Sometimes an event comes up that really pique’s interest. And this, dear readers, was definitely one of those.

A swag of lifestyle and media folk were invited to test drive a car – the new Lexus UX; spend a night at an inner-city Sydney hotel; dine at restaurant with the same excellence philosophy as the car brand and then continue the next day, experiencing two other businesses who also show that same kind of innovation in the work the car manufacturer does. Of course, I had to experience it!

First up, we learnt that in Lexus UX (which has a self-charging hybrid system) the ‘U’ stands for Urban and the ‘X’ for Crossover.

The city-based experience we had highlighted the UX target market of modern urban explorers (why, thank you!) as well as couples, young families and empty-nesters.

To be honest the SUV doesn’t feel like a ginormous 4WD, but a car for peeps seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving.

The car crew told us that the UX is a new ‘gateway’ model to the Lexus brand and for many buyers, it would not only be their first Lexus, it would also be their first luxury vehicle.

Ok, so let me tell you how the adventure started.

Firstly, we were picked up late afternoon and  delivered to the Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale; quickly threw our bags in our very urban and urbane rooms and zipped up to the hotel pool for pre-dinner drinks.

Then it was off to our first experience, which was all about craftsmanship.

We ventured to see the skilled craftsmanship in preparing Japanese cuisine, presented by Neil Perry, AM. The Bonsai Room at Saké Restaurant in Sydney. Like the dinner we had, The Lexus UX displays remarkable materials and workmanship in the car, combining Japanese traditions in craftsmanship and hospitality with innovative production techniques. In the culinary world, no-one better represents this level of traditional craftsmanship than Lexus ambassador Neil Perry.

He is a skilled artisan who brings the dynamic and innovative Japanese culture to life, using the finest ingredients.

Our next stop was an experience of Innovative sustainability.

We ventured to Pablo & Rusty’s – a company run by people who share the Lexus passion for sustainability having created the Huskee Cup, from CEO and founder Saxon Wright.

Like Lexus hybrid technology, the coffee team is aiming to provides dramatic sustainability, hence the reason why Lexus chose to focus on the innovation at the North Ryde coffee purveyor, which  focuses on innovation and technology to produce the best possible future for everyone involved with their business – from the coffee growers to the end customers.

They are relentlessly committed to making the world a better place. The company invests in tree planting and rebuilding biodiversity hotspots; the factory is run on solar power. They have even made a Huskee Cup from raw waste in the form of coffee husks from the processing of coffee.

Our final stop was all about design as we experienced design with the brave works of celebrated Australian, Akira Isogawa.

Like Akira, everything in the UX design can be traced back to a brave idea. Lexus provokes, with courage and confidence – like Akira – exploring new concepts, new outcomes and new forms of expression.

Examples in the UX include its original exterior design with the muscular appearance of a 4×4, yet the roofline of a hatchback, “sashiko” quilting of the seats (hand stitched) and the dashboard trim inspired by the grain of “washi” paper, familiar from the paper sliding doors of traditional Japanese houses.

Our new car adventure – across 24 hours – was great fun and also showcased what was a great, smooth and very elegant ride.

By Melissa Hoyer

Melissa was a media guest at the Lexus UX event