19 August 2022
Lavish details and flourishes are not necessarily the best way to express luxury. A “less is more” approach with design simplicity can be a much more effective way to communicate high quality, as witnessed in the interior of the all-new Lexus RX.
This cool, contemporary approach is evident from the moment you open the door: surfaces are clean and uncluttered, helping create a sense of space and refinement.
What you experience is the result of an evolution of Lexus interior design, as Project Chief Designer Jota Kusakari explains: “We challenged ourselves to create a simple yet thoughtful space that didn’t rely on ornamentation.”
This approach in no way lessens the appeal of Lexus’ famous takumi hand-crafted luxury: “We focused on giving the trim, seats and armrests a tactile feel worthy of a high-quality interior, even paying attention to the door opening and closing feel, and the audio quality, to realise a quality that inspires the senses,” says Kusakari.
The new design simplicity can be seen in the way the dashboard sweeps in a clean, continuous form, taking in the meter hood, instrument panel and the door trims. The car’s new e-latch electronic door release system positions the handles lower down, allowing the upper section of the door panels to be shaped as a natural extension of the instrument panel.
Tazuna driver’s cockpit
The theme of simplicity perfectly complements Lexus’ tazuna concept for the driver’s cockpit, which rationalises the location and ease of use of the controls and information sources, so that attention is focused on the job of driving.
“Embodying the tazuna concept, the cockpit design realises a space that allows the driver to have a deeper, more intuitive connection with the car, enabling them to control it as intended.,” says Kusakari. This rationale is witnessed in details such as co-ordinated arrangement of the information sources – centre console display, meters and head-up display – so their contents can be viewed with just small adjustment of the driver’s eyeline.
The sensory quality reinforces the impact of the design in everything the car’s occupants can see, touch and hear. This takes in everything from the new multimedia system with an improved HMI that combines intuitive touch screen and physical button controls, to the pleasing appearance and tactile appeal of new trims and upholsteries, the ambient lighting with a full spectrum of colour options and the reassuring sound made by the doors as they close.
The cabin’s relaxing, reassuring design is even reflected in way you can communicate directly with the car. The new “Hey Lexus” on-board assistant ready to respond to requests and commands using natural, conversational speech. Tell it that you’re hungry and it will recommend nearby places to eat; mention that you’re cold and it will adjust the air conditioning.
Authentic SUV practicality
The interior design is perfectly appropriate for an SUV, delivering the necessary practicality, convenience and flexibility. Thanks to clever packaging and design, there’s more knee room for rear seat passengers and a better view both to the side and ahead, helped by the car’s lower belt line and the wider forward field of vision. Access has been made easier with a lower hip-point and adjustment of the easy access power adjustment. For family trips, the rear load compartment matches the current RX for capacity, despite the new model having a shorter rear overhang; the space has been achieved by design solutions including a thinner back door, a more upright rear suspension design and a lower load height.