Lexus And Royal College Of Art Reveal Top Futuristic EV Student Designs

The future of EV is bright, but the designs shared by Lexus and the Royal College of Art take transport a complete step further. Are you ready to forget everything you think you know?

Lexus #Units concept by Zhenyu Kong
The Lexus #Units design by Zhenyu Kong is a complete redefinition © Credit to Lexus

A design programme presented by Lexus and the prestigious Royal College of Art (RCA) has found its six finalists.

The Soul of Future Premium asked around 20 postgraduate students on RCA’s Intelligent Mobility MA in the Intelligent Mobility Design Centre to come up with brave new concepts that challenge our current understanding of vehicles.

“The staff and students from RCA Intelligent Mobility are delighted to have collaborated with Lexus on The Soul of Future Premium. The project has provided an exciting and challenging context in which to explore future mobility with a premium global brand.”
— Prof Harrow, Chair of the IMDC

Students were asked to explore new vehicle architectures to meet changes in European city life specifically. The result is multiple new vehicles that offer a radical shift in the norm.

The finalists will not refine and develop their work ahead of a public exhibition and announcement of the winning projects. That will occur on March 15.

Be warned: Each offer new perspectives on the future of mobility — some more out there than others.

Vision In-Season by Bangning An concept mockup Vision In-Season by Bangning An © Credit to Lexus

2040 Lexus Vision In-season, by Bangning An

The first project is arguably the closest design of the bunch that resembles the Lexus vehicles we see today.

It centres on the Japanese proposition ‘Ichi-Go, Ichi-E’, which is about paying attention to everyday moments.

To help Generation Z rediscover seasonal changes in urban areas, the vehicle’s intelligent crafted roof controls the intensity of daylight coming into the interior.

What’s more, the vehicle’s colour scheme would also change as the seasons change.

Crucible by Benjamin Miller concept mockup Crucible by Benjamin Miller © Credit to Lexus

Crucible, by Benjamin Miller

Described as “hydrogen-fuelled escape vehicle that divides itself to meet different use scenarios and contexts,’ the Crucible from Benjamin Miller is a luxury cabin full of personality.

The morphing interior can adapt to any configuration for seamless comfort and could even be put inside your house.

Users could choose a different vehicle for weekdays and for weekends when they want to explore and meet others.

With this concept Miller reinterpreted the Lexus spindle grille and created a light and airy vehicle that is easy to get in and out of, and that can be reclined for comfort.

ALTO by Richard Newman concept ALTO by Richard Newman © Credit to Lexus

ALTO, by Richard Newman

We’ve covered eVTOL aircraft on the site before, but this looks like something from another world!

ALTO is a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle. It is designed for a time when a premium experience will mean the ‘celebration of the everyday,’ as an antidote to a future that will be overloaded with tech that no longer be seen as luxury.

Designer, Newman, describes it perfectly, calling it: “jewellery in the sky – like a cloud’s earring.” To us it looks like an evolution of a hot air balloon, only refined.

Here’s another interesting fact:

Its architecture would include unified cladding so the vehicle could dock onto the side of buildings.

UrbanSwarm by Maxime Gauthier concept mockup UrbanSwarm by Maxime Gauthier © Credit to Lexus

Lexus UrbanSwarm, by Maxime Gauthier

Vehicles that link to other vehicles. Yeah, the name ‘UrbanSwarm’ certainly fits with Maxime Gauthier’s very fluid design.

This modular and seamless way to travel would provide the flexibility and convenience of micro-mobility with the efficiency of mass transportation systems through its tessellation feature.

A feature that allows it to connect with other ‘pods’ to create, you guessed it, a swarm.

Lexus NEKO by Jan Niehues Lexus NEKO by Jan Niehues © Credit to Lexus

Lexus NEKO, by Jan Niehues

Inspired by Japanese culture and nature, the Lexus NEKO from Jan Niehues, is part insect, part transporter. It’s a BEV with sensor cameras and an intelligent recording device.

It can operate in two modes: one for conventional driving as an independent vehicle. The other a sharing mode where the occupants can view scenery recorded on previous journeys for an Instagram experience on a grand scale.

It uses 4D technology for ‘optimised ergonomics’ and Lexus branding opportunities.

Lexus #Units concept mockup Lexus #Units by Zhenyu Kong © Credit to Lexus

Lexus #Units, by Zhenyu Kong

Last, but by no means least, we have the Lexus #Units concept from Zhenyu Kong, a concept tied to ALTO for our unofficial ‘this vehicle looks like it’s from outer space’ award.

It’s described as a luxury sharing space, as on arrival at a destination the vehicle can link virtually to other vehicles where it can be used as a projector device (i.e. to join concerts or parties virtually).

The vehicle’s unique design takes its inspiration from the shape of coastal barriers. The interior can also be personalised using blockchain technology, so NFT artworks can be brought on a journey.

We told you these vehicles would change everything. Give us your favourite entry down in the comments below (we like the Lexus #Units).

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