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Old 01-29-13, 09:02 PM   #1
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Default Car designs inspired by Lexus

When Lexus started out with the original LS400, it looked mildly similar to the Mercedes S class design at the time. Since then, many people have said that Lexus has done nothing but copy design language from other brands. While I do agree it is true that Lexus has done it's share of copying (what car brand hasn't?), I disagree with those that say that Lexus ONLY copies and lacks original designing.

I made this thread to highlight car designs which seem to have been inspired by Lexus. I didn't see a thread like this when I used the "search" function, so hopefully we all can take a look at a collective thread that showcases the inspiring designs of Lexus. (And maybe set a few records straight )

1. When the second generation GS came out in 1997-2005, it had the quad headlights that took design cues from the 1995 Mercedes E class. As time went on, the 3rd GS came out in 2006. The quad headlights still remained but they were very different. The outer lights were squared off into longer rectangular shapes, the inner ones shrunk to a small size. Mercedes went through 1 more generation (2002-2008) before introducing the W212 E in 2009. The reverse happened. The 2009 Mercedes took design cues from 2006 Lexus. In 2012, the 4th GS's debut showed that the company had restyled the headlights to 1 long rectangular piece. The quad style was gone. Mercedes, in the middle of the W212 lifespan, facelifted the E to also remove the quad headlights. The headlights are now rectangular, though not very similar to the GS.
Click the image to open in full size.
Summary: What started with Lexus watching Mercedes, ended with what can be observed as the opposite.

2. Many people often say that the 2013 LS has similar L-tube style taillamps to the BMW 7 series. However, they may not realize Lexus was the first to do the L-tube styling with the 2007-2012 LS. BMW did not have the L tubes until the debut of the 2009 7 series, which was a full 2 years after the 2007 LS.
Click the image to open in full size.
Summary: Lexus never took any cues from BMW in the taillights. BMW took cues from Lexus in 2009.

3. Audi is often credited with the LED headlights that populate many luxury cars in recent times. Although the R8 was one of the first autos to use an all LED headlight display, Cadillac's Escalade beat them to it. Beating both of those, Lexus's LS600hL introduced in 2007, for the '08 model year, was the first production car to use LED in the headlights.
Click the image to open in full size.

Summary: Lexus was the first to use LED headlights, not Audi.

4. This last one is a bit of a family squabble. I see a lot of people talking about the 4th GS being the changing factor for Lexus (spindle grill). Many cite it as the first of the Lexus family to to radically shake up design within the brand. Unfortunately, I don't think that is the case. I believe that the CT was the first from Lexus to showcase the spindle grill. Although, it is definately not as important a car as the GS, I do believe credit should be given to the baby in the family . In addition, because the CT is a less important car, I think the reasoning for the debut of the spindle grill design is apparent: Showing a radical design on a newer, lesser car will be a way for the company to "test the waters" to see if their design will be a welcome addition to prelude to the bigger players in the family. The CT was introduced in 2010, the GS in 2012.
Click the image to open in full size.

Summary: The CT deserves the name "The New Face of Lexus", not the GS.
*****************************************************

Can you guys think of anymore?

Those are all of the things I can think of for now. I am not a blind Lexus fanboy, as I do appreciate the designs of many brands. I also do realize that Lexus did copying as well, as stated earlier. I am just trying to hopefully open the eyes of whoever comes across this post, whether on the internet, or within our own CL community.

Hope you guys had as much fun reading, as I did thinking/posting.
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Last edited by trexlexus; 04-18-13 at 03:32 PM..
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Old 01-29-13, 09:21 PM   #2
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I think Lexus does not get the due credit for the influence it has had on design, including interiors. Lexus has taken cues clearly from others but Lexus has led and its rarely mentioned by the press or internetz and if you do, well you are called crazy Not sure why it's so bad to mention when Lexus has led.

My wife just brought home a company car Altima, a friend was over and we were talking design and the entire roofline and overall proportions are clearly GS derived. I could come with other examples but I've said my peace over time.

And the 2010 HS had a baby Spindle as well

Now I go to grab popcorn

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Old 01-29-13, 09:22 PM   #3
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Good post. However I don't think the 2GS was taking cues from the E-class for the quad lights. Lexus started using quad lights with the 1SC:

Click the image to open in full size.

It then sort of turned into a theme for the brand, and was included on the LX as well:

Click the image to open in full size.

Quad tails were also part of this theme, included on the 2GS and 1IS.

The 3GS also heavily influenced the current Jaguar XF's profile. You will also see some 3GS in the Buick Lacrosse. The current RX has heavily influenced the design of many crossovers from mainstream brands and luxury brands alike, most noteworthy being the new Acura RDX. Same with the 2IS and Acura ILX.

Beyond that Hyundai is a huge "borrower" of Lexus design cues, but they shamelessly "borrow" whatever they like from everybody.

Last edited by Mr. Burns; 01-29-13 at 09:25 PM..
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Old 01-29-13, 10:06 PM   #4
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Worst one yet:

Lexus LS600hL ad in 2008:

Click the image to open in full size.

