Key to a success story spanning three generations is the ongoing ability of the RX to ignore preconceptions and challenge the status quo. A unique, from-the-ground-up, exterior and interior design approach first created the concept of the premium SUV, and it has continued to give birth to new ideas with the launch of each successive RX generation.
Whilst any new RX must inherit from its predecessors all the core DNA which defines a Lexus premium SUV, the exterior and interior design of the fourth generation model was developed to represent an even larger evolutionary leap than that which separates the second and third generations…
“’Seductive Strength’ is the keyword for the exterior design concept” explains Project Chief Designer Gen Ikeda. “This concept represents the strength that is fundamental to a premium SUV, and is expressed as ‘Glossy’, ‘Deep’ and ‘Sharp’.
We focused on bold, outstanding proportions without sacrificing the elegant appeal of the RX, to create a vehicle that looks high class at a glance. While searching for a word that can express the essential RX quality of elegance in a stronger and deeper way, we came upon the word ‘Seductive’. Rather than simple elegance, this word includes the deeper nuance of ‘Mature Sensuality’.
This perfectly matched the image we were searching for and, combined with our aim for increased presence, became the keyword ‘Seductive Strength’”.
This keyword is reflected in the overall proportions, three-dimensional forms, surface shaping and every other aspect of the new, fourth generation RX exterior design. A bold version of the company’s signature spindle grille, strongly flared fenders, wrap-around tail lights and a floating roofline contrast with the powerful main form to give the Lexus premium SUV a new found sense of strength and ‘Mature Sensuality’ when viewed from any angle.
Explaining the interior design concept, Gen Ikeda continues:“We focused on ‘Seductive Innovation’ as the interior design development keyword. The entire cabin space has an enhanced horizontal axis which is the basis of Lexus interiors. Combining this with the vertical driver-oriented space that starts from the Head-Up Display creates an interior space with a unique new construction.
This vertically-oriented structure is expressed with simple, broad flowing surfaces which create a unique feel and quality that is quite distinct from competitor premium SUVs.”
The result of this highly-innovative design approach is an elegant interior which combines all the spaciousness and luxury expected of a Lexus premium SUV with a snug, highly-focused driver’s environment.
‘Seductive Innovation’ is most clearly expressed through the evolution of the Lexus HMI (Human Machine Interface) displays, most notably the large HUD (Head-Up Display). The longitudinal design motif of the new interior focuses on the new HUD, which is visually connected to the centre console via the meter hood, expressing movement from an upper Display Zone to a lower Operation Zone whilst realising a space created to minimise driver distraction.
Both the texture and colour of materials play a key role in enhancing the interior space configuration of the new RX, and the colour designers had an important role from the first stages of planning. Only by taking into consideration the subtle changes inherent in the properties of different materials, colours and surface treatments whist shaping the new interior could the completed cabin fully reflect the ‘Mature Sensuality’ which hallmarks the new Lexus RX as a uniquely progressive evolution in the premium SUV segment.