2016 Paris Preview: The Lexus UX Concept is another crossover SUV pitch

The Lexus UX Concept is a design study that hints at a new subcompact crossover SUV.

The 2016 Paris Auto Show is in full swing and adding to the list of reveals this year is another crossover SUV concept. It seems Paris is really heavy on the SUVs this year. First, it was the new Land Rover Discovery. Then BMW followed with the X2 Concept, Audi and the new Q5, Mercedes-Benz with the Generation EQ Concept, and now, Lexus has the strange-looking UX Concept.

Lexus has been on a weird trend with its design language as of recent, mainly with its crossover SUVs. To the eyes of many, even those beyond us auto critics, Lexus’ recent designs with the NX and RX crossovers have been a love-it-or-hate-it ordeal. Though mostly the latter.

This new Lexus UX Concept is no different. But instead of moping over how questionable its looks are, let’s dive into what it is.

What is it?

The Lexus UX Concept is a supposed design study and pitch at where the company might take its design direction with its popular crossover models. It was designed in-house at Lexus’ studio in southern France–fitting for a reveal at Paris.

Like many other Lexus vehicles, including the NX and RX crossovers, the UX Concept is full of sharp angles and edges. It gives off the impression that Lexus designers simply forgot what curves are.

It is of the compact size so it’s not particularly huge. It is also relatively low-slung when compared to the higher riding NX and RX. This implies the UX Concept is a preview at a new subcompact entry-level crossover. Such competition likely includes the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the new Infiniti QX30, and the soon-to-be BMW X2.

What’s most notable about it?

The Lexus UX Concept sports a very interesting design, resembling a shooting brake design, but with more ground clearance, and a low-slung roofline.

Lexus claims the entry-level SUV segment is the fastest-growing luxury segment in the US and simply, the UX Concept is the company’s response.

The design is coined “Inside-Out.” And no, we’re equally dumbfounded as you are as to what exactly that means. So here’s Lexus’ description in the press release:

“The ‘inside-out’ concept came from a lot of discussions within the team. We wanted to show the human-centric aspect of the concept in a visually as well as philosophically strong way. A strong symbiosis between the exterior and interior was felt to be important by all the designers involved. To create the anticipation from the exterior, which could then have a visual link and expand into the interior, was a key goal.”- Alexandre Gommier, Interior Designer

What powers it?

Lexus was coy on details for what sits under the hood. But knowing how Lexus is basically a subsidiary of Toyota, who in general loves touting how advanced and progressive its hybrid systems are, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine the UX utilizes one. Alternatively, it could even have an all-electric powertrain as EV crossover SUVs are also growing in popularity.

So we’re going to say, use your imagination here.

When will it go on sale, and for how much?

Again, Lexus didn’t totally confirm the UX Concept will hit production. Instead, Lexus tells us to expect many design cues and hints to find their way into future Lexus products.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: Lexus

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Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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