If you hate the spindle grilles that come on modern Lexus models, you’re not alone. Despite many consumers, auto industry leaders and design experts disparaging the look, Toyota’s luxury brand isn’t going to abandon it anytime soon, according to a report 4WheelsNews ran recently.
Tokuo Fukuichi, who is the worldwide head of Lexus and Toyota design, thinks the spindle grilles actually make vehicles more desirable than models created by Audi, Mercedes and BMW, among other premium brands. He firmly believes that the in-your-face nature of the design actually appeals to a lot of consumers, especially in growing markets such as China where people want to turn heads wherever they go.
Considering that not that long ago Toyota and Lexus put out vehicles that were the equivalent of a bowl of oatmeal when it came to design (and pretty much the entire driving experience) you would think that more people would be happy with the wild styling cues Fukuichi has been using. Perhaps it’s a little too out there, like a grandmother in a nursing home getting a green Mohawk.
According to the 4WheelsNews report, Toyota isn’t looking to please everyone with the Lexus line. The designs are supposed to be edgy and polarizing. That kind of strategy has worked at least relatively well for Cadillac. After all, the Escalade has been denounced by many for its excessive bling and bold persona, yet it sells incredibly well.
Even some people who work for Lexus aren’t fans of the spindle grille and some other out-there styling elements. Some have said that certain models look like something one would expect to find living deep in the sea. Perhaps Lexus could come out with a Mothra special edition RX? Others have likened the grille to an alien mouth or other unpleasant images (use your imagination there).
Fukuichi isn’t a stranger to design controversy. After all, he’s the guy who designed the first-gen Toyota Previa, which had a striking resemblance to an egg.
Are you a fan of Lexus’ spindle grille? Sound off in the comments below.