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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Lexus LF-A roadster concept.

Lexus' L-finesse design language was meant to stand for "Seamless Anticipation," "Intriguing Elegance," and "Incisive Simplicity." If we put aside the marketing speak for a moment, the point of L-f was to give Lexus design a greater emotional connection with consumers. While it certainly didn't stop Lexus from selling more cars, we have a feeling that the increased number of wavy lines simply didn't resonate with the public quite like it was meant to.

Now Lexus is looking for a successor to L-finesse. Emotional connection from a purely design standpoint -- not "I just love my Toyota!" -- has been a weak point for Japanese cars in this country. Even the GT-R, the LF-A and the last Supra, technological tour-de-forces that they are (or were or will be), and for as much emotion as they inspire, are not pretty cars. The LS is a good looking car, but we wouldn't call it inspiring. Yet Lexus has a pretty good grasp on what its customers are looking for, so while we can't imagine that whatever's coming is going to be outrageous, we can hope that it will be a little less birds and clouds and a little more visceral.

[Source: Winding Road]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks like the bastard child of a Ferrari and a S2000. The front end has some pretty good lines, but it looks like they went a little skitzo on the rear.
      • 7 Years Ago
      um the trunk from the top of the line ls460 (or whatever it is) is the same as a toyota camry...exact same piece. the quest is how to make a design that doesn't look like it belongs in the toyota lineup of blah
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really like the L-finesse designs.There's a strong family resemblance,yet each car has it's own visual identity.Still,I'm certain whatever Lexus comes up with next will be lovely too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Lexus IS is a lovely car, especially when I would see it in Japan, where it and the Mazda RX-8 made just a huge impact. Here it just doesn't seem to stand out.

      I would suggest they look at classic Alfas personally. The Giuletta Sprint was and is just a lovely car. Better to follow the Italians in this (Maserati or Alfa) rather than the Germans who have gone off the deep end for the most part.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What the Miata isn't pretty? Seriously though, people will buy what they want. Sometimes what they want isn't 'pretty'.

      I guess what I'm trying to say is for me as a consumer perfer my auto's looks to display a sense of purpose. I look at the Lexus above or the GT-R or even a Mazda 3 its almost immeadiately communicated what the car is supposed to do.

      I like a lot of the designs coming from Japan as there is no mistaking they are Japanese. If you watched any episode of 'Gundam' or have seen 'Akira' or 'Macross' car designs like the GT-R and the Evo should have been seen coming a mile away.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I can't see them changing too much, mainly for the reasons you mention. It seems to me that each major car-producing region has unique influences that reflect the local values: Italian cars drip with emotion, German cars typically have poker-like seriousness like the engineers that design them, and American cars are simple yet bold. I cannot quite get my head around the concept of Japanese cars resembling anime, but it's a matter of personal preference with no right or wrong answer.

        I look at Toyotas not so much as cars but as appliances with wheels, so I appreciated that Lexus came up with L-Finesse. It's not my thing, but I can respect it for that very reason- it's not your typical anonymous mass-appeal design Toyota is so often guilty of. A lot of people don't like Cadillac's "art and science" design language either, but you have to admit it is distinctive.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it is very funny how cars like the new CTS have woke Toyota up. They have had it so easy for so long and now consumers are opening there eyes to more innovative design. Not everyone loves the new CTS, but you have to admit it is different and stands out. Nothing from Lexus stands out. I saw a new S class parked near a new 460 the other day and there is not comparison. I know that Lexus are so great on the quality side, but I do not think that is the only reason people are looking at cars these days. Personally I believe that Lexus is going down the same path as Acura right now.

      • 7 Years Ago
      maybe take cues from mazda's design team? there cooking up some crazy stuff.
      • 7 Years Ago
      personally, i always thought the Supra was an awesome design.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh,I couldn't agree more! Gorgeous car! :-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Last gen Supras weren't 'pretty'?

        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, that had me scratching my head too. The Toyota hate around here is tremendous.

        I think many would say that the mid-90's were likely Toyota's best decade for design. It seems as though they were hitting on all cylinders:

        MKIV Supra
        Land Cruiser

        The current L-Finesse Lexus models at least have some brand identity (the IS is the strongest IMHO), but the current Toyota line is a mess.
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