Lexus UX: First Generation

Giant Cartoon Robots & Japanese Porches Inspired the Lexus UX Crossover Design

Lexus UX Crossover

With every Lexus model, there are specific ideas and themes that help to shape the overall design. For the new UX crossover, two very different concepts influenced its appearance: an anime robot from the 1980s, and a Japanese-style house verdana called Engawa.

The cartoon robot Mazinger Z was a warning sign in the early design stages of the UX, as chief engineer Chika Kako did not want the crossover to resemble the anime legend — from Cool Hunting:

When Chika Kako, the first woman chief engineer at Lexus, saw designs for the brand’s all-new UX subcompact crossover, she thought of childhood days spent watching anime cartoons with her brother. The SUV’s rear lights reminded her of Mazinger Z, a hulking manga robot on the small screen in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It was a good look for an animated character, she thought, but not on the latest addition to the Lexus line-up.

“The original shape was really unnatural-looking,” Kako tells us via a translator at the vehicle’s global launch in Stockholm earlier this month. Once she told the all-male design team to soften the aggressive exterior, they got the message. “Simply by mentioning Mazinger, they understood what I meant.”

Engawa is essentially a porch that surrounds Japanese homes, extending the living space out into the world — from the Robb Report:

Because of the vehicle’s small size, [chief designer] Suga and Kako wanted to give the interior a greater sense of space. To achieve this, they drew inspiration from Japanese architecture. “We have this concept where you use the outside space as a continuation of your environment,” Suga says.

“Japanese houses are very small, but they have large windows, so the mountains and trees and nature outside are like a picture, an extension of your living space.” Kako adds, “One thing I asked for right away was this line that goes from the dashboard and continues to the outside of the fenders,” she says. The result was not only a sense of openness but also a commanding view of the road, despite the vehicle’s relatively low seating position and center of gravity (no top-heaviness here).

Comments
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spwolf
let us know your impressions when you see it live.
I have mixed feelings after seeing it in person. It was a prototype so the interior hard plastics were shiny and looked really cheap b/c they were missing the textured grain finish. Also, the rear door panel will be all hard plastic with the exception of the middle panel piece and arm rest.

That aside, the interior was nicely put together especially the dashboard. Love the styling and the dark aluminum-grained plastic (wish it were real aluminum though). Exterior is very unique especially at the side and rear. Side profile at the rear still looks a bit strange to me but it is growing on me. The not-so good is the very tight headroom with the moonroof and tight rear legroom. Similarly, cargo capacity is tight as well. I measured about only 21 inches in height from the floor to the ceiling (250h has a higher floor than the 200). Compare that to 26 inches for the NX and 30 for the RX.

In short:
:thumbsup:Except the hard plastic rear door panel, overall nice styling and interior interior quality including a nicely finished cargo area.
:thumbsdown: Interior room and cargo capacity marginally bigger than the CT. Majority of competitors XC40, X1, E-Pace, etc all roomier.

Took several pics from two separate dealers near me showcasing the prototype. Enjoy!

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C
spwolf
let us know your impressions when you see it live.
I have mixed feelings after seeing it in person. It was a prototype so the interior hard plastics were shiny and looked really cheap b/c they were missing the textured grain finish. Also, the rear door panel will be all hard plastic with the exception of the middle panel piece and arm rest.

That aside, the interior was nicely put together especially the dashboard. Love the styling and the dark aluminum-grained plastic (wish it were real aluminum though). Exterior is very unique especially at the side and rear. Side profile at the rear still looks a bit strange to me but it is growing on me. The not-so good is the very tight headroom with the moonroof and tight rear legroom. Similarly, cargo capacity is tight as well. I measured about only 21 inches in height from the floor to the ceiling (250h has a higher floor than the 200). Compare that to 26 inches for the NX and 30 for the RX.

In short:
:thumbsup:Except the hard plastic rear door panel, overall nice styling and interior interior quality including a nicely finished cargo area.
:thumbsdown: Interior room and cargo capacity marginally bigger than the CT. Majority of competitors XC40, X1, E-Pace, etc all roomier.

Took several pics from two separate dealers near me showcasing the prototype. Enjoy!

View attachment 2986

View attachment 2987

View attachment 2988

View attachment 2989

View attachment 2990

View attachment 2991

View attachment 2992

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View attachment 2995
C
spwolf
let us know your impressions when you see it live.
I have mixed feelings after seeing it in person. It was a prototype so the interior hard plastics were shiny and looked really cheap b/c they were missing the textured grain finish. Also, the rear door panel will be all hard plastic with the exception of the middle panel piece and arm rest.

