Another Concept Another Crossover
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Another Concept Another Crossover

Another Concept Another Crossover

The Paris Motor Show kicks off at the end of this month. It’s a big deal because it’s one of the shows throughout the year where many manufacturers choose to show off new models and concept vehicles. A few days ago I wrote about the Land Rover Discovery and showed you the one picture they released ahead of the official unveiling in Paris. This week I’ve got a picture of another SUV to share, but this time from Lexus.

The UX Concept is what it’s called and the first thing I’m thinking is, “Does Lexus need another SUV?” They already have four on the market. Two of which, the NX and RX, are similar in size to the UX. Well, the truth is, Lexus is calling this a concept, or better yet, I would call it a design study. It’s a chance for Lexus designers to be bold and go a little crazy with their ideas and see how the public might react.

Here’s what Lexus has to say about the concept:

The Lexus UX Concept takes Lexus’ bold design language to the next level. Its strongly differentiated identity is meant to appeal to a progressive, urban audience living in a connected environment.

The bold design language, as they call it, I have found to be more controversial than one might guess. Typically, Lexus design isn’t on the list of controversial car designs, but that’s not the case as of late. I know several people who’ve owned the RX, for example, but they aren’t pleased with the new “bold design language”, namely the overstated grill. However younger buyers, who are new to the Lexus brand and thought the older styles were a bit stuffy, disagree.

This brings up one the of the great debates the car companies face and why concept cars, like the UX, are so crucial. How do you update a brand to attract more customers, or more importantly younger buyers, without upsetting the established customer base? It’s a problem that many companies have a difficult time solving. Take Buick and Cadillac, for example, they are having trouble shaking the image of being vehicles for older people, even though both companies offer great cars. At the same time, it can be confusing because the Escalade is an example of a Cadillac that shows no real age range. All of this is to say, concept cars really are the best way to gauge public opinion without building a full-blown model that could potentially be a flop.

We’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see all the photos of the UX. Until then consider this, the Range Rover Evoque and the BMW i8 are both cars with dramatic looks that show a major departure from each of their companies’ previous models. Yet time and time again we hear people saying things like, “It’s a concept car for the street” or “it’s great how close these cars look to their concept form.” Both of these models should be a lesson for manufacturers.  If the concept is popular, make a few small changes to get it on the road. If it’s a flop, go back to the drawing board.

 

Phil’s Morning Drive, a web series about cars, is now streaming on Amazon and YouTube.

You can also follow this blog on Apple News.

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