Debuting in Paris, the Lexus UX Concept is a one-off compact crossover that dramatically reinterprets the automaker’s existing design language. Created by ED2, the firm’s design center in the south of France, this radically expressive 4-passenger show vehicle pushes the boundaries of convention using what Lexus dubs an “inside-out” design theme and a deconstructed interior treatment. Lexus believes an entry-lux CUV with those kinds of distinctive elements will have serious appeal to the younger, urban buyers it hopes to bring into the family fold.

Reformulating for the future 

Lexus says the main goal of the UX Concept’s inside-out approach was to create a strong synergy linking the vehicle’s exterior and interior by implementing an X-shaped motif in the basic architecture that results in a seamless visual transition between the two. It points to elements like the design of the wheel arches, roll bars and “see-through” A-pillar structures that help foster the desired effect. Finished in Immersive Amethyst, the UX Concept melds its sculpted but fluid body surfaces with a host of other intriguing detail flourishes that include a new interpretation of the signature Lexus Spindle grille, L-shaped DRLs that intersect with the main headlamps, and dramatic rear lighting. Even the UX Concept’s rolling stock reflects the inside-out motif, with a section of each custom alloy wheel extending into its aggressive laser-carved tires to create a unified appearance.

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The dramatically rendered cabin of the Lexus UX Concept pushes the same kind of avant-garde buttons, starting with its unconventional take on a dash design that consists of a selection of overlapping angular forms matched with advanced dual-zone 3D instrumentation, full electrostatic switchgear and the latest in-car connectivity. That dichotomy carries into the fore and aft areas as well. Up front, a darker-toned, driver-in-command space is dominated by individual buckets with spider-web netting inspired by the innovative new Lexus Kinetic Seat Concept design that also debuted in Paris. The UX Concept also introduces a new Human Machine Interface concept that baselines key ergonomic considerations from the position of the driver’s body in the seat to create a more immersive experience. Lighter in color and more welcoming in tone, the rear quarters in this groundbreaking Lexus have a single wraparound lounge-like bench.

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Rounding out the UX Concept’s feature set are electrochromic windows that darken at the touch of a button, e-mirror cameras in place of conventional side mirrors and an audio system with a stylized removable sound bar. It should be interesting to see how much of the UX Concept’s design thinking actually makes it into a production vehicle.

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