Lexus replaced its spindle grille with what the brand calls a “spindle body”. The new RX and RZ EV are the first models to sport the new face.
“We wanted to keep the shape of the spindle itself. But the spindle has always been based on the functionality of what goes under the hood,” said Lexus’ head of global design, Koichi Suga. Automotive News.
The first production model to sport a spindle grille version was the Lexus CT. Then the vehicle became a sharper, more aggressive take on the design, much like the large version on the previous generation RX.
Suga told Automotive News that most customers in the US don’t like the look of the spindle grille. “A lot of people call it Darth Vader,” he said. “The execution of the new spindle is based on this learning. We need the right balance.”
The spindle body design incorporates the previous elements from the grille to the body panels. For example, the front end of the new RX (bottom) has a recessed section along the top of the nose, and the shape echoes the mesh on the front end.
The Lexus RZ (below) has a different look. This is an EV so a large grille opening is not required. Instead, there’s an inlet at the bottom, and the black bodywork echoes the shape of the spindle grille.
In December 2021, Lexus presented a bunch of EV concepts, and some of them (see below) had completely different versions of the spindle grille. An electric sports car has a thin opening in the center and a larger area on the outer edges where the headlights fit. The proposed electric sedan has a similar front end.
Toyota and Lexus will introduce a total of 30 electric vehicles worldwide by 2030. All premium division offerings in China, Europe and the United States will be EVs by that year. By 2035, Lexus will be a pure electric brand globally.