That aside, the interior was nicely put together especially the dashboard. Love the styling and the dark aluminum-grained plastic (wish it were real aluminum though). Exterior is very unique especially at the side and rear. Side profile at the rear still looks a bit strange to me but it is growing on me. The not-so good is the very tight headroom with the moonroof and tight rear legroom. Similarly, cargo capacity is tight as well. I measured about only 21 inches in height from the floor to the ceiling (250h has a higher floor than the 200). Compare that to 26 inches for the NX and 30 for the RX.

In short:
:thumbsup:Except the hard plastic rear door panel, overall nice styling and interior interior quality including a nicely finished cargo area.
:thumbsdown: Interior room and cargo capacity marginally bigger than the CT. Majority of competitors XC40, X1, E-Pace, etc all roomier.

Took several pics from two separate dealers near me showcasing the prototype. Enjoy!

View attachment 2986

View attachment 2987

View attachment 2988

View attachment 2989

View attachment 2990

View attachment 2991

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C
10 pic limit, three more...

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NOTE the full plastic window trim. Lexus has brought this back from a hiatus in recent other Lexus vehicles which have just the corners rounded off in plastic. (RX, IS, ES, NX, GX, ...). I like the full plastic better in the UX - looks better finished. :) Let's hope Lexus put felt underneath to avoid the notorious squeaks this has caused from my experience otherwise it's DIY time!

View attachment 3008
C
10 pic limit, three more...

View attachment 3006

View attachment 3007

NOTE the full plastic window trim. Lexus has brought this back from a hiatus in recent other Lexus vehicles which have just the corners rounded off in plastic. (RX, IS, ES, NX, GX, ...). I like the full plastic better in the UX - looks better finished. :) Let's hope Lexus put felt underneath to avoid the notorious squeaks this has caused from my experience otherwise it's DIY time!

View attachment 3008
C
10 pic limit, three more...

View attachment 3006

View attachment 3007

NOTE the full plastic window trim. Lexus has brought this back from a hiatus in recent other Lexus vehicles which have just the corners rounded off in plastic. (RX, IS, ES, NX, GX, ...). I like the full plastic better in the UX - looks better finished. :) Let's hope Lexus put felt underneath to avoid the notorious squeaks this has caused from my experience otherwise it's DIY time!

View attachment 3008
Cool.. as I posted in CL thread, we already know that newer preproduction vehicles had nice plastic around the instruments.

As to the back seats, I suggest you check reviews for similar vehicles... none of them have better interior quality, and I am sure plenty have worse... All the media reports were pretty happy with quality, calling it either among the best or the best.

Cant expect it to have LS quality for $32k, but overall it is very nicely designed package.

I agree about the trunk, Lexus EU even said they will try to lower the shelf to the bottom, as there is a lot of space beneath it... but overall, it is similar to C-HR, including back room (hard to get into but actually livable). And C-HR has been the most popular new Toyota vehicle since... Rav4 in 90s?
Cool.. as I posted in CL thread, we already know that newer preproduction vehicles had nice plastic around the instruments.

As to the back seats, I suggest you check reviews for similar vehicles... none of them have better interior quality, and I am sure plenty have worse... All the media reports were pretty happy with quality, calling it either among the best or the best.

Cant expect it to have LS quality for $32k, but overall it is very nicely designed package.

I agree about the trunk, Lexus EU even said they will try to lower the shelf to the bottom, as there is a lot of space beneath it... but overall, it is similar to C-HR, including back room (hard to get into but actually livable). And C-HR has been the most popular new Toyota vehicle since... Rav4 in 90s?
Cool.. as I posted in CL thread, we already know that newer preproduction vehicles had nice plastic around the instruments.

As to the back seats, I suggest you check reviews for similar vehicles... none of them have better interior quality, and I am sure plenty have worse... All the media reports were pretty happy with quality, calling it either among the best or the best.

Cant expect it to have LS quality for $32k, but overall it is very nicely designed package.

I agree about the trunk, Lexus EU even said they will try to lower the shelf to the bottom, as there is a lot of space beneath it... but overall, it is similar to C-HR, including back room (hard to get into but actually livable). And C-HR has been the most popular new Toyota vehicle since... Rav4 in 90s?
A news release from the Lexus UK Media Site includes detailed UX specifications, some absent from the earlier U.S. market specs (such as turning radius).

Of note, in contrast to the U.S. market's exclusive offering of run-flat tires on 18" wheels, European UXs offer a broader array of tire and wheel options. Here are a couple of passages from the UK news release:

The standard five-spoke 17 x 6.5-inch aluminium alloy aero-ventilating wheels feature Gurney flaps along the spoke edges to reduce wind resistance and increase airflow to cool the disc brakes. The design pulls air from the inside of the wheel, while the airflow on the outer side of the vehicle is regulated to follow the wheels’ surface. The aero wheels are available in a choice of silver metallic and dark grey metallic colours. The UX also offers (non-aero) 18-inch aluminium wheel designs, including exclusive F Sport-specific rims...

