A FEMALE CHIEF ENGINEER BREAKS THROUGH CONVENTIONAL BOUNDARIES WITH THE NEW LEXUS UX
The new Lexus UX has been designed to be different. Forget the typical SUV. The UX is built for modern adventurers, offering a sporty driving experience, with a glamorous twist and the nimble performance of a hatchback.
A DYNAMIC TAKE ON LUXURY DRIVING
The Lexus UX is all about distinctive design, to delight the urban explorer seeking a contemporary, dynamic take on luxury driving. The brains behind this new approach? Chika Kako, Executive Vice President of Lexus International and Lexus' first female chief engineer. She explains: ‘The aim for the UX was not to conform to the established, solid SUV look, but to create a compact design that is both strong and stylish, breaking with the conventions of the segment to deliver something more distinctive and dynamic.’
The inspiration came from Japanese culture, setting out to eliminate the conventional boundaries between exterior and interior design. Kako created a wide horizon and excellent front visibility to bring the driver closer to the world they’re exploring, and make the UX easy to manoeuvre in the city. She believes the vehicle’s interior is particularly important as that’s where driver and car connect. She therefore ensured the UX cabin was made with high quality materials and leather upholstery showcasing ‘Sashiko’, a quilting technique used in martial arts uniforms.
Kako continues: ‘The challenge in making a smaller vehicle is the packaging. We have to place all the elements so they’re easy to see and use, but it’s also important for it to look clean, even if there are many functions.’ So it’s about a fine balance: sporty yet glamorous; high functionality with a clean look; a dynamic performance with nimble, instant responses while maintaining stability and safety. Ultimately, Kako hopes the Lexus UX will inspire a new sense of adventure in all those who drive it.