When Toyota created the Lexus luxury division under the chairmanship of Eiji Toyoda in the 1980s, the goal was to apply the principles the Japanese auto company has successfully seeded into their mass-market vehicles into a luxury class automobile brand. Providing the latest innovations in luxury and technology, the Lexus division’s launch served as a game changer for the luxury car world. Not only was a Japanese premium car brand successfully courting buyers, Lexus introduced themselves projecting a new prospective for luxury.
Not only did Toyota quality and engineering transfer effectively but the new vehicle also embodied a modern shape for luxury travel. While American premium car brands such as Cadillac and Lincoln were still struggling to understand anything other than a heavy, oversized product riding on a spongy ride, Lexus promoted a sleeker, more excitable appearance. Recent years have served as an opportunity for Lexus to rediscover their former edge. While emphasizing the word “edge”, Lexus devoted their floor space at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show to present their latest exercise in charting a contemporary path in the form of a small, high-tech crossover vehicle.
The Lexus LF-NX Crossover Hybrid Concept is among the most striking vehicles given form by the designers operating within the Japanese car make. Envisioned with the new Lexus design language, the voice of styling is loud and piercing with the chiselled bodywork and gracious lines. Setting eyes on the front of the LF-NX concept crossover vehicle is like looking upon a hungry, determined competitor in a major race. Similar to the recently redesigned Lexus ES and GS sedan, this front end styling (complete with three-diamond shaped LED headlamps) is quickly becoming one of the more emotional sights on the road. Character of the new Lexus is echoed along the side panels of the LF-NX Crossover Hybrid Concept.
The pronounced fender flaring is the more provocative detail seen on a Lexus product. Even the rear of the Lexus LF-NX concept vehicle is full of attitude with the sculpting of triangular details and Lexus L-shaped light housings. At 182.7 inches from bumper to bumper, the LF-NX crossover is roughly five inches shorter in overall length than a Lexus RX. This Brushed Metal Silver coloured Lexus concept vehicle is created as an urban style crossover vehicle.
While the deployment of hybrid drive technology is seen as a bold move with some luxury car company presentations, Lexus’ long-time use of gasoline/electric hybrid propulsion actually fails to create the same sense of astonishment as the styling of the LF-NX concept car. An identical powerplant layout found on the Lexus ES 300h, the LF-NX Crossover Hybrid Concept is powered by an Atkinson cycle 2.5 liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine is paired with an electric motor.
Described as a full hybrid system, the Lexus LF-NX Concept can operate using only the gasoline engine, a combination of the gasoline and electric motor or on electricity alone. Without providing specific power numbers or performance specifications, Lexus proclaims that the LF-NX features class-equalling driving momentum while also granting the fuel economy expected from hybrid vehicles.
Utilizing Lexus’ Human Oriented L-finesse design, the LF-NX Crossover Hybrid Concept’s interior is as eye-catching as the exterior. The multi-coloured cabin environment of the Lexus LF-NX concept vehicle features a collection of metal surfaces and leather upholstery. A full-length center console divides the left and right passengers inside the Lexus LF-NX concept weaving itself towards the front dash panel. Creating a center console sporting a blue illumination, a waterfall-like visual is presented separating the forward driver and passenger. Touch-sensitive, electrostatic switches and a Lexus Remote Touch Interface are high-luxury technologies that would occupants with a refined level of modern comfort.
Implying to build a compact crossover vehicle similar to the LF-NX concept, Lexus may eventually acquaint consumers with a production product adhering closely to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show presentation. I for one would welcome such a bold approach from Lexus.