Lexus is replacing its spindle grille with what the brand refers to as the "spindle body." The new RX and RZ EV are the first models to wear the new face.
"We want to maintain the spindle shape itself. But the spindle has always been based on functionality of what's happening under the hood," Lexus global design chief Koichi Suga told Automotive News.
Gallery: 2023 Lexus RX
Suga told Automotive News that customers in the US largely haven't liked the look of the spindle grille. "Many people mention it looks like Darth Vader," he said. "The new spindle execution is based on this learning. We need the right balance."
The spindle body design incorporates the elements previously from the grille into the body panels. For example, the front end of the new RX (below) has recessed sections along the upper portion of the nose, and their shape echoes the mesh in the front end.
The Lexus RZ (below) has a different look. It's an EV so a large grille opening isn't necessary. Instead, there's an inlet on the bottom, and the black bodywork echoes the shape of the spindle grille.
In December 2021, Lexus presented a group of EV concepts, and several of them (see below) had a completely different version of the spindle grille. An electric sports car had a skinny opening in the middle and larger areas on the outer edges where the headlights fit. A proposed electric sedan had a similar front end.
Toyota and Lexus will introduce a total of 30 electric vehicles worldwide by 2030. All of the premium division's offerings in China, Europe, and the United States will be EVs by that year. By 2035, Lexus will be a purely electric brand globally.