Monday, February 3, 2014

What Were They Thinking?: Lexus LF-NX Concept SUV

The Lexus LF-NX concept SUV did at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show what most concept cars are supposed to do: attract attention.  Unfortunately, that attention wasn't entirely favorable.  Here and here are some reactions.

It's supposed to preview a forthcoming production SUV, which presumably will use the basic structure including features such as door and window shapes, the cowling,  amount of front and rear overhang, etc.  Presumably the outrageous features on the concept car will be detoxed somewhat, if not entirely.

Brace yourself as we take a look.


Oh Dear.  Where to begin.  For starters, I've never liked Lexus' back-to-back L grille theme, and this tall version is uglier than usual.  I'm also not entirely happy with the baroque character line folding and shaping that has become so common in recent years.  The LF-NX has too much of it and adds a large dose of angularity to the project.  And then there's an odd, subtle fold on the front door sheet metal that makes little sense.  I don't mind the idea of separate fenders, but wonder what effect the amount of bulging on the front of the rear fenders has on aerodynamic efficiency.  The strangest feature is that triangular patch and folding attached to the lower front of those fenders: What is it for?

The side view offers clues as to the production version.  I'm assuming the greenhouse, door cut lines and general shape of the profile will be retained and much bric-a-brac will disappear.

The rear styling is especially busy and not well integrated.  Note the contrast between the tail light areas and the top.  Also observe the discontinuity between the side sculpting and that of the rear; stylists usually try to tie these parts of a vehicle together visually in some way.

This downward view provides more information on all the busyness.  But note how the upward curve of the rear window is picked up by the top of the backlight.  I expect this to be retained for production.

1 comment:

dberger223 said...

The current Lexus "spindle" grille seems to be based on the front end of the 1961 Plymouth which in turn is based on the 1958 Chevrolet rear.