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Photo: The 2008 Lexus LF-Xh Crossover Concept

Let’s go way back to 2008 for a look at the Lexus LF-Xh concept, the pre-cursor to the current RX and a complete shock to the system when it was released.

(This matte black LF-Xh made its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.)

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    CIF
  • March 17, 2015
I really loved that concept, and I think we may see very subtle cues from it appear on the 4RX as well. It obviously influenced the 3RX, but the most aggressive styling elements of this concept did not appear on the 4RX, namely the very angular front and rear ends.
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    CIF
  • March 17, 2015
^ Correction, should say "did not appear on the 3RX".
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    Tinhinnh
  • March 18, 2015
Maybe it looked too chevy Equinox lol
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    Carmaker1
  • March 19, 2015
2008? I recall this debuting at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2007. Also, the LF-Xh Concept did not even influence the AL10 RX. It was a 2007 development, quite after AL10 design sign-off. Development of the third generation RX began well in advance of launch, back in 2004. The 3RX body design was approved in 2006 and already a running prototype by the time LF-Xh Concept was unveiled a year later at 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. I'm not sure where the inaccurate assumption that the LF-Xh debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show came from, when Lexus Enthusiast even covered it back then (https://lexusenthusiast.com/2007/10/10/tokyo-motor-show-the-lexus-lf-xh-concept/). It is too bad I cannot attach a photo file of those 2007 RX prototypes, as they were 99.5% identical to the series production third generation RX (AL10) presented in November 2008 at the LA Auto Show. Also, one cannot always assume that "concepts" influence a production model. Concept cars mostly take about half a year to go from scratch to debut. The Lexus LF-LC and Toyota FT-1 are the sole exceptions in taking 18 months. The next RX design itself was frozen in 2013, at no less than 2 years before Job 1 in 2015 and if on a new or substantially revised platform, 30 months (doesn't even include concept definition).
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    Carmaker1
  • March 19, 2015
Not sure why one would automatically assume it "influenced" the 3RX, when many concepts nowadays are developed to preview future design elements from (already designed) upcoming production models. The LF-Xh was an exaggerated preview of the 3RX, developed from early 2007. The November 2008-Summer 2015 (or MY2010-2015) RX had its styling approved in 2006, after an 18-month design programme and refinement of the chosen design internal proposal. The 3RX came first in terms of design development, thus LF-Xh was not an influence to it. Similar to how the LF-NX was not an influence of the 2015 NX, as the latter was a final design by 2012 and the LF-NX Concept was a subsequent development carved up during 2013. The LF-LC by comparison was a design study, being later developed into a production LC500 (plus other variants). How long it is taking the LC to launch shows that, unlike these last minute previews with other LF concepts (LF-Sh, LF-Ch, LF-NX, etc). The LF-LC design was reached in 2011, production-spec by 2014, yet will not arrive until 2016 at earliest. Back the RX, Lexus did not developed the LF-Xh and decide last-minute to base the 3RX on it. The 3RX design was already a done deal (in 2006), by the time the Xh project began in 2007. I blame journalism and cleverly crafted marketing for these rewritten timelines of vehicle development, which give false impressions. No one wants to hear their new car's looks were designed 2-3 years ago. I only point this out, as it is untrue to the history of the RX and the LF-Xh. The next RX is unlikely to take cues from this, in this being based on the previous version of L-finesse. The current style took form in Lexus design departments from 2008-09 (L10 GS, 6ES) and evolved circa 2011-12 (as seen in IS, GX, RC, NX). The next major iteration of Lexus Design is coming soon, likely in 2016.
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    Carmaker1
  • March 19, 2015
I apologize for any "auto-correct" typos, as it can be really frustrating to the read through my lengthy comments, especially if disjointed grammatically. By journalism, I refer to magazines (C&D, Motor Trend, etc) or non-Lexus dedicated blogs that may not care to do deep research on a subject and instead make off-handed lazy assumptions, that may obscure or detract from a vehicle's overall background (i.e. "The 2015 Lexus NX copied X" or "The Lexus IS took 12 months to develop"). All entirely false, but the average reader might not see through that.
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    Carmaker1
  • March 19, 2015
It's not just Lexus though, as it's a very common practice in the industry. Timing gives away if a concept has influenced or instead previewed a future production model. The average concept car is usually developed under a year before presentation. Concepts can sometimes be based on existing production development programme design sketches or pre-final design proposal mock-ups (production). Lexus for example, introduced the LF-Ch is September 2009 at IAA in Frankfurt. This wasn't the design concept for the CT200h, as it was reported that the CT200h design concept (pre-final design) was approved in 2008 and the LF-Ch was later developed off of it during 2009. Before the LF-Ch project was halfway, the production CT was already frozen for scheduled late 2010 production and was seen in design patents filed on September 11, 2009 in Japan. The Toyota FJ Cruiser is one example of a concept being an influence to production, as it was a design "study". The original concept of that was developed in 2002 and presented in early 2003, with the production model itself being frozen in 2004 for a 2006 launch. The 2004 Toyota FTX Concept was based on sketches of the chosen Craig Kember design proposal for the second-generation Tundra in 2003. The Tundra entered production in late 2006, after a 2004 design freeze. While the FTX did not influence the Tundra, sketches for the FTX were a variation of the theme established in advanced Tundra ideation sketches in 2002-03. The 2013 Furia concept was developed after Toyota finalised the current US-market Corolla's design, but some journalists gave a wrong impression. Many of Mercedes-Benz Vision concepts are based on already approved production designs. The C217 S-Class coupe was previewed by thinly veiled show car in September 2013. The C217 coupe design was frozen over 4 years ago as of now, with the Concept S-Class Coupe being used as a last-minute preview. Not all concept cars are equal in development efforts or in relation to series production model. I'd say that LF-LC is one of those that truly inspired a future model, rather than just give a taste of what is already set in stone at HQ. Twelve months (or less) is not enough to take a recently shown concept and put it on sale. Neither is 18 months, unless in the case of specialty vehicles based on existing platform. The necessary lead times make that impossible on most (if not all) Lexus type products. A design that needs to be "toned down for production" from a set concept, takes an additional estimated 30-40 months at Lexus, including design freeze-to-production start-up allowances of 24-30 months (low-high end). A good rule of thumb is how long it takes between the concept showing and the production model's start of assembly. If it is at or more than 2 years, the concept is more than a preview, but also a developmental influence in the design process. Meaning it was present before the final decisions on a body design. Design studies are moreover what truly influence production models that haven't been designed or signed-off yet (too far along). The LF-LC and LF-SA fall under the "design study" category, while concepts like the LF-NX or iM concept do not. The LF-C2 may not have influenced an RC cabriolet (2016), as Lexus might have shown a topless RC in production representative (prototype) form at dealer meetings last year.

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