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Lexus: The Forefront of Design Innovention

Updated on January 19, 2015

With all car manufacturers, the borrowing and contributing of designs is a sort of a coefficient cycle as new designs are inspired by the old. Car evolution is innovative and evolutionary, inspired by competitors who strive to make their models greater and better. Lexus plays an important role in the process of creating new designs, as many Lexus competitors are inspired by Lexus designs.

People claim that the 2013 Lexus LS copied the 2009 BMW 7 series L-tube tail lamps, but Lexus is actually the first company to come out with L-tube tail lamps with the debut of the new style 2007 LS. BMW came out with the newly designed 7 series a whole two years after. Another style Lexus is unfortunately pointed out to have copied is the LED headlight display, which is widely credited as an Audi invention. Although the 2008 Audi R8 is one of the first vehicles to have an LED headlight display, Lexus actually beats Audi by a year, with the 2007 Lexus LS using headlights with LEDs.

As premium luxury car manufacturers make their mark in society, patented car designs are attributed to the first creator and subsequent similar designs by rival car companies are sometimes claimed as inspired or even stolen. Lexus is a victim of these cases, as the original LS400 (1989) is said to be quite similar-looking to the Mercedes S class and people have claimed that Lexus is nothing more than a copy-cat. This is a lofty statement that is very far from the truth, as Lexus has inspired many car designs all over the board.

Lexus and Mercedes fans certainly cannot agree which car manufacturer was inspired by the other, as several relevant arguments have come out to support each company. Mercedes fans argue that the 2nd generation Lexus GS had quad headlights that were first seen on the 1995 Mercedes E class. The Lexus side has a compelling counter argument though, showing that the 1st generation Lexus SC was the first to come out with quad lights. Lexus fans argue that instead of taking cues from Mercedes E class, the LS400 only revamped the quad lights from the 1st generation SC. These became a sort of a Lexus theme and the LX became the next model to include the quad lights. In 2006, Lexus revamped their quad lights by elongating and fusing them together. The 2009 Mercedes W212 E seems to have taken cues from Lexus by also elongating headlights of the new E class.

Even Lexus ads are blatantly ripped off by other car companies. The 2011 Hyundai Equus model looks strikingly similar to the 2008 Lexus LS600hL and newer Hyundai ad is nearly a splitting image of the Lexus ad.

Another premium car manufacturer, Jaguar, came out with the new XF has a slight resemblance to the 2nd generation Lexus GS. The wheelbase, engine bay dimensions, and overhangs of the Jaguar S-type is so similar to the 2nd generation GS that it’s almost astonishing. Other less premium car makes from the past that have taken a page from Lexus’ premium designs are the Kia Sorrento, Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Escort. The Kia Sorrento looks almost identical to an older model Lexus RX, the Hyundai Sonata takes a cue from the Lexus IS, and the Ford Escort borrows a page from the first generation Lexus SC coupe. What better way for a company to update their flagship vehicles than to imitate the luxury peak at its finest?


Today’s new car designs are still imitating Lexus, with the 2014 Prius sporting an interior inspired by Lexus. The Prius has a new center climate control interface with higher-end buttons different from the previous plastic, cheaper look. The new set of dials behind the steering wheel is also an inspiration from Lexus, with the clocks a direct imprint from the Lexus CT200h hatchback. Certainly any car that is inspired by Lexus would have the generous peppering of luxury and elegance and the Prius is no different.

The Buick has also taken a hint from Lexus’ unparalleled designs with the newer version of the Lacrosse in 2010. The Buick Lacrosse looks like an even mixture of the ES and the LS. Who could blame Buick for borrowing these designs? The Lexus ES and LS are two amazingly designed vehicles of luxurious proportions. Even the newest model like the 2014 Lacrosse is Lexus inspired, as one can see the Lexus IS subtlety peeking out from the new Lacrosse design.

There’s no question that inspiration comes from all over the world of car manufacturing and car manufacturers are both inspired by their rivals as well as seek to find a way to create something better; however, Lexus plays a key role in being the one to inspire other companies. Lexus is unparalleled in quality and there is no doubt that Lexus will be inspiring more designs in years to come. Car evolution can only improve and Lexus is definitely one of the frontrunners in the car world.


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