By on January 4, 2022


Well, at least on the rear of their vehicles. According to a recent interview with another industry outlet that rhymes with Rotor Blend, the Lexus brand will begin appending chrome-plated L E X U S billboards to the rumps of their vehicles instead of the famed round stylized ‘L’ logo, a badge which will continue to appear on steering wheels and enormous grilles.

Brian Bolain, a senior exec within the Lexus marketing department who MT hilariously and erroneously referred to as Brain Bolian, said in a far-reaching year-end interview that the move is as much about the forthcoming shift to electrification as it is brand identity.

“We need some way to signify that change is coming,” he explained to the mag, noting it may seem like a “dumb way” to accomplish the goal but that it will catch the eye of consumers. Or perhaps someone at Lexus has a cousin who just started a letter factory, who knows.

The chance will first crop up on the newest iteration of the junior-ute NX, while the mighty 2022 LX will be the second model to receive this change. The trim change will slowly creep across the rest of its line like so much kudzu, not necessarily waiting for any particular midcycle refresh.

Badges like these have gained a lot of popularity over recent years, typically showing up on off-road-focused variants of certain rigs (such as the F-150 Raptor or Toyota’s own TRD Pro series of dune busters) but plenty of others have recently jumped on the bandwagon. Hyundai notably spells out not the make but the model of its cars on their trunklids, such as the Elantra and Sonata. Old-timers Experienced gearheads will remember certain generations of the Nissan Maxima, back when it really was a 4-door sports car, did all this three decades ago.

Elsewhere, the infotainment systems at Lexus are in the throes of a revamp, and none too soon in the opinion of many. The corporate overlords have been plowing millions of bucks into a wholesale overhaul of Toyota’s (and, by extension, Lexus’) infotainment systems, some of which have been much maligned for their decided lack of user-friendly input methods. The sometime-infuriating Lexus joystick control is apparently vanishing in some models very soon, again not waiting for a midcycle refresh. Also reported to be on tap are faster processing speeds (sorely needed) and the ability to seamlessly receive certain over-the-air updates.

A full slate of Lexus EVs isn’t likely to drop soon, but we can look forward to some of these changes in the meantime.

[Image: Lexus]

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31 Comments on “Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges: Lexus to Drop Logo, Add Billboards...”

  • avatar

    Volvo started doing this later into the P1/3s, it never quite looked right to me (esp on the smaller P1s and P3 S60). Looks very tacky and low brow on the pickups, especially when the letters are gigantic on the tailgate – but I guess its pay more money you ever thought possible to look uncouth these days. Not sure how this is going to look on Lex trunk decks, I suppose time will tell.

  • avatar

    Lexus needs to do more than redesign it’s logo after the abysmal December to Remember.

  • avatar

    Sounds like Lexus is taking a more conservative approach to establishing their Make as a brand, rather than consumers identifying a particular model. You may remember Acura dropped the Legend brand 20 years ago out of concern that more people identified with Legend than identified with Acura. Two decades of brand anonymity followed for Acura as a result. Lexus seems to be going at this more rationally, taking measures to increase the brand awareness. Hope it works out for them.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      20 or so years later, Acura is bringing back the Integra name. About time. I think the ship has sailed for the Legend. No one is buying the big sedans anymore.

  • avatar

    Nothing says “3rd owner” like a missing letter on the trunk.

  • avatar

    Can’t be any worse than the ridiculous oversized logos that have become popular. How that came to be should be a case study of how something so stupid/ugly could take over like that.

  • avatar

    You’ll also note it’s -cheaper- to do block lettering. The trunk on my GS is actually shaped around the logo, surely a smooth stamping with stuck on letters would’ve been cheaper.

    • 0 avatar

      I love how the logo is embedded into the trunk like that on the GS. It’s very tasteful. Great car

      I think the billboard style lettering looks tacky & will make these cars look like every other. Lots of manufacturers are doing the lightbar across the back too.

    • 0 avatar

      @Corey, your insider ‘knowledge’ of stamping cost is… amusing.

      • 0 avatar

        You comment enlightened and informed us all about stamping, thank you.

        • 0 avatar

          Automotive stamping is fairly specialized, and there aren’t too many people who are experts in vehicle costing. At the overlap of ‘stamping’ and ‘costing’ there are very few people who know what’s up. Most of them are old and all of them are grumpy.

          I am not one of those people, but I used to work with some of them. To get useful information out of them requires the right attitude. So let’s set the stamping aside for now.

          We also need to purchase the emblem or the letters from a supplier, and then pay our assembly technicians to install them. They better be aligned well on the vehicle, because this is a Lexus. [Recall that Lexus is where whiny disenchanted former VW owners go after we offended them by leaving tiny scratches on the interior trim while replacing the headliner for the Nth time.]

          Which is cheaper – one emblem or five letters? Which requires more care [and/or fixturing] during assembly?

          (I know you know, because your original tone was so authoritative.) [Bonus: Your passive-aggressive follow-up tone is more VW Dealer and less Lexus Dealer.]

  • avatar

    No one is going to miss the Lexus logo, it’s not as nice as Jaguar’s, Mercedes, Audi’s, BMW’s, Alfa’s in fact it may be the most dull logo ever invented

  • avatar

    Hello, Mini Countryman!

  • avatar

    Me, I don’t like the new font.

  • avatar

    This just makes it easier for you to buy letters at Pep Boys for your Camry conversion.

    My wife’s Infiniti has the same style spaced out letters and all they do is create more places for wax to get stuck.

  • avatar

    Sounds good to me. I like to de-badge anyway, and not having a logo often means no unique surface that looks strange when the logo is removed. Plus I like to confuse people about what I am driving!

    I certainly don’t miss badges that needed holes and speed nuts to keep them on.

  • avatar

    The big letters can’t be any worse than the front grille on their entire lineup.

  • avatar

    Didn’t we just about get to the point where nobody was putting their actual name on a car other than the likes of BMW, Ford or Nissan, where the logo actually contains the name?

    I’ll think this is a good idea when I see an S-Class with MERCEDES BENZ spelled out across the trunk lid. No, even then I won’t think it’s a good idea. Like pants with JUICY across the butt.

  • avatar

    The Lexus logo reminds me of a big nose inside an oval.

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