2016 Lexus UX Concept

2016 lexus ux concept – DOC689148

The Paris Auto Show is right around the corner, so new car and concept announcements are flying off our printers at record speed. Lexus already gave us a teaser shot of the UX Concept that is set to be the highlight of its stand in Paris, but the luxury brand has finally dropped more details about it and given us a good look at the interior. In Lexus’ original release, it said that the concept showcases “imaginative technologies for an immersive driver experience, while the interior marries traditional craftsmanship with high-tech manufacturing techniques.” The first part of that statement is right, but after looking at the inside, there’s nothing traditional about that craftsmanship. In fact, it’s the most futuristic concept that we’ve seen in quite a while.

When I say futuristic, I’m not just talking about technology. There is a lot of that, and this model does have a few holograms inside, but the overall design of the cabin itself is out of this world. It looks like a combination of a personal space shuttle and a futuristic race car all tied together.

Stephan Rasmussen, a designer at the ED2 European Design Center, said, “Our brief was to create a new genre of compact crossover; a vehicle that could create something unique from a customer’s point of view—an innovative, three-dimensional, fully immersive user experience.”

Well give him credit, as this concept is about as unique as you can get, and it’s definitely three-dimensional. Does it preview a compact SUV of the future as Lexus says it does? Maybe in the distant future, but let’s dive on in and take a better look.

Exterior

Lexus Announces UX Concept For 2016 Paris Motor Show

A quick glance at the one exterior shot we have shown that there are bits of DNA from Lexus NX SUV, but the concept is heavily exaggerated. The side profile is dominated by wide wheel arches, with the rear quarters being excessively muscular. The wheels are massive and are far from anything I would expect to see on a production vehicle anytime in the near future. Waves in the bodywork give the concept the appearance that it’s moving even when it’s sitting still. The front doors are normal sized, while the rear doors are somewhat small and look to lack a proper door handle. However, upon closer inspection, it looks like these may be suicide doors with a handle that meets in the middle.

There are bits of DNA from Lexus NX SUV, but the concept is heavily exaggerated.

I never thought I’d say this, but this SUV has such an interesting slope to its roof. It almost has a fastback like appearance. The rear hatch it’s remarkably small and terminates just inches below the rear glass. The rear fascia is pretty stylish and looks to support some kind of ambient LED technology at the top. Down below rectangular exhaust pipes are integrated into the fascia’s center insert. The most interesting thing in the rear is that wild taillight setup. While there are stationary units mounted to the rear quarters that are separate from the lens on the rear hatch, the clearance between them is so tight that it looks like one really wide light. It features a unique LED matrix that is stylish by way more futuristic than anything I expect to see on a production vehicle in the foreseeable future.

All told, it’s a sexy and bold design, at least from what we can see. When we finally get a look at the front, I expect to see some slim headlights and a large Spindle grille. There will probably be fairly small LED fog lights to go with an aggressive front fascia design. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s really going on up front.

Interior

Lexus UX Concept

Despite the fact that Lexus claims there is some traditional craftsmanship inside the cabin, I can’t seem to find any. This thing is about as futuristic as it gets. First off, and most noticeable, is the holographic globe that makes up the instrument cluster. It is said to display a combination of analog and digital information and is a “functional yet unexpected” user interface. And then there’s that weird “crystal structure” on the center console that displays a holographic representation of the air conditioning and infotainment system. The lettering on the faceted crystal structure likely represent touch buttons to control certain features of the aforementioned systems. There’s also a traditional display that is recessed into the dash, however, it’s layout gives it a 3D appearance as well.

The holographic globe that makes up the instrument cluster said to display a combination of analog and digital information and is a “functional yet unexpected” user interface.

Next, let me just say that this concept has the wildest looking steering wheel that I’ve ever seen in my life. The central hub is small and sports the Lexus “L.” From the sharp geometric figures bend and curve to make up four small but noticeable spokes. The steering wheel itself isn’t exactly round, taking on more of an oblong or oval shape as opposed to that found on most vehicles. Down below the steering wheel, there are two metal pedals. The dash itself has a two-tier layout of sorts that is primarily wrapped in leather with that infotainment display recessed heavily in the center. There’s a very weird design to the dash on the passenger side that features a number of triangular-shaped plates stacked next to each other. On each corner of the dash, there is a display screen that shows video from the side view mirrors attached to the outside of the doors.