Hyundai Equus ad in 2011:

Click the image to open in full size.


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Old 01-29-13, 11:19 PM   #5
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Hmm i completely forgot about the SC and it's quad headlight setup.

If that is the case, number 1 on my original post would be nullified. As it turns out, the E class would have taken a design cue from Lexus very early on.
Quote:
And the 2010 HS had a baby Spindle as well
I actually originally wanted to put the HS as the forefather of spindle grill, but I looked at it again, and the "spindle" on the HS looks awkward, especially when compared to the CT and onwards.

And regarding that Hyundai Equus/Lexus LS ad...... I cannot believe how they would do something like that. Sometimes I wonder if companies that do nothing but copy have any guilts....

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Old 01-30-13, 12:10 AM   #6
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By the way, Jaguar totally copied the 2nd Generation GS when designing the S-type right down to the wheelbase and interior proportions.

Jaguar themselves admitted as much : http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/mo...d-test-1411862
Quote:
The GS series has been around since the early 1990s and this one is the fourth generation. They have all been extremely well made and very reliable.

In fact, a bloke from Jaguar once told me that they had taken one to bits to have a look at it and couldn’t believe the level of detail. No wonder they rarely go wrong.
A funny thing is that the current XF is just a highly modified S-type chassis.

So when you see an XF on the road, realize that a little bit of the 2nd gen GS just passed you by.
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Old 01-30-13, 12:20 AM   #7
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Hmm, I would have never suspected Jag's S-Type to have taken anything from the GS. They look so vastly different to me (with the exception of the quad headlights).

I never would have thought to measure out both their wheelbases.

I do like how "stately" and "impressive" the JAAAAG S-Type looks though. Definately has street presence.
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Old 01-30-13, 12:44 AM   #8
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My neighbor and I share the same car park space in our condominium.

His Jag S-type is parked literally 3 feet away side by side with my 2nd Gen GS.

The almost identical wheelbase, front and rear overhangs, greenhouse,engine bay dimensions is uncanny.
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Old 01-30-13, 12:44 AM   #9
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Great post!
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Old 01-30-13, 09:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilipMSPT View Post
Worst one yet:

Lexus LS600hL ad in 2008:

Click the image to open in full size.

Hyundai Equus ad in 2011:

Click the image to open in full size.


That is ridiculous

I had this thread
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/car-...y-similar.html

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by LexFather; 01-30-13 at 09:30 PM..
 
Old 01-30-13, 10:07 PM   #11
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When I had my SC300 5-speed, this monstrosity always managed to anger me, lol

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-30-13, 10:09 PM   #12
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theres a lot of good classic stuff in here
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Old 01-30-13, 10:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robloc93 View Post
When I had my SC300 5-speed, this monstrosity always managed to anger me, lol

Click the image to open in full size.
Another was the 1995-1999 or so Nissan 240 SX...I remember the debut as a teen and the lines reminded me of the Lexus SC at the time, nothing more obvious than the long character line in the body and very similar window treatment.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
 
Old 01-30-13, 10:53 PM   #14
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^^ Wow, never noticed the similarities until now.........My baby momma had one of these Escorts ZX2's while we were together and every time she'd park next to me, I'd start my "Robert Cumberford" analysis and tear her car apart, lol.........That front always managed to **** me off.
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Old 01-30-13, 11:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trexlexus View Post
When Lexus started out with the original LS400, it looked mildly similar to the Mercedes S class design at the time. Since then, many people have said that Lexus has done nothing but copy design language from other brands. While I do agree it is ture that Lexus has done it's share of copying (what car brand hasn't?), I disagree with those that say that Lexus ONLY copies and lacks original designing.

I made this thread to highlight car designs which seem to have been inspired by Lexus. I didn't see a thread like this when I used the "search" function, so hopefully we all can take a look at a collective thread that showcases the inspiring designs of Lexus. (And maybe set a few records straight )

1. When the second generation GS came out in 1997-2005, it had the quad headlights that took design cues from the 1995 Mercedes E class. As time went on, the 3rd GS came out in 2006. The quad headlights still remained but they were very different. The outer lights were squared off into longer rectangular shapes, the inner ones shrunk to a small size. Mercedes went through 1 more generation (2002-2008) before introducing the W212 E in 2009. The reverse happened. The 2009 Mercedes took design cues from 2006 Lexus. In 2012, the 4th GS's debut showed that the company had restyled the headlights to 1 long rectangular piece. The quad style was gone. Mercedes, in the middle of the W212 lifespan, facelifted the E to also remove the quad headlights. The headlights are now rectangular, though not very similar to the GS.
Click the image to open in full size.
Summary: What started with Lexus watching Mercedes, ended with what can be observed as the opposite.

2. Many people often say that the 2013 LS has similar L-tube style taillamps to the BMW 7 series. However, they may not realize Lexus was the first to do the L-tube styling with the 2007-2012 LS. BMW did not have the L tubes until the debut of the 2009 7 series, which was a full 2 years after the 2007 LS.
Click the image to open in full size.
Summary: Lexus never took any cues from BMW in the taillights. BMW took cues from Lexus in 2009.

