Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus has been wheeling out some rather imposing designs, particularly with its front-end treatment courtesy of its spindle grille, and intentionally so, according to a CarAdvice report. The company is doing just fine with the resulting polarised opinions, said the president of the Japanese automaker’s Calty Design Research studios Kevin Hunter.

“The front end has been polarising, there’s no doubt. We hear people who love it, and people who don’t,” he said. “We’re OK with that, polarisation is OK for us. We went down the path a long time ago where we were trying to satisfy everyone, did a lot of conservative design, and it didn’t get people excited. They were good products but lacking emotional impact,” Hunter said.

Moving away from the old design direction, Lexus’s spindle grille is a key element in the marque’s current design language and it is here to stay, says Hunter. “(The) spindle is our brand identity, it’s our aim to make it attractive of course, and the LF-1 is the next step in its evolution. We call it ‘architectural spindle’,” he said.

By Hunter’s own admission, there are some less-than well-resolved applications of the spindle grille, chiefly when applied to mid-lifecycle updates of models from the more conservative era of design. “I like to think if we can integrate the spindle beautifully into the overall design, to get away from the feeling of the grille being just applied, but instead be part of the entire construction of the overall body,” Hunter said.

The LC 500 in particular, has impressed us at paultan.org not just for its objective prowess, but for its show-car good looks inside and out, too, to the tune of repeat nominations for our collective 2017 Top Five lists.

GALLERY: Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept

GALLERY: Lexus LC 500