Depending on model configuration, tyres and markets, the UX is equipped with a repair kit, run-flat tires or a spare tyre. The new, second generation run-flat tyres are quieter and more comfortable and they allow the vehicle to be driven with a flat tyre at speeds up to 50mph, for up to 99 miles.
To my knowledge, this is the first time I've heard of Gurney flaps being applied to wheels.
A news release from the Lexus UK Media Site includes detailed UX specifications, some absent from the earlier U.S. market specs (such as turning radius).

Of note, in contrast to the U.S. market's exclusive offering of run-flat tires on 18" wheels, European UXs offer a broader array of tire and wheel options. Here are a couple of passages from the UK news release:

The standard five-spoke 17 x 6.5-inch aluminium alloy aero-ventilating wheels feature Gurney flaps along the spoke edges to reduce wind resistance and increase airflow to cool the disc brakes. The design pulls air from the inside of the wheel, while the airflow on the outer side of the vehicle is regulated to follow the wheels’ surface. The aero wheels are available in a choice of silver metallic and dark grey metallic colours. The UX also offers (non-aero) 18-inch aluminium wheel designs, including exclusive F Sport-specific rims...

Depending on model configuration, tyres and markets, the UX is equipped with a repair kit, run-flat tires or a spare tyre. The new, second generation run-flat tyres are quieter and more comfortable and they allow the vehicle to be driven with a flat tyre at speeds up to 50mph, for up to 99 miles.
To my knowledge, this is the first time I've heard of Gurney flaps being applied to wheels.
A news release from the Lexus UK Media Site includes detailed UX specifications, some absent from the earlier U.S. market specs (such as turning radius).

Of note, in contrast to the U.S. market's exclusive offering of run-flat tires on 18" wheels, European UXs offer a broader array of tire and wheel options. Here are a couple of passages from the UK news release:

The standard five-spoke 17 x 6.5-inch aluminium alloy aero-ventilating wheels feature Gurney flaps along the spoke edges to reduce wind resistance and increase airflow to cool the disc brakes. The design pulls air from the inside of the wheel, while the airflow on the outer side of the vehicle is regulated to follow the wheels’ surface. The aero wheels are available in a choice of silver metallic and dark grey metallic colours. The UX also offers (non-aero) 18-inch aluminium wheel designs, including exclusive F Sport-specific rims...

Depending on model configuration, tyres and markets, the UX is equipped with a repair kit, run-flat tires or a spare tyre. The new, second generation run-flat tyres are quieter and more comfortable and they allow the vehicle to be driven with a flat tyre at speeds up to 50mph, for up to 99 miles.
To my knowledge, this is the first time I've heard of Gurney flaps being applied to wheels.
Joaquin Ruhi
A news release from the Lexus UK Media Site includes detailed UX specifications, some absent from the earlier U.S. market specs (such as turning radius).

Of note, in contrast to the U.S. market's exclusive offering of run-flat tires on 18" wheels, European UXs offer a broader array of tire and wheel options. Here are a couple of passages from the UK news release:



To my knowledge, this is the first time I've heard of Gurney flaps being applied to wheels.
I think a lot of that is market based, ie UK wont get all the options either. I just hope they will offer lower position for the boot lid, so we can use all that space below if there is no spare wheel.
Joaquin Ruhi
A news release from the Lexus UK Media Site includes detailed UX specifications, some absent from the earlier U.S. market specs (such as turning radius).

Of note, in contrast to the U.S. market's exclusive offering of run-flat tires on 18" wheels, European UXs offer a broader array of tire and wheel options. Here are a couple of passages from the UK news release:



To my knowledge, this is the first time I've heard of Gurney flaps being applied to wheels.
I think a lot of that is market based, ie UK wont get all the options either. I just hope they will offer lower position for the boot lid, so we can use all that space below if there is no spare wheel.
Joaquin Ruhi
A news release from the Lexus UK Media Site includes detailed UX specifications, some absent from the earlier U.S. market specs (such as turning radius).

Of note, in contrast to the U.S. market's exclusive offering of run-flat tires on 18" wheels, European UXs offer a broader array of tire and wheel options. Here are a couple of passages from the UK news release:



To my knowledge, this is the first time I've heard of Gurney flaps being applied to wheels.
I think a lot of that is market based, ie UK wont get all the options either. I just hope they will offer lower position for the boot lid, so we can use all that space below if there is no spare wheel.
That headline's not quite right, it's more that the designer had them back away from looking like an anime robot :)

I'm gonna take this as validation of my theory that the newest Prius is straight outta manga though.
Is there any hope for me to dreaming about the next generation NX with the original UX concept cues ?
Pics
https://vossenwheels.com/galleries/lexus-ux-hybrid-forged-series-vfs-1/

I really love the rear on the UX.... with mods its a winner...

Now if we could an option 300hp silly engine in it as a F :)

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