Lexus Announces UX Concept For 2016 Paris Motor Show
Likely previews Audi Q2 competitorby Ciprian Florea, on LISTEN 03:48
The 2016 Paris Motor Show is just around the corner and automakers are busy announcing their latest production and concept cars for Europe’s second-biggest auto show of the year. The latest to unveil its plans for Paris is Lexus, which will be attending the event with the UX Concept, the refreshed IS, the new NX Sport Edition, and its brand-new flagship coupe, the LC. Arguably the most exciting vehicle from this list is the UX Concept, which will make its global debut and will most likely introduce us to some of the company’s upcoming technologies.
The UX will also give us a preview of Lexus’ upcoming compact crossover that will slot under the NX. How do we know that? Well, Toyota recently trademarked the UX200, UX250, and UX250h names with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, all three being denominations for trim levels available with other products. The trademarks suggest a three-drivetrain lineup consisting of two gasoline, four-cylinder engines and a hybrid model. The UX will compete against the newly-launched Audi Q2.
Lexus didn’t have much to say about the concept car in its preliminary press release, but the sole photo of the crossover available as of this writing provides a few hints about what we’re going to see in Paris. The UX seems to borrow much of its stance from the NX, but every single body feature is exaggerated, especially the beefed up wheel arches, the massive wheels and rear bumper, and the thin taillights that have some sort of fins toward the edges. There’s no front view of the car, but based on previous Lexus concepts, the UX likely sports a massive Spindle grille and a pair of thin headlamps atop a big, aggressive bumper.
Speaking about its design, Lexus said that the UX Concept takes the company’s "bold design language to the next level" and that "its strongly differentiated identity is meant to appeal to a progressive, urban audience living in a connected environment." If you’re heard this before, it’s because it is the standard PR talk that comes with compact crossovers lately, especially if they are of the premium variety. But I don’t blame Lexus for this cliche, as such small SUVs are indeed more suitable for young drivers that want loads of state-of-the-art technology in a small package.
The Japanese brand also mentions that the concept showcases "imaginative technologies for an immersive driver experience, while the interior marries traditional craftsmanship with high-tech manufacturing techniques." I guess we’ll find out what that means when the Paris Motor Show kicks off on September 29.
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Why it matters
The Paris Motor Show is the kind of event that showcases some of the most important production cars launched throughout the year, as well as wild concept vehicles. This year’s edition will be no exception from that rule and the UX Concept is one of the many debuts that stand as proof for that. Beyond the fact that it will be one of the most spectacular crossovers of the show, the UX is an extremely important concept for Lexus. The company is looking to venture into a brand-new niche that’s currently being populated by the Audi Q2 only, and the concept car will help Lexus asses what potential customers think about a shrunken NX with a sportier attitude. Should the crowd’s reaction be close to Lexus’ expectations, it will likely green-light the UX only months after the show. The luxury brand will probably build a smaller-than-NX crossover anyway, but if enthusiasts aren’t impressed, it will happen a bit later. But, based on the photo and information we have so far, the UX concept should be quite the looker and feature an impressive amount of brand-new technology on the inside.