The driver’s side of the dash wraps around just to the right of the steering wheel and turns into the center console. That center console looks to be wrapped mostly in leather, however, there is some Alcantara there with three elevated areas that may serve as an armrest of sorts. The same style of armrest can be found on the door trim panels as well, just behind the controls for the door windows. Despite its futuristic nature, the car does appear to have a traditional door handle of sorts inside, so there’s that.

And finally, there’s the seat. We can only make out a small bit of the seat cushion, but it looks like a frame wrapped with thick, black rubber bands. Thinking back, it could be another interpretation of the Kinetic Seat Concept that Lexus announced not that long ago. That seat used a man-made spider web of sorts to absorb kinetic movement and offer up better body support for passengers. Needless to say, this interior is about as wild as it gets, but I wouldn’t expect to see any of the features make their way into anything Lexus will offer in the foreseeable future.

Drivetrain

It does have exhaust pipes, though, so there is some kind of internal combustion engine hidden under the metal.

Lexus hasn’t said anything about what is lurking under the hood of this concept. It does have exhaust pipes, though, so there is some kind of internal combustion engine hidden under the metal. Considering it is a wild and exaggerated example of the NX, it could have the NX’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder. In the NX, it delivers a total of 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. In the NX, that’s enough for a 7.2-second sprint to 60 mph and a combined fuel economy of 25 mpg. Then again, it’s a futuristic concept, so it could have a hybridized drivetrain. This would likely be a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with an electric motor. In the NX, this setup produces 194 horsepower and a 9.1-second sprint to 60 mph. Fuel economy for the hybrid is rated at 31 mpg combined.

Then again, this concept may not be fully functional, so there may not be anything under the hood at all. We’ll just have to see what transpires when the car makes its official debut in Paris.

Conclusion

I have a soft spot in my heart for futuristic concepts – especially ones that look like spaceships on the inside. Then again I’m a big fan of science fiction and the dream of personal space travel. I’ve always felt I was born a few thousand years too early in that regard, so when I see concepts as outrageous as this one, it really gets the Trekkie in me going. I’ve really got to hand it to Lexus on this concept. The outside isn’t really that far off from designs that we may actually see in 15 or 20 years, and that interior is as bold as you can get. I wouldn’t expect to see anything like that weird triangular formation on the dash to end up in a car – imagine hitting your face on that thing in an accident… – but things like the holographic displays are certainly something that’s in our future at some point. Who knows, by the time your great grandchildren start driving, cars just might come with holographic drivers too.

LOVE IT

  • Wild exterior
  • Spaceship-like interior
  • Bold and unique

LEAVE IT

  • Probably decades ahead of its time in design
  • Expensive technology

Press Release

The Lexus UX Concept will make its world debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, showcasing Lexus’ vision for a compact SUV of the future. This vehicle represents a new step in the company’s design journey and a redefinition of the driving experience.

The bold UX Concept design embodies imaginative and forward-thinking technologies to provide occupants with a fully immersive experience. All on-board HMI technology has been designed to offer progressive customers who live and work in an ever-connected environment an innovative, three-dimensional driver experience.

The driver’s instrument binnacle houses a transparent globe, floating in the manner of a hologram, in which a combination of analog and digital information express a functional yet unexpected user interface. The center console features a prominent, facetted crystal structure within which a hologram-style display of air conditioning and infotainment system is clearly visible to both driver and front passenger.

The latest advanced in-vehicle electrical technologies are also on display in the new UX Concept. It features electro-chromatic windows, and the side-view mirrors are replaced by e-mirror camera housings far slimmer than conventional mirror housing. All switchgear is electrostatic and housed under transparent covers.

Finally, the fin motif used on the A pillar is repeated on the dashboard to provide a new audio experience for the next-generation Lexus customer: a removable sound bar built into the passenger side of the dashboard.

“Our brief was to create a new genre of compact crossover; a vehicle that could create something unique from a customer’s point of view—an innovative, three-dimensional, fully immersive user experience,” said Stephan Rasmussen, designer at European Design Centre, ED2.

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