Interview with Lexus IS Deputy Chief Engineer Naoki Kobayashi

Lexus IS 300h F SPORT

Lexus IS deputy chief engineer Naoki Kobayashi explains some of the car’s interior design decisions in an interview with Lexus UK:

Lexus UK: What’s the difference between ordinary seats and the ‘integrated foaming construction’ seats that are a Lexus first in the F-SPORT?

Kobayashi-san: A conventional car seat is designed like a stuffed toy, with a formed cushion wrapped in a seat cover. In our integrated foaming construction seats, there is no separation between the cushion material and the seat cover. They’re ‘integrated’.

This design has many advantages. There’s no cover to slide or float on the cushion. We can give a more comfortable ride with the soft surface of the seats because we don’t have to add tension to the seat cover.

Do Lexus customers associate the IS’s analogue clock with luxury, or is it purely a decorative preference?

When we find something that fits with IS, we’ll use it. Many people love the analogue clock. So do the designers of IS. We feel it represents the essential concept of “relaxing spaciousness”, and expresses the passion of designers who want people to enjoy a relaxing time with the IS.

One of the greatest attractions of the analogue clock is that can give different impressions depending on who is looking at it, and when it’s seen. It could be 9:55, five to ten, 10 o’clock, just before 10…

Compared to the previous model, the new IS interior is a huge leap in terms of usability — every element feels purposeful, and it’s clear from this interview that no improvement was considered too small.

Read the full interview with Naoki Kobayashi