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2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the very first Lexus, the LS 400 sedan. To celebrate this milestone, Lexus challenged ED2 -the company's Europe-based design studio to create a concept of an ultra-compact, sub-B-segment, urban 2+2.
An illustration of Lexus’ passion for upcoming design trends, the LF-SA Concept explores unexpected territories for the brand in a bold and emotional execution.
In a future world which many people see as increasingly influenced by technology and virtual experiences, the LF-SA Concept is also a driver-focused vehicle, reflecting Lexus’ vision that real driving experience will remain the ultimate luxury.
From that insight, the LF-SA Concept combines an audacious interpretation of the brand's L-finesse design philosophy, never losing sight of the driving pleasure that will always define Lexus’ progressive luxury.
Reflecting the spirit of weekend adventure in everyday city driving, the LF-SA Concept explores a future in which Lexus drivers will still be able to enjoy the real life luxury of driving themselves, still enjoying the ultimate in on-board connectivity, infotainment and safety.
This spirit of adventure is even reflected in the concept's colour scheme; the Stellar silver exterior finish a reference to space exploration, the interior inspired by the spectacle of a solar eclipse.
The Lexus designers managed to make the new Lexus LF-SA Concept 3,450mm long, 1,700 mm wide and 1,430 mm high, its compact packaging pointing to the manoeuvrability and agility essential to a true city car. Its styling is rugged and confident.
The LF-SA's highly-sculpted surfacing reflects a more challenging and avant garde, 'Time in Design' styling approach in which perceptions of the vehicle change when viewed from different angles.
Its angular pattern radiating from the central Lexus logo, this latest expression of the spindle grille develops from two dimensional graphic to a powerful, three dimensional form, strongly influencing the front fenders and side bodywork and reinforcing the concept's wide, firmly planted stance.
The contrast between concave and convex bodywork surfaces is emphasised by powerful undercutting above the wheel arches, most notably to the rear, bringing a unique proportion to the design and giving it a strong sense of dynamism and forward motion.
The spindle grille shape is clearly referenced in the angular, double-stepped rear styling, which incorporates L-shaped lamp clusters in a flying-buttress design. Further Lexus trademark signatures such as the arrowhead motif are evident throughout, e.g. in the design of the daytime running lights.
Despite its highly-compact exterior dimensions, the LF-SA Concept boasts a surprisingly spacious interior. Key to this feeling of spaciousness is the designers' 'manipulation of lightness', evident, for instance, in the sweeping dashboard design which reinforces the width of the cabin.
With sole occupancy typical in city vehicles most of the time, the 2+2 cabin layout gives clear priority to the driver. The driver's seat is fixed, and the steering wheel and pedals are adjustable, bringing the vehicle to the driver, rather than vice versa.
The front passenger seat, on the other hand, is slidable giving access to rear accommodation.
This duality of function which awards precedence to the driver is reinforced by an interior design which uses space, materials and volume to create two clearly-discernible, overlapping elliptical areas within the cabin.
"The infotainment system includes a hologram-style digital display incorporated in the instrument binnacle and a wide-angle Head-Up-Display".