Lexus UX Concept teases future of compact crossover design

Lexus UX Concept front
The Lexus UX Concept debuted at this month’s Paris Motor Show in France.

Think the Lexus NX looks futuristic? Then prepare to have your socks blown off with the Lexus UX Concept compact crossover.

Lexus premiered the vehicle, which represents Lexus’ vision for a small SUV of the future, to the world at the Mondial de l’Automobile motor show on until Oct. 16 in Paris.

The UX was dreamt up by ED², the automaker’s design centre in the South of France.

Lexus UX Concept rear

“The biggest challenge for any designer is always to create something new and original, yet with relevance to both the customer and the brand,” said ED² president Simon Humphries in a news announcement.

“Overall, this is a product which gives another hint of the potential for Lexus’ design approach to satisfy those criteria. The expression of a progressive, strong yet artistic & premium product which further enhances Lexus’ unique and challenging brand position.”

With seating for four, the UX takes the muscular appearance of an off-road vehicle and adds some aerodynamic elements of a sports car to the mix. There are huge angular fender arches hanging above each wheel, and the chassis sits low to the ground.

Lexus UX Concept interior

A new styling concept called “inside-out” is also being introduced on the crossover, where visual elements from the exterior blend into the interior, and vice versa. For instance, the front fenders flow into the cabin and house display screens showing images captured by rear facing cameras mounted on the doors.

Lexus UX Concept spindle grille

Not everything has been changed — the signature spindle grille, albeit evolved, remains the main focal point of the front fascia.

Like a trendy meal at a modern restaurant, the inside of the vehicle has been deconstructed. A structural roof bar is visible to passengers, the A pillar is see-through, made from a clear polycarbonate material, and the seats are, well, barely there.

Lexus UX Concept Kinetic Seat

Resembling a series of spider webs, the UX receives the first application of the Lexus Kinetic Seat Concept. In lieu of traditional cushioning and fabric, the chairs are covered in a kind of synthetic netting that kinetically moves with the occupant and external forces, better stabilizing head movement in order to keep his or her field of vision steady.

We’ll talk more about the Kinetic Seat in an upcoming post. Visitors can see the Lexus UX Concept at the Paris Motor Show until Oct. 16. 

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights