The 2016 Paris Motor Show saw the debut of two new concepts: the Lexus UX Concept and Kinetic Seat Concept. The UX Concept’s bold design language strongly differentiates its identity to appeal to a progressive, urban audience, while the Kinetic Seat Concept introduces a fully reimagined, human mobility inspired design.
A powerful reinterpretation of the Lexus design signatures, the UX Concept reflects Lexus’ determination that each of its models should have a unique, stand-alone character with a strong concept behind it; here represented by the powerful, inside out design concept and deconstructed interior styling.
Designed by ED2, Lexus' design centre in the South of France, the UX Concept’s bold design embodies technologies that inspire the imagination to create a fully immersive experience. This sensation is generated through cockpit ergonomics which flow from the driver's body, and innovative three-dimensional HMI technology. The concept also features a first design execution of a breakthrough seat technology, the Kinetic Seat Concept, designed by Lexus in response to a re-evaluation of the principles of car seat occupancy.
The UX Concept is a new variety of four-seater crossover which contrasts the almost brutal appearance and real 4x4 presence of an off-roader with a low ground clearance and a coupe-like driving position, reinforcing the dynamic performance promise embedded in the compact packaging of the design.
Exterior Designer, ED2
At the heart of the design lies a futuristic, ‘inside-out’ concept which creates a strong synergy between exterior and interior styling. In top view, this is most strongly represented by an X-shaped movement in the architecture from the cabin outwards and vice-versa.
Interior Designer, ED2
On board, signaled by the sharp, aggressive front fender and softer, more welcoming rear fender exterior treatment, the cabin offers two different perceptions of luxury in one volume.
The front represents agile sophistication and driver engagement, the rear – styled as a welcoming, soft lounge sofa which wraps around into the rear hinged back doors - the comfort and spaciousness of a robust SUV.
The highly three-dimensional feel of the instrumentation is a further example of the radical, deconstruction techniques used in the UX Concept. The driver's instrument binnacle houses a transparent globe, floating in the manner of a hologram, in which a combination of analogue and digital information express a functional yet unexpected user interface.
The center console houses a prominent, facetted crystal structure within which a hologram-style display of air-conditioning and infotainment system is clearly visible to both driver and front passenger.
In humans, the spine acts to stabilize the head. It allows the pelvis and chest to rotate in opposite directions, stabilizing movement of the head even while walking or jogging.
To recreate this movement in car seats, the seat cushion and back rest were designed to move kinetically with occupant weight and external forces. Simply sitting in the seat helps stabilize head movement caused by vehicle motion, keeping the field of vision steady, improving ease of driving and comfort.
The seat concept’s spider web-pattern net is flexible to conform to body shapes, making it possible to sit comfortably for prolonged periods.
The center of the back rest is at shoulder blade height and induces rotational movement of the chest around the seat's pivotal axis, helping to stabilize and support the head. The slim design is also lighter, reducing the overall weight of the car.
The threads at the back rest of the spider web-pattern construction are made from environmentally-friendly, synthetic spider silk materials* instead of petroleum-derived materials. The main component of this material is protein, which is created through microbial fermentation, then spun and processed into a new material offering superior shock absorbance.
*QMONOSTM material developed by Spiber Inc.