- The striking new UX 300e, Lexus’ first all-electric vehicle, will go on sale in Europe at the start of 2021
- The all-electric crossover boasts electrifying driving characteristics coupled with world-class refinement and quietness levels along with the assurance of Lexus’ leading track record in electrification
- These stand-out qualities are now conveyed via a new virtual home environment created by visual designer Chris Labrooy
Ahead of the launch of the new all-electric UX, Lexus has collaborated with celebrated visual designer Chris Labrooy to communicate key aspects of the human experience around which the UX 300e was crafted: how it feels to drive, how it feels to be inside and how it feels to own. The result is a fascinating virtual home environment showcasing design objects which draw on actual parts of the new crossover.
For its first all-electric car, the luxury brand’s engineers and designers obsessed for lengthy periods on perfecting its electric drivetrain, cabin and electrified ownership experience, its master drivers seeking ever greater precision and refinement from behind the wheel, while its meticulous ‘Takumi’ craftspeople pored over every inch of the interior.
Communicating these experiential qualities at launch to an audience which has not yet sat behind the wheel was a real creative challenge. With his acknowledged aesthetic flair and understanding of the automotive industry, in Chris Labrooy Lexus found the ideal partner to realise the artistic brief of bringing unique qualities of the all-electric UX to life using striking and bold visuals in a non-automotive setting.
For example, reflecting how the UX 300e feels to drive – highly responsive yet with smooth acceleration, its low centre of gravity keeping the car perfectly stable, gliding powerfully forward – is a futuristic exercise bike, its wheels speeding up and slowing down with controlled exhilaration.
How the UX 300e feels inside – comfortable and cushioning, its luxuriously crafted interior complemented by noise-absorbing materials around the wheels, windows and underside which soak up any road sounds normally masked by the engine – is conveyed by a pair of high-fashion concept sneakers.
How the UX 300e feels to own – a feeling of peace of mind, stemming from Lexus’ 10-year battery Extended Care scheme and its unmatched track record in developing hybrid cars – finds expression in a futuristic record player and holographic disc, playing relaxing music.
The virtual home, a partnership between Lexus Europe, Chris Labrooy and The&Partnership London communications agency, will run on social and digital channels across Europe.
Pascal Ruch, Head of Lexus Europe: “At Lexus we craft every detail of our cars around the sensations they create; comfort, control, exhilaration, confidence. Ultimately, it’s not about our vehicles’ engineering or technology, it’s about how it feels. We have spent 15 years relentlessly perfecting our hybrid electrified vehicles around this principle, and the all-electric UX benefits from this innovative experience.”
“Building these films for Lexus was an exciting prospect,” comments Chris Labrooy. “I was able to draw on a wealth of iconic materials and textures from the UX 300e itself to help craft a suite of highly futuristic objects. Doing this project has left me with an even greater appreciation of the detail and craft invested in their products.”
Lexus designers, engineers and craftsmen have created the UX 300e around three key aspects of the human experience:
- How it feels to drive: Controlled exhilaration. The UX 300e delivers highly responsive linear acceleration, which has been crafted to feel smooth and seamless. The car’s highly rigid steel frame stays very solid when accelerating and decelerating, so movements feel controlled and not abrupt. This frame, combined with a very low centre of gravity, also make for handling that’s very ‘true’ to the driver’s intentions.
- How it feels inside: Serene comfort. It’s calm and relaxing inside the UX 300e. Noise absorbing materials have been placed around the car’s wheel arches, windows and underside, soaking up any road sounds traditionally masked by engine noise. This serenity falls within a spacious, luxurious environment. Inspired by Japanese veranda design, the interior seamlessly bridges the boundary between the inside and outside. It stretches very wide and deep, making the space feel open and expansive. Traditional Japanese processes inspire the materials across the interior, feeling luxurious and special. The dashboard reflects the ‘Washi’ paper grain used on traditional Japanese sliding doors, whilst the seats are finished with ‘Sashiko’ stitching: an ancient quilting technique used on Japanese martial arts uniforms.
- How it feels to own: Peacefulness of mind. A 10-year EV battery Extended Care scheme, thanks to 15 years of electrification experience at Lexus, makes the UX 300e feel mindlessly reassuring to own. The technology around the battery is very protective of its health. A triple monitoring safety net prevents it from draining or overcharging, constantly monitoring its individual cells, packs and package. Whilst an air-cooling system constantly regulates a consistent temperature, without the weight and leakage risks of liquid-cooling technology.
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