3. Audi is often credited with the LED headlights that populate many luxury cars in recent times. Although the R8 was one of the first autos to use an all LED headlight display. Cadillac's Escalade beat them to it. Beating both of those, Lexus's LS600hL introduced in 2007, for the '08 model year, was the first production car to use LED in the headlights.
Click the image to open in full size.

Summary: Lexus was the first to use LED headlights, not Audi.

4. This last one is a bit of a family squabble. I see a lot of people talking about the 4th GS being the changing factor for Lexus (spindle grill). Many cite it as the first of the Lexus family to to radically shake up design within the brand. Unfortunately, I don't think that is the case. I believe that the CT was the first from Lexus to showcase the spindle grill. Although, it is definately not as important a car as the GS, I do believe credit should be given to the baby in the family . In addition, because the CT is a less important car, I think the reasoning for the debut of the spindle grill design is apparent: Showing a radical design on a newer, lesser car will be a way for the company to "test the waters" to see if their design will be a welcome addition to prelude to the bigger players in the family. The CT was introduced in 2010, the GS in 2012.
Click the image to open in full size.

Summary: The CT deserves the name "The New Face of Lexus", not the GS.
*****************************************************

Can you guys think of anymore?

Those are all of the things I can think of for now. I am not a blind Lexus fanboy, as I do appreciate the designs of many brands. I also do realize that Lexus did copying as well, as stated earlier. I am just trying to hopefully open the eyes of whoever comes across this post, whether on the internet, or within our own CL community.

Hope you guys had as much fun reading, as I did thinking/posting.
1. Thank you for starting this thread, as I myself like to dedicate some of my spare time to focusing on such aspects. It gets to be difficult pointing out to naive dimwits where Lexus originated some design cues, where they borrowed, or couldn't have due to time constraints. Most importantly, we should all apply a 21-42 month rule between various models across different brands, as that's usually how long it takes a final design to reach production. Also, when talking about such a thing, one needs to be VERY date specific and not use model years as when something was introduced. The F01 was unveiled in July 2008 and already designed by 2006, so by 2009 only 2012 BMW models were being designed.

One should note though that Lexus first introduced the 3GS in January 2004 after designing it by late 2002 and freezing it's design in 2003. These design patents below were filed in 2003 for it and production began in December 2004/January 2005 as an early 2006 model. The W212 E-Class was designed and frozen in 2006 and had 2 full years of access to the S190 3GS as a design reference. The W212 facelift however, was frozen in 2011, even before Lexus introduced the production GS that August. They were testing them a year ago already.

2. As for the F01/F02 7-Series versus the XF40 LS, BMW finalized the design of the current model during the 4th quarter of 2005 and 1st quarter of 2006, an interesting time in which the LF-Sh Concept and 2007 LS460 debuted(October 2005, January 2006). Many have argued that the BMW 5er E39 facelift had the L-Tube style taillights first and that the LS "stole" from the E65, as the F01 7er is evolutionary. I'm rather curious as to how and why they approved the design after seeing the similarities to the 2007 Lexus LS, a car that was first leaked in production form in late SEPTEMBER 2005. Interesting story there.

3. I can't remember where I heard a stupid reason as to why Lexus wasn't first before Audi to have LEDs. It was somewhere along the lines of the 2008 LS600h(L) LEDs being low-beams and not full-LED, a poor excuse nonetheless. Both companies in their own right came out with technology at the same time, so this Lexus copying Audi lights doesn't make sense to me. I am sure TMC knows that and could care less about "copying" accusations concerning the L-shaped LEDs seen on Lexus cars since 2009.

4. The 4GS was originally meant to have the same grille as the CT200h, but sometime during the clay-modeling process in 2009 Katsuhiko Inatomi played around and came up with the spindle grille (the CT200h was already designed by early-mid 2009, the 4GS exterior was designed in '09 and frozen in early 2010). Read the quote below:
Quote:
Lexus designers had been tinkering with the grille, gradually moving it lower and emphasizing the bottom aperture over the years. But Humphries and Kengo Matsumoto, Hiruta's predecessor as Lexus design chief, knew they needed something more. An hourglass shape eventually emerged in the Lexus CT hybrid hatchback, which hit U.S. showrooms last year.

The epiphany came while GS lead designer Katsuhiko Inatomi was playing with clay models of that car at the company's studio in Toyota City. On a whim, he tweaked the air intake to connect the lower and upper grilles in a boxlike frame.

"Simon took a peek and said, 'That's it! That's the spindle grille,' " Inatomi recalls.

While the grille looks sportier, it has a functional element as well. The exaggerated lips of the lower aperture channel air to help cool the front brakes.

Humphries says the spindle brings the flexibility to span a Lexus lineup running from sporty coupes to sedans and SUVs. "For example, we can create a more elegant grille if the break point" between the upper and lower portions of the grille, he says, "is lowered, or more aggressive if raised."
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