Lexus president Yoshihiro Sawa says the Japanese luxury brand's radical new styling allows it to play by its "own rules" and thus means it doesn’t “have to compete” with traditional rivals.
Speaking to Autocar, Sawa said that Lexus knew it had to be “unique”.
“In the past, people would say Lexus design was boring. Not now. We have learned that we have to be unique. If something has character, some will love it and some won’t. That’s fine,” he said, echoing earlier comments from Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota's Calty Design Research studio, that “polarisation is okay for us”.
“If you play to the established rules, you’ll always be in a pool. If you play to your own rules, you don’t have to compete,” Sawa said.
He went on to add that technology such as electrification presented Lexus with “another chance to be different”.
“We can see opportunities with the technology, but the company philosophy set by president Akio Toyoda is that we will never sell commodities. We will always have ‘fun to drive’ as a core asset of our cars and we will never allow technology to lose what we are.
“We must never be boring. But it's also clear that electrified cars can be fun. The key will be in how you use electrification to control individual wheels. A hybrid, in particular, has potential to draw together the exciting worlds of the engine and electrification,” the 61-year-old told the British publication.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.