Love or hate it – and I know more than a handful of people who openly detest the subject – Lexus's spindle grille has been the center point of the automaker's design. In fact, it has been around for 10 years now, first seen on the LF-Gh concept that made its debut in 2011.
The following year, Lexus introduced the GS executive sedan, which was heavily based on the concept that was shown in New York. This was the birth point of the polarizing spindle grille.
Since then, Lexus has continued to adapt the spindle in various forms per vehicle, with different mesh patterns, dimensions, and finishes.
Gallery: 2023 Lexus RX
"You should be able to identify a car as a Lexus immediately… Instant visual recognition, for example, is the reason behind our spindle grille. It may look aggressive at first glance, that’s intentional, but it also conveys its boldness with sophistication and elegance," said Kiyotake Ise, then head of Lexus during the spindle grille's debut.
Lexus then used the spindle grille for various design projects beyond road-going cars. Primary was the futuristic Skyjet spacecraft in the Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It was also adopted as a design motif in the Loft, the award-winning Lexus and Brussels Airlines lounge at Brussels Airport.
Lexus was aware that the spindle was polarizing, but pressed on that it will continue to evolve. In fact, it already did with an application of the spindle shape into an integral part of the vehicle's overall design. Called the "spindle body," the Japanese marque has already given us a glimpse of the spindle's evolution in the new Lexus RX crossover.
This was then applied to the Lexus RZ 450e, the automaker's first battery electric vehicle. Without the need for intensive cooling, Lexus designers were given to interpret the spindle shape into the overall body design.