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Three designers transform the Lexus LF-Z’s interior

Will these visions even make it into production?

Lexus gave three designers the opportunity to spice up the LF-Z's cabin. PHOTO FROM LEXUS

You might remember the Lexus LF-Z from last month—a sharp, angular concept that also happens to preview the future of automaker’s design language. Inside, it is properly futurist-minimalist featuring clean, straightforward design elements and a subdued color palette. But Lexus probably felt that the LF-Z’s cabin still needed some pop, so the automaker has collaborated with three artists to give its car’s interior a (virtual) makeover.

Salehe Bembury's design combines shoemaking with the colors of nature. IMAGE FROM LEXUS

First up is the interior penned by footwear designer Salehe Bembury. It’s inspired by nature, with the creator’s sneaker styling touches here and there.

The concept eschews futuristic materials and dark colors in favor of natural materials and colors like cedar, cork and even granite (which might not be so good for the car because of the weight). It’s easy to see the shoe-inspired design details of the cabin, such as the suede seat backs and the fingerprint motif on the center console.

“I want this car to feel like a seamless juxtaposition of machine and nature,” says Bembury. “Equally utilizing the function of the machine and the benefits of nature to fuel and nurture the passengers to their destination.”

Jumping inside this LF-Z is like being on a sci-fi movie set. IMAGE FROM LEXUS

Next up is Ondrej Zunka’s vision for the LF-Z’s passenger space. Quite the opposite of the first one, it is nothing but loud—fully embracing the future by going all-out with the sci-fi theme.

The design utilizes incredibly futuristic materials such as translucent silicone seat cushions, a panoramic brushed-chrome headliner, and “intelligent lighting” found all over the panels that “subtly regulates mood” by “emitting a visceral sensation.” Say no to drugs. Whatever that means.

“This interior design is purely speculative, so I allowed for free associations and pure imagination and creativity,” shares Zunka. “I wanted to make the interior feel as if it wasn’t made by humans, but maybe designed by a sophisticated artificial intelligence. I wanted to go past any known language and design concepts, and forget about what is usually used in automotive interior design.”

The untreated leather will get random marks as it ages. IMAGE FROM LEXUS

Last but not least is the treatment by Japanese fashion label Hender Scheme.

The brand’s vision for a vehicle interior is something that reflects the relationship between car and driver over time. How? The entire cabin is draped in untreated leather. Over time, this material is said to develop a patina, or the random shiny or dark pattern that forms on animal hides after longtime use.

This design is also the most connected to Lexus’s Japanese heritage and takumi craftsmanship as the interior would only come to life from the efforts of trained leatherworkers from Asakusa, Japan. It’s also our personal favorite, and we think it might be the most feasible to build as a one-off car. Pretty please, Lexus?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.