The new Lexus GS executive saloon may be almost a year away, but the distinctive styling of this eagerly awaited new car has its roots in recent concepts. These cars were the first public sign of a new design philosophy at Lexus, statements of intent about just how exciting the future for Lexus will be. On display at Motor Show Live is the first of those concepts, the LF-X.
The LF-X (Lexus Future – Crossover) is a fully-realised concept car that combines the versatility of a premium SUV with the performance of a sports saloon with sleek and stylish body. The car, which is making its UK debut at Motor Show Live, demonstrates the new design language that will influence the look of future Lexus showroom models.
The LF-X was initiated and designed by the Lexus team at the Calty design centre in Newport Beach, California. The objective was to look beyond current SUV styling and create a vehicle that has a stronger emotional quality with high levels of performance, versatility, comfort and luxury.
Constructed on the GS430 platform, the LF-X features all-wheel drive and height-adjustable suspension. Under the bonnet it is equipped with a 300bhp version of the Lexus V8 engine, matched to a five-speed automatic gearbox. In the cabin comfort and luxury advance the class leading standards for which Lexus is renowned.
The overall shape of the LF-X was designed to communicate a balance between the car’s all-wheel drive capability and the strength of the GS430 platform. The distinctive shoulder form and the low-set Lexus grille broadcast the car’s performance potential, while the use of LED lighting technology in the jewel-like front and rear lamp arrangements evokes a rich, high-technology quality.
The interior was designed to convey the sophistication, functionality and luxurious comfort of an executive jet, being clean and uncluttered and with a driver-orientated feel. The instrument panel can be customised to suit the needs and preferences of individual drivers. Information displays can be changed in size, position and colour, according to taste. Excellent all-round vision is provided by small cameras mounted on each side and at the rear of the vehicle, relaying images to the dashboard display.
Advanced technology is also exhibited in a drive-by-wire system and a single interface for a wide range of control menus, including the satellite navigation.
Individual sports seats are provided for the front and middle rows, while the third row is designed for children. When not in use, these seats can be folded into the rear floor to increase the load space. Rear seat passengers can also enjoy in car entertainment options thanks to display screens which deploy from the vehicle’s centre console.
Lexus LF-X technical specification
- Engine – 4.3-litre DOHC V8
- Maximum power (bhp) – 300
- Transmission – 5-speed automatic
- Wheelbase (mm) – 2959
- Length (mm) – 4935
- Width (mm) – 1984
- Height (mm) – 1646
- Tyres – 265/50 R21 (front 295/45 R21 (rear)
SHAPING THE FUTURE THROUGH DESIGN
The LF-X is one in a series of Lexus concepts that express a new design philosophy for the company. Rather than being a strict formula to calculate new forms and styles, it can be adapted into many forms to give Lexus models more passion.
Lexus is a young brand, launched only 15 years ago into a global premium market dominated by a small number of long-established prestige manufacturers. In that short time it has succeeded in making a big impact, not only in terms of the quality and refinement of its vehicles, but also in its ground-breaking approach to customer care and service.
In these areas Lexus’s “relentless pursuit of perfection” has succeeded in setting new standards for its rivals to aspire to. With the new philosophy it is developing a set of design principles that will give future models an exciting look that will be unmistakeably Lexus.
In the past, Lexus models conformed to the established concepts of luxury styling. For the future it is developing a more original and advanced approach that will deliver leading edge cars that are bold and striking, but which also have an inherent simplicity and elegance.
In its analysis of the concept of luxury, Lexus concluded that true luxury is when your needs or wishes are perfectly anticipated. In this sense, the finest luxury car is not necessarily the most expensive or the one which offers the widest range of functions and features, but the one which is designed to cater instinctively for all conditions and driver requirements, focusing the design closely on the user and achieving perfection in human rather than mechanical terms. These qualities can be clearly identified in Lexus’s series of exciting new concept cars – the LF-X (detailed above), LF-S and LF-C.
The LF-S (Lexus Future – Sedan) is a four-door saloon in which all elements have an individual impact yet combine perfectly to form a dynamic and elegant appearance. The use of advanced technologies extends to a panoramic roof that incorporates a new form of security lighting.
The LF-C (Lexus Future – Coupe) expresses the concept of L-Finesse in a stunning V8-powered four-seater coupe with a retracting hard top that can be moved through four different positions, from a targa-style arrangement to a full top-down convertible.