Concept Cars

INFINITI partners with world- famous furniture maker

Infiniti's first all-electric vehicle is coming but first the QX Inspiration Concept is here. The all-electric concept crossover shows the design and engineering progression the automaker is taking as they move toward electrification. To help show that off, Infiniti has enlisted the help of world- famous furniture maker, Tendo Co.

Tendo was founded in 1940, a full 49 years before Infiniti was born, in Japan's Yamagata Prefecture. It is heralded for its artisan woodworkers and craftspeople. The company's business includes working alongside architects and designs to create timeless products. It was because of this heritage that Infiniti went to Tendo for its interior design.

"Our first ideas and sketches for the interior were founded in this notion of creating a space that was more akin to a lounge or living space. We took advantage of the spacious layout enabled by the electric powertrain, and created a furniture-like expression for every element of the interior. At the same time, we wanted to explore a Japanese sense of beauty, tying the car to our cultural roots," said Mie Tanaka, color design assistant manager at Infiniti Motor Company.

Infiniti Design Infiniti used sugi, a Japanese cedar tree, to give the interior of its concept crossover a warm hue. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.

"We approached Tendo with this, and, while we had our own idea about how the QX Inspiration's 'furniture' could look, Tendo's many decades of experience in wood-working and design helped us to create something really special. The result is a beautiful, relaxing space that is rich in Japanese craftsmanship and materials. It is unlike anything we have been able to produce before."

With a design directive that included the use of organic materials and subdued colors, the two teams decided to use sugi, a cedar tree from Japan, for wood accents in the cabin. Its natural coloring and soft, light grain project warmth. The Sufi used in the car was grown in the Yamagata Prefecture and can be found on door panels as well as woodwork throughout the cabin.

Our team values the Japanese notion of 'monozukuri' – an appreciation of making things – so we have handcrafted each part of the Infiniti QX Inspiration's interior with care," said Sakae Igarashi, assistant manager, Tendo Co. "We are proud with what we have created and achieved with INFINITI. It is always a pleasure to work with fellow designers who can imagine beautiful things and create wonderful features. It has been an honor to work on this project."

The QX Inspiration Concept is just the first hint at the future of electrified mobility for Infiniti. Plans call for electric, hybrid, and performance hybrid vehicles to enter the lineup soon.

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The Genesis X Concept gives us a really good idea of what to expect from the automaker in the coming decade.

Photo courtesy of Genesis MOtors

The Genesis X Concept is a master class in all the things that a concept car should be. It shows off future design and technology pushing the envelope but never getting so far away from the mission that it looks like it's from the space age. Instead, what Genesis presented is a pointed glimpse into the future of the brand.

That brand is struggling to define itself and create a market in the U.S. While its cars have been featured in advertising for years, including this Super Bowl ad featuring John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, the company received perhaps the most publicity when golfer Tiger Woods crashed the GV80 SUV that he was driving leaving himself seriously injured, which is the perfect IRL example of "there's no such thing as bad publicity".

Genesis X Concept

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The new Gran Turismo concept takes some of the shapely curves from the Genesis Mint and Genesis Essentia prototype builds and puts them into a more realistic light. With the Genesis X Concept, it's obvious to see the direction Genesis is headed.

That starts with the theme of Two Lines. It's applied throughout the interior and exterior, bringing the look of the company's Quad Lamps into a more universal form.

The luxury arm of Hyundai says that the 'Genesis X' name comes from a combination of the brand's name and the letter X, which in this case symbolizes a "hidden hero".

"The Genesis X Concept can be described as the ultimate vision of Athletic Elegance, the inherent design language of Genesis," said SangYup Lee, Head of Genesis' Global Design. "The signature Two Lines theme and sustainable luxury will be blueprints for the futuristic designs and state-of-the-art technologies that Genesis seeks to adopt in its future models."

The car exudes traditional GT design. There's a long hood and short rear.

At the front of the car is the company's signature Crest Grille with two-lined headlights on either side that direct the eye from the front to the sides, as they extend into the doors. The grille features a G-Matrix pattern that is currently on the company's G70, G80, G90, and GV80 models. The internal pattern of the grille has been painted in the same color as the exterior in order to create a sense of unity.

