What Are They?
The Lexus UX and Kinetic Seat concepts go hand in hand. The first is a fresh look at car seating, and on this occasion, it’s demonstrated in a potential premium subcompact crossover coupe.
The 4-seater UX is all about the styling right now since there’s no mention of engines, and those 21-inch alloy wheels are overkill. Perhaps the reason why it’s been unveiled at the 2016 Paris Auto Show is because it was created by a Lexus design studio located in the south of France.
The transparent A-pillars are made of polycarbonate, the cabin is split into a dark front section and a lighter rear section, cameras replace mirrors, and the main instrument display is a 3D-effect hologram. All cool stuff.
The Kinetic Seat concept is another interesting idea. The principle is to keep the head stable, so the cushion and the back section move with the occupant instead of trying to bolster and counteract those kinetic forces.
The “web” on which the occupant sits is made of a synthetic silk, a sustainable material that isn’t derived from any petroleum products. Lexus claims this design is comfortable for long trips and that the seat is lighter than a conventional equivalent. It’s slimmer too, which in turn creates more cabin space.
Will They Ever Sell Them?
The Lexus UX could certainly be a contender. With the dual trends of crossover coupes and smaller premium vehicles showing no signs of letting up, this seems like a natural move. No doubt some of the wilder design aspects won’t make it into production, however.
Whether the Kinetic Seat concept can gain any traction in the real world remains to be seen. There would have to be many safety tests to satisfy the buyers and the bureaucrats.
Why They’re Important
The spindle grille — a common feature of current Lexus design — doesn’t seem quite so extreme in the UX. Perhaps Lexus is getting the message that polarized opinions go both ways. And the Kinetic Seat concept at least shows us that Lexus is applying some lateral thinking to the age-old issue of how humans interact with their cars.
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