The spindle grille is very polarizing.
Take a glimpse at the current Lexus lineup, and it's clear that the company has a very different styling direction than other luxury brands. Where the Germans cultivate a range of cars that appear handsome, yet conservative, Lexus vehicles look brash, particularly with the latest evolution of the spindle grille on models like the LC 500 and LF-1 Limitless Concept. The company knows that this bold styling doesn't appeal to everyone, but the contentious shape attracts the right buyers.
"The folks that look at it as somewhat polarizing would be, for the most part, the folks that have been with us since the beginning," Jeff Bracken, Lexus General Manager, told Carbuzz. "In fact I’ll take phone calls from some of these owners and will literally spend 45 minutes to an hour on the phone with me just expressing how disappointed they are."
Bracken admits the avant-garde design might even cause these older buyers to abandon the brand, but it's a risk he's willing to take if the decision brings even more people to the company. “If our average was 60, then we have to bring that down," he told Carbuzz.
Gallery: Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept
Recent concepts and production models indicate that future Lexus models could adopt even more assertive styling. The LF-1 Limitless (gallery above) previews a gargantuan version of the spindle grille and a strip of LEDs wrapping around the rear. Meanwhile, the much smaller UX concept suggests that the brash look would arrive at the very bottom of the lineup, too.
Lexus creates a different version of the spindle grille for every model, and a significant amount of work goes into creating each one. For the version on the LS, a designer first worked on a computer for six months to individually adjust the curvature for the 5,000 pieces of mesh. Then, a craftsman used hand tools for fine-tuning the design, including polishing the various surfaces to give them an even greater shine on the road.