When Lexus gave the world its first glimpse of the UX Concept a couple weeks back in advance of the car’s Paris Motor Show debut, we at The Drive were, well, less than wowed. The sole pic Lexus dropped—a rear three-quarter shot—revealed a two-box crossover that looked like a cross between the Ferrari GTC4Lusso and a Ford Raptor. It wasn’t ugly, but generally speaking, Lexus crossovers don’t do much for us.
Now, however, Lexus is showing off the UX’s interior, and...well, it’s safe to say the carmaker has grabbed our attention. Among the many futuristic doo-dads crammed into the car’s guts: 3-D holographic displays that seem straight out of Star Trek.
Instead of using traditional dials or screens to show pertinent information, the UX Concept’s instrument panel is comprised of a transparent sphere that Lexus says display holographic information in both analog and digital forms. (We’re not sure how a hologram can be analog, but we’ll play along.) And where the infotainment and climate controls and display lie between the driver and front passenger in most cars, the UX uses a three-dimensional crystal, making it a little bit like the displays in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
While the 3-D holographic displays may be the marquee attraction, Lexus also outfitted the interior with plenty of other notable acts. If those side-view mirrors in the picture above seem awfully small, that’s because they’re cameras, not mirrors; twin screens atop the dashboard provide a means of looking back. The windows are electrochromatic, able to switch from transparent to a more opaque state. And the jutting element in the passenger’s side of the dash? That’s actually a removable sound bar, in case somebody forgot to bring speakers to whatever futuristic urban party Kirk and Bones are driving the UX to.
Obviously, much of this is concept car vaporware, designed to wow people with a version of the future that may or may not come to pass. But considering the speed with which technology that seemed like science fiction not too long ago is infiltrating the automotive world...we wouldn’t be shocked to see 3-D holographic displays in that self-driving Lexus of the year 2025.