Already admired by design enthusiasts at the Museo della Permanente art gallery at the 2008 Milan Design Week, and now on show at 2008 Paris Motor Show, the Lexus LF-Xh cossover concept highlights the potential for the application of Lexus's unique L-finesse design philosophy in numerous artistic and creative spheres that extend far beyond car design.
Since 2005, Lexus has taken a major step towards a deeper involvement with the artistic community by staging an annual exhibition of contemporary art at the Milan Design Week, collaborating with leading independent Japanese artists and designers to explore various alternative ways of expressing L-finesse. This year's installation, "elastic diamond", was developed in collaboration with the award-winning design company, nendo, led by Oki Sato.
"When we created L-finesse, we conceived a design philosophy that was not merely skin-deep, but which genuinely reflected the true scope and complexity of Japanese culture and values." considers Design Centre Managing Officer, Wahei Hirai. "To that end, rather than merely developing the L-finesse rationale internally through automotive design discussions alone, we have continually collaborated with, and derived mutual inspiration from, artists from a broad range of creative fields, thus forging the principals of a new Lexus design of unprecedented depth, continuity and longevity."
Through the creative process, nendo and Lexus discovered a conceptual affinity between Lexus cars, which combine advanced technology with ingenious skills, and the diamond structure that exhibits beauty through the application of high technology to turn a rough diamond into a perfect stone.
Various elements including diamond chairs, diamond bubbles, diamond lamps, diamond pillars and the Lexus LF-Xh concept model were employed to create a dynamic exploration of the perceptual contradictions of hard crystalline forms interacting with tactile and elastic materials.
Displayed within a space defined by light-emitting walls and diamond pillars, the powerful, all-black moulded Lexus LF-Xh's mat paint finish ensured that no light reflection would distort the purity of the design concept. The fluidity of the space's structure, lighting and movement integrating with the sculpturesque crossover concept highlighted the coexistence of contrary elements within the Lexus LF-Xh's multi-facetted bodywork, and the resultant "energetic dynamism within elegance".
"L-finesse design is based on the J-factor; the Japanese factor." explains Wahei Hirai. "This sometimes entails a synergy of ostensibly opposing elements which harmonise to create simplicity, yet a strong sense of power. In the case of the Lexus LF-Xh, L-finesse has generated a unique crossover design in which the cabin proportion is much longer, giving the vehicle an almost monoform profile and a very spacious interior, yet the front of the car remains very dynamic and powerful."
"Each element of the design is very strong." continues Hirai. "The long cabin; pronounced wheel arches for a broad, purposeful stance; the "resolute look" that stems from the unique, L-finesse-inspired disposition of the front grille and headlampsâ€¦ All these elements combine in harmony to create the latest expression of L-finesse, and are a clear indicator to future developments in Lexus design."
Within this powerful, highly sculptural bodywork, the Lexus LF-Xh features an all-wheel Lexus Hybrid Drive system which combines a powerful V6 petrol engine with two high output electric motors. With a uniquely dynamic presence, this stunning crossover concept expresses the combination of advanced environmental technology, outstanding driving performance, ultra quiet operation, excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions.
Total length: 4,800mm