Designers have double layered the car's bumpers. The hood and fender are integrated to create a single, clamshell hood. The bottom front air vent intake features a thin mesh form and aids in cooling the vehicle while reducing air resistance.

The rear features linear lamps that flank unique body styling.

Genesis has designed this car as an electric vehicle (EV). Its slide-to-open charging door creates no parting lines.

The entire car rides on turbine-type, five-spoke alloy wheels. Lime brake calipers accent the car's Lençóis Blue paint color. The paint color way was inspired by Maranhenses National Park in Brazil, where a lake forms only during the rainy season.

Genesis maximized the concept car's sporty sensibility by incorporating two-layered, turbine-type alloy wheels with five spokes. The brake calipers' lime accenting hints at the high-performance character of the Genesis X Concept.

The car has been designed with simplicity at its core. The driver-orientated cockpit design surrounds the driver with all operating systems and displays. A floating center console and a dashboard designed to create the sense that it is enveloping passengers are among the highlights as are slim, indirect air vents.

A Free-Form display manages gauge clusters, navigation, and climate controls while a Crystal Sphere Electronic Shift Level integrates driving mode functionality alongside PNRDL functionality.

Bucket seats and four-point seat belts are part of the cabin's design, as is a weave-patterned fabric made from leftover leather.

The Genesis X Concept is not intended for sale, but it does point solidly in the direction of what is coming as the automaker introduces new products.

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The car incorporates modern and future Lexus design.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Lexus is putting the pedal down. The company is working to accelerate the production of new models as its moves to diversify its lineup. Currently the brand offers five sedans, eight SUVs, and five coupes, with slightly less than half of those being hybrid variations of other vehicles on the roster.

By 2025, the luxury arm of Toyota will introduce 20 new or improved models, including more than 10 electrified models including battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and other electric vehicles. The company is also is committed to making sportier versions of their more traditional vehicles.

Lexus aims to be a carbon neutral company throughout the lifecycle of its entire model lineup by 2050. To help achieve that goal, in March 2024 Lexus will open a new business and technical center that will allow various Lexus teams to more cohesively work together.

Lexus LF-Z Electrified: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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The LF-Z Electrified concept car is a conceptual BEV that puts driving performance, styling, and technology today in one concept car package. The exterior of the mode furthers the Lexus design story, carrying with it many hallmarks of today's vehicle design while infusing new elements. Lines are clean, simple, and directional, drawing the eye forward and back toward simplified design at the face and rear.

It is driven via all four wheels, a technology called Direct4. Lexus says that the system has many advantages, "By controlling the front and rear drive wheels independently, the system can provide the appropriate drive system ...for each driving situation. The system controls the distribution of driving force through the seamless orchestration and calculation of accelerator pedal application and steering wheel operation, resulting in powerful acceleration and exhilarating cornering performance that aligns near-perfectly to the driver's will."

Engineers have given the car the "Lexus Driving Signature", a connected drive experience that made its debut in the refreshed 2021 Lexus IS. This new model is said to raise that driving style to new heights by "evolving the basic performance of the vehicle".

Lexus LF-Z Electrified: Interior

Photo courtesy of Lexus

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The BEV hides its battery longitudinally under the floor of the vehicle, attaching it to the chassis and adding rigidity. This, in addition to other design attributes is said to help mitigate vibrations and noises that tens to permeate the cabin.

Lexus designers have created the cockpit with open and minimalist design. Engineers have given the car futuristic tech that interacts with the driver by learning their behavioral traits and patterns. When it does that, the car's infotainment system will be able to offer proposed routes and other lifestyle choices. Mercedes-Benz's infotainment technology already does this.

A panoramic glass roof and simple, molded forms emphasize the car's connection with its environment, according to the automaker. Look closely at it all. Lexus says the design shown here suggests the direction of next-gen Lexus interior styling.

This concept includes numerous technologies already applied in luxury and mass market vehicles, including digital key, which allows phone-as-key technology and makes delivering packages to a vehicle easier. An E-Latch system extends and retracts door handles depending on when they are needed.

Reclining and massaging seats, a next-generation Mark Levinson audio system, and other features complete the Lexus concept car package.

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