling that few would have imagined possible, the Lexus LF-SA Concept rolled into Geneva intent on shaking up conventional thinking. Created by the automaker's European-based ED2 design studio this tiny 2+2 urban runabout has a driver focused character but a look that even Lexus admits is "an audacious interpretation of the brand's design philosophy." That said, the LF-SA Concept also is meant to establish that beyond its well-established luxury leanings, Lexus has a passion for creating driver-focused vehicles with emotional flair.
Finished in Stellar Silver with dark roof/door/fender contrast elements, the LF-SA Concept's highly-sculpted bodywork is rendered in what Lexus calls a "Time in Design" form that causes the vehicle's perceived shape change when viewed from various angles. A mere 135.8 inches long - nearly three feet shorter than a Lexus CT 200h - the LF-SA's strong positive and negative exterior surfaces are bookended by equally dramatic fascia treatments. Up front, the most aggressive take yet on the automaker's signature spindle grille moves from a two-dimensional graphic to a solid 3D form as it transitions out from the center logo and melds with the angular hood and fenders. The tail has a similarly edgy flavor with a double-step design of its hatchback set off by distinctive L-shaped lamp clusters, which like the headlights, are full LED units. While Lexus made no mention of the LF-SA's oversize rolling stock, those blender-blade alloys wrapped around custom Goodyear rubber display a menacing 3D character.
The LF-SA Concept's cabin also reflects a journey into uncharted territory which Lexus says was "inspired by the spectacle of a solar eclipse." It starts with a sweeping dash that holds a holographic central information display as well as a conventional head-up unit. In keeping with its driver-centric theme, the prime seat in the house is fixed while the steering wheel and pedals are fully adjustable. Access to the LF-SA's fairly diminutive rear perches is gained by sliding the front bucket forward. As one might expect, this intriguing one-off also provides all aboard with state-of-the-art connectivity and safety. It will be interesting to see where Lexus decides to go with this envelope-stretching concept. It's no secret that the automaker has been discussing the possibility of adding a sub-CT 200h model to the family.
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