Speaking at the international launch of the fifth-generation Lexus LS sedan, Koichi Suga, the car’s chief designer, laid out the design philosophy that will be seen on the next crop of vehicles from Toyota’s luxury marque.
In addition to being in charge of the LS’s exterior design, Suga oversees the chief designers working on upcoming Lexus vehicles.
Suga said beginning with the LC coupe and LS sedan, and continuing with future models, Lexus vehicles will start using a new design language based on “deep simplicity”, which is “not just about eliminating lines, but also making it have a very deep feel to it”.
When asked if Lexus would follow in the footsteps of its German competitors and offer almost identical, or cookie cutter, designs being scaled up and down the model range, the LS’s chief designer acknowledged the company was “very well aware of that type of pattern”.
He said: “With Lexus it’s easy to imagine the range as a family, with a father, mother, brother and sister. They have different faces, but they’re all in the family and the same concept.
“Focussing on each individual car’s character is very important, that’s why we’re always thinking of different ideas … which means it takes time.”
He cited the differences between the LC and LS as an example of how this philosophy will play out in the future.
Above: the recent Lexus UX concept
The LC has garnered a lot of praise, given how little the vehicle changed as it moved from the concept car stage through into production. The transition from the LF-FC concept to the fifth-generation LS has seen rather more changes wrought to the car’s skin, including more complex surfacing, the addition of an extra side window, and a different roof line.
Suga said the company wanted to “really push the originality in all kinds of different ways within the parameters of the luxury sedan segment”, but “space limitations”, rear passenger comfort and headroom, and the “physical constraints of getting in and out of the car affected the final design”.