F SPORTFutureLexus GS: Third Generation

The Evolution of Lexus Design

Lexus Spindle Grille

Tokuo Fukuichi, global head of design at Lexus, revealed some brief details about the brand’s design future in a new Automotive News interview — here are some choice quotes:

“In the next model we will emphasize this [spindle] grille even more,” Fukuichi said in an interview. “You would probably remember this grille if you saw it pass on the street.”

Shifting toward the look seen in the concept’s grille is part of Fukuichi’s drive to create more memorable designs for Lexus. That will involve taking risks with designs that go beyond safe acceptance by focus groups.

“We shouldn’t always stay in the middle of the mainstream,” said Fukuichi, who has 
been global head of design at Lexus and Toyota since April 2010. “When you launch the product, it ends up with no character.”

Should they make the GS-F (and I believe they will), I have to think it will get the full LF-Gh concept spindle grille with no separating bumper — however, I’m very curious about Fukuichi-san referring to “the next model”. Is he referring to the GS-F or something else entirely? The only other existing model that could go even further with this front-end is the IS.

Fukuichi-san goes on to explain the functional component of the new face of the brand:

“The spindle grille is not just a design matter; it also has to have a good functional performance in bringing in air,” he says. “Air flow is part of the design. It’s not merely cosmetic.”

Let’s look at the evolution of the spindle grille — as writer Hans Greimel explains in the article, it started first with the HS:

Lexus HS 250h Front Grille

This served as the inspiration for the 2009 updates to both the LS hybrid & GS hybrid, and was then further evolved with the CT 200h:

Lexus CT 200h Front Grille

From there, the LF-Gh concept took the spindle grille to its most extreme:

Lexus LF-Gh Concept Grille

In fact, the lower portion of the grille is very similar to the LFA:

Lexus LFA Front Grille

The LF-Gh was transformed into the production model GS, which turned the volume down on the wild front end:

2013 Lexus GS Front Grille

Clearly, this evolution of the L-Finesse design language has been going on for some time, and now the new GS takes it to the next logical step — it’s going to be interesting seeing what comes next.

Read the full Automotive News article (Subscription may be required)

I'm very excited about the future of Lexus design. As for what Fukuichi-San means by "the next model",it is open to interpretation. The next IS? The GS f-sport? The RX or LS facelifts? Well,we've got a lot to look forward to it seems. :-)
    • S
    • September 14, 2011
    The new spindle grill, which is taken directly from the LFA, will be placed on all models eventually.  I have seen the new LX with the new grill, also some new headlamps with the LED's!  My favorite is the RX with the new grill.  And somthing to get you all very excited, you will see an RX F-Sport!  Guarantee! But not sure what model year, I would expect a 2013 model.  No indication was given on the GS-F, but as you all saw at the Frankfurt show, the debut of the GS-F Sport.  I also got a VERY small sneak peek at the redesigned ES350, and I have to say, what we did get to see was VERY impressive!  I am looking forward to the look of the new Lexus design.
    • B
    • September 14, 2011
    New ES coming next summer, right? BD
    NO Wrong or really that's what i hope that the new near Luxury to be the Next Generation Avalon and to delete the ES
  • B
  • September 14, 2011
Nice article.  I didn't know most of the Lexus line shared these styling cues up front, even the legendary LFA. With the ES and IS coming next year, it'll be interesting to see where it goesBD
    • F
    • September 15, 2011
    A completely new models GS & ES or facelifts?
  • L
  • September 14, 2011
If you look at the RX you can also see it there.
  • L
  • September 14, 2011
I couldn't agree more with the statement of taking risks and going beyond safe design. The day and age we live in they MUST take these risks, If i were head of LEXUS that GS-F would be sittin in my garage right now, as is. Push the envelope people!! we as a society are bored easy and fast, why not create something with a serious modern/ unique look that will last and really make competition quiver in the knees.
    • 2
    • September 15, 2011
    Just to provide the counter-argument to this idea:  you will not find a Cartier watch with a funky wristband; an Armani suit does not have any quirky plaid patches; a Steinway piano does not come in lime green. Some of the finest things are coveted for their quality, and their design reflects that quality.  I think a Lexus is one of those things.  The current iteration of L-finesse may be bland and boring to some, but those are probably the same folks who buy Swatch watches and PT Cruisers.
    • M
    • September 15, 2011
    2008ES I couldn't agree more.. Like any other products which are of high quality they have subtle elegance to them.. I never understood people who think Lexus are bland, because Lexus designs have one of the most complex and understated design cues which require hard work to achieve.. But yeah the people who think they're bland are the same people as you mentioned..
  • 0
  • September 14, 2011
Hi Krew, Can you please confirm, if your email is krew@lexusenthusiast.com? I am currently working on my own hobby project and want to seek your advice on a few key items. Can you please let me know how I can get in touch with you??
    • K
    • September 15, 2011
    My email address is info@lexusenthusiast.com, or you can just use the contact form.
  • R
  • September 14, 2011
I always wanted them to join the upper "gap" opening, with chrome CT-like Fangs, to the lower grille on the LFA... it would work perfectly with the hood points off the headlamps, and put the "L" logo at the center... then, people could stop complaining that the car's hood had popped open.
I like HS's grille ...
  • J
  • September 14, 2011
Even before they released the next GS at pebble beach, several people had already see similarity between the the GS and CT.  What make the GS looks even better is that it has more depth.  From certain side angles, you can see how the mouth-like grille is protruding outward.  It looks very menacing in person.  I like it very much. As for the next model carrying this spindle grille design,  I believe (and it should) be put on an suv or cross-over.  Lexus needs to have all its bases covered.     
  • C
  • September 14, 2011
For a company that invented  the automatic loom in in 1924, isn't it so appropriate that the front grille of its luxury automobiles would have the shape of a spindle of thread?  This is a very exciting time to follow the progress of Lexus.
  • G
  • September 15, 2011
Lexus is a company going UP
I like the fourth one~
ohhh myyy......... it is amazing! i really would like to have it)))