THE LF-NX IS THE LATEST CONCEPT CAR CRAFTED BY LEXUS.
NOT ONLY IS IT THE MARQUE’S FIRST ATTEMPT AT
COMPACT SUV MODELING, BUT IT ALSO SIGNALS
ONE OF LEXUS’S BRAVEST VEHICLE DESIGNS
“To use boxing terminology, the LF-NX is a lightweight fighter,” says designer Nobuyuki Tomatsu when asked to describe the latest Lexus concept car, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. “While cutting his weight down to the bare minimum required, he has developed muscles essential for competing at the top of his game.”
The LF-NX’s exterior styling is full of aggressive lines, muscular motifs and bold forms—innovative design elements it’s taken Tomatsu and a talented group of Lexus designers a significant amount of time to perfect. Using a 1:1 scale model, the team worked hard to refine the vehicle to its optimum form. “We tried every conceivable idea to sharpen its overall look as much as possible,” Tomatsu explains, “so you wouldn’t see even an ounce of ‘fat’ on the resultant shape.”
It’s immediately apparent that the LF-NX has inherited design cues from its predecessors, notably the LF-LC and the LF-CC concept cars, which both took the automotive industry by storm with their stunning styling. Those unique elements have been further refined, advanced and developed in the LF-NX, greatly bolstering the SUV’s credentials.
For example, the front lights have a brand-new look. Three independent LED lighting units have been placed side by side to form one headlight component, just as on the LF-CC, but each unit has been developed into an L shape.
Lexus’s famous spindle grille has also received a more dynamic design treatment, which, along with the car’s bulging front fenders and 20-inch tires, has strengthened the vehicle’s frontal expression.
The exterior profile of the car’s cabin is now incredibly distinctive. A diamond shape can be seen when viewed from above, and the muscular rear fenders and unique roof treatment—the flowing roofline gradually rises to its peak at the halfway point between the B and C pillars—combine to a body contour akin to that of a formidable beast about to launch an attack on its prey.
The visuals on the vehicle’s sides are similarly impressive. Refined, pronounced lines flowing from the front to rear doors give the car a laser-sharp appearance, resulting in an athletic body shape that signals high agility and performance levels—both essential features of a great SUV.
Lexus has clearly taken its bold design direction to the next level with the LF-NX, but the introduction of this new concept is significant for another reason: it is the first time the marque has investigated the styling of a compact SUV model.
“The compact SUV segment is very important for Lexus,” Tomatsu says, “because it appeals to those whom Lexus has yet to reach out to.” One-off, made-for-show cars are merely a design study, but this vehicle may create a spark for Lexus’s future lineup.
TEXT BY SHOGO HAGIWARA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GREG WHITE