} ;

Lexus LS 'Kiriko' Glass Trim (2017)

20 November 2017 | by JJ Katsianis

Here is a question for you: could Lexus designed and engineered the latest flagship LS saloon in a conservative style? By all initial thoughts, the LS has a very conservative customer base, so you would wonder why Lexus would take a risk. Yet the new LS is far more bourgeoisie than aristocratic, prompting this question of ‘Why?’

Lexus LS cockpit.jpg

Well, apart from the uprising of true luxury SUVs, the upward mobility of the mainstream players is perhaps the real catalyst of Lexus’ pushing of the design boundaries. The new LS’ interior, like so many flagships, takes the notion of what Lexus wish to purvey throughout the range and forms it into its purest application.

To do this, Lexus not only designed the LS with arguably the most aggressive interpretation of its design language, it also pushed itself in its use of materials.

Lexus Kiriko Glass_Close Dark.jpg

One of these new material features is the use of cut glass on the door cards. Glass has been used in car interiors before, with Volvo employing a solid chunk in its T8-engined 90-series cars, but here Lexus has taken the material and used it in a fascinating new application.

Lexus LS Interior front.jpg

In combination with pleated door fabric, the densely-detailed ‘Kiriko’ glass panels – which look different as the light or viewing angle changes – might seem garish to some, but in terms of integrating materials into its cabins, this is what sets Lexus apart from the average luxury brand. These material choices all sit within a complex-looking, yet sumptuous interior.

In the case of the model shown here, Lexus is also employing the increasingly popular trim choice of contrasting black leather seats with brighter secondary leather surfaces.

Lexus LS interior rear.jpg

Without the associated traditionalist heritage of BMW or Mercedes-Benz, lead designer Kouichi Suga was able to use Lexus’ position as a new-age luxury manufacturer to rationalise this distinctive new use of material.

Lexus is in a transition, and this type of thought-provoking, instinctual design is building the framework for a renewed Lexus. Let’s just hope that this bravado continues to be expressed in forthcoming models.