NAIAS 2017 | Episode 10 : Lexus

Lexus has a considerable array of products these days, most of which are quite interestingly and attractively styled. The brand continues to move out from under the Mercedes shadow that characterized the early years. The brand spindle grille is still controversial, but in spite of steady growth in size, evolution of the texture seems to make it more acceptable – or maybe we are just getting used to it. The only version that we still do not like is the black textured version used on the NX and RX.

New at the show was the dramatic UX SUV concept – a pillarless four-door SUV coupe. The UX is a long way from production ready, but it is certainly better looking than the clumsy Mercedes and BMW equivalents. The front has a sinister look with lots of interesting LED’s. The bodyside is scalloped with dramatic wheelarches. The ‘show car only’ wheel/tyre design was striking and it was hard to see where the tyre stopped and the wheel began. The taillamps are cool with both a full-width element and an element that rose up the C-Pillar. The rear view cameras are sleek and mounted on twin pylons. The A-Pillars are concealed from the outside, but had a curious and impractical translucent interior trim that was hard to photograph. The skeletal seats are wild, adding to the drama. The UX was probably the best concept at the show.

The big Lexus LS 500 four-door has truly come of age. No longer a Mercedes clone, this car clearly has its own character and unique presence. The very strong front end is the key distinguishing point, but the body side has its own character too. The rear reminds us of the older 7 Series BMW’s with the “Bangle bustle”, but all in all a very nice large sedan.

The LC 500 coupe version is also a very nice execution with an interesting C-Pillar treatment, although we are seeing this “green house flow through “on several other cars including the Toyota C-HR and several Nissan products.