Explaining the Lexus Spindle Grille

Lexus RC F Spindle Grille

In an interview with Autocar, Lexus chief designer Yasuo Kajino explained the reasoning behind the spindle grille design that’s now seen on every Lexus:

“We have a challenge,” he explained. “Lexus is a young brand and our line-up is still very small compared to those of our rivals. We need to get noticed, and the way to do that is strong design.”

How does he judge what’s strong, as opposed to too strong? “We ask the customers,” he says. “It’s true that we have been told by our bosses to be bolder and more challenging, but the most important people to listen to are our customers – and they love what they see.”

The spindle grille has been constantly evolving since its introduction on the fourth-generation GS, and I believe the RC and (what I’ve seen of) the NX are the strongest designs yet.

When thinking about the spindle grille, I always go back to the quote from former Lexus Global general manager Karl Schlicht’s Lexus Enthusiast column:

“…it’s good there are people that don’t like our design – because good design will split opinion, and it will make you love something instead of just being OK with it.”

[Source: Autocar]


  1. Love the spindle grill, I never had an issue with Lexus design but I love the bolder look that truly its make easy to identify a Lexus. i also like that the cars share similarities but still are quite different. These are just the first cars, this will evolve over time and get even better!
  2. I love the spindle grille but hate how the GS, RX and LS Fsport models doesn't have that full spindle grille like the IS and CT Fsport models.
    • Cohen, wait for the next facelifts in a few years to come. ;) Regards, Lexusman
    • I agree with you. However, Lexus took a big step towards being bolder. I think they felt that they knew opinions were going to be split, likely the younger buyers wanting full on spindle, where older generations wouldn't like it. So they tailored the vehicles for younger buyers (IS, CT) to be more bolder compared the more older-generation buyers (ES, RX, GS, LS) with a less bold version. That is just my opinion ofcourse, and I suspect in future models will have more of the bold. Look at how well the GX is selling now, outdoing the production.
    • I'm impressed with that also. The previous GX model wasn't really attractive to me but with that new grille, Lexus caught my attention. Lexus has so much potential to be the best selling luxury brand again. The GS has also increased in sales, I'm seeing so many Fsport models and that's a good sign.
  3. Blows away the gaping maw of the Audis and the corporate three-bar grille of Mercedes. Think Cadillac's new grilles are pretty great too. BD
  4. Not for me, I bought my 2009 lease ES350 because of the look of the new ones.
  5. It's a good starting point, but I think the other elements of the design have to work with the grille. Could be refined.
  6. I purchased a new LS 400 in 1998 after owning a Mercedes and have nothing but favorable comments for Lexus quality...until the new change in design. My LS400 has over 305,000 miles and I had planned on purchasing a new one this year. However, after seeing the new design, I will go back to a Mercedes or Tesla. In my opinion: Lexus would have been better off concentrating on leading with new interior technology, safety and quality overall, rather than a flashy front end. I am saddened that Lexus has designed an automobile that seems to be trying to catch it's breath going down the road. It's only a flash in the pants! Designs like this probably cause consumer concern for this quality car maker. The Tesla Model S is looking better every day, so is the Mercedes and BMW. What happened Lexus? I am very sorry you no longer measure up. After all, the "Spindle Grill" is only a fake piece of plastic!