Lexus UX concept - luxury compact crossover debuts in Paris
Dramatically styled crossover would go head-to-head with BMW's X2
Lexus pulled the covers off its UX concept at the Paris motor show, previewing the look of a compact crossover that could hit the market in the next few years.
Roughly the size of Toyota's C-HR crossover - revealed in full production form in Paris - the UX continues with the dramatic lines of other recent Lexus models - and like those, could even make production relatively unscathed.
A prominent 'spindle' grille design once again acts as a centrepiece to the UX's styling, flanked by dagger-like headlights and stretching almost to the bottom of the front bumper.
In profile the most notable features are a cab-back stance with slim glasshouse, a relatively long bonnet, and distinctive wheel arch surrounds that differ in both colour and texture from the rest of the bodywork. Most of the exterior surfaces are clothed in an "Immersive Amethyst" paint finish that actually looks more subtle in person than it comes across in photographs.
It's the interior though where much of the design work has been centred, with an "inside-out" philosophy that sees an X-shaped theme carry from the interior to the exterior. Many of the details seem to extend from the cabin to the exterior in one sweep of the designer's pen.
The same colour and texture found on the wheel arches is also visible inside the cabin, in a theme Lexus describes as a "visible inner skeleton". Other notable details include screens that relay images from exterior rear-view cameras, and see-through A-pillars that use fins to reduce the area obstructed by the windscreen frame.
The seats too are imaginative, using something Lexus calls the "Kinetic Seat Concept". It features a spider-web pattern of fibres, some of which are made from a real synthetically-created spider silk material. The net seating is said to more closely fit the occupant's body for greater comfort over long periods.
No drivetrain details have been revealed, but as the UX is similar in size to the Toyota C-HR, it's likely any production model would use the same mix of hybrid and turbocharged petrol engines, perhaps with a larger displacement turbocharged option to offer a performance model suitable for Lexus customers.