Toyota Chief Designer on the Lexus LF-Gh concept: 'The degree of realism is very high'

Simon Humphries, a Brit who has been in Japan for 21 years, 17 of them with Toyota, is General Manager of Global Design, for both Toyota and Lexus. I spoke with him about the Lexus LF-Gh concept that debuted at the 2011 New York Auto Show.

On the general design theme: "The LF-Gh was designed in [our Lexus studio in Japan]. The current state of the auto market is that everything is becoming complex and overstyled. With the LF-Gh, we wanted to make something that was fundamentally simple and strong."

On the already-controversial grille: "The lower aperture of the grille, we've found, is a much better place for air intake, much more efficient, than higher up. From the CT model onwards, the upper grille has lost its functionality. It's now symbolism. This front face identity will definitely be carried forward into all vehicles, including the next LS."

On the LF-Gh's readiness for production: "This car is a pure concept. Is it producible? Yes. We tried very hard to make sure the proportions and details [were ready for production]. Even our aerodynamic performance has been taken into consideration, and we've kept the rear roofline high enough for the rear headroom that's required in a mid-size luxury sedan like the GS. The degree of realism is very high."

Please describe the Lexus LF-Gh in three words: "Bold. Simple. Dynamic. If I'm allowed a fourth word, I'd add intriguing. Some of the elements are very artistic."

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