The 2003 New York International Auto Show was the stage for the unveiling of the Lexus LF-X concept, a crossover designed to combine the versatility of a luxury utility vehicle and the performance of a sports saloon in a sleek and stylish package.
Originally named the HPX (High-Performance Crossover) due to major concept vehicles from Lexus always being named ‘HP’. However, it was changed after the New York International Auto Show to LF-X – in line with the then-new Lexus design philosophy, L-Finesse.
Created at Toyota’s California-based design centre in Newport Beach, Calty Design Research, Inc., the LF-X (Lexus Future – Crossover) was convened to become the ‘intelligent evolution of the SUV’ according to bosses at the time.
Using the platform from the Lexus GS 430 as ‘technical inspiration’, the LF-X had a 4.3-litre 300bhp V8 engine under the bonnet, which sent the power to all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission coupled with height-adjustable suspension to provide both the power of a sports car and the stability of an SUV.
The design of the Lexus LF-X concept served as the first expression of a new Lexus design philosophy. Rather than a strict formula, the design philosophy is an idea that aimed to be adapted in many forms to introduce more continuity to the Lexus line-up. The LF-X incorporated key characteristics representative of the new approach that included innovation, confidence, dynamic posture, intriguing elegance and the infusion of technology.
The overall shape of the LF-X aimed to communicate the strength of all-wheel drive capability and the power of the highly capable GS 430 underpinnings. The distinctive shoulder form and low-set Lexus brand grille confirm the high-performance intentions. LED light modules embedded in the jewelled head and taillights suggest a rich, high-technology look.
Inspired by the sophistication, functionality and luxurious comfort associated with an executive jet, the interior of the Lexus LF-X is driver-oriented while taking a minimalist approach, with clean surfaces and an uncluttered dashboard. Advanced technology in the instrument panel allows the driver to customise the display and information given to their individual requirements. The readouts on the multimedia screen can be scaled, repositioned, and colour-adjusted for individual driver preference while small cameras situated on the side and rear of the vehicle feed their images to the front display.
A drive-by-wire steering system is employed, and a single interface is used to navigate various control menus and the GPS navigation system. Full-volume bucket seats are provided for the front and middle rows, while a third-row seat designed for children folds into the rear floor. LCD display screens deploy from the centre console to provide DVD entertainment for the second and third-row passengers.
Lexus LF-X concept: specifications
|Engine||4.3-litre DOHC V8|
|Front tyres||265/50 R21|
|Rear tyres||295/45 R21|
All information is correct at the time of publishing.