Electric Lexus UX 300e revealed
The new Lexus UX 300e – the Japanese carmaker’s first battery-electric vehicle – has been revealed at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in China.
Featuring a 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery, the Lexus has a claimed driving range of 250 miles, however this is derived from the now-discontinued NEDC efficiency test: the more realistic WLTP test will be performed at a later date, and will almost certainly deliver a range closer to 200 miles.
The electric UX is powered by a single 201bhp electric motor, providing front-wheel drive and 300Nm of torque, making it more potent than the hybrid model. Performance figures have not yet been disclosed, however. Charging times have also been kept under wraps for now, although Lexus has confirmed that the UX 300e will accept a maximum of 50kW via a DC fast-charger: this should result in a 0-80% top-up in around 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, AC charging – the type provided by home wallbox units – is capped at 6.6kW, which is likely to result in a full charge in just over eight hours. Lexus says the UX 300e will offer customers ‘one of the quietest cabins in it class’, with extra insulation limiting the amount of wind and road noise inside. The company has gone a step further, with an ‘Active Sound Control’ system that emits ‘natural, ambient sounds to communicate driving conditions’.
While the design of the UX remains largely unchanged from the existing car, the 300e adopts a new, aerodynamic wheel design for improved efficiency and better range. An underbody cover streamlining the underside of the car also has the same effect.
Inside, a fully digital display lies behind the steering wheel, while an infotainment touchscreen sits on top of the dashboard alongside an analogue clock. Lexus promises the ‘latest connectivity technology’ for integrating smartphones, with pictures suggesting that the UX 300e will be compatible with Apple CarPlay; something that can’t be said of the hybrid 250h variant.
Meanwhile, drivers will be able to use the LexusLink app to monitor and schedule charging sessions remotely, as well as pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin ahead of a journey. A suite of driver-assistance systems are thrown in, too, with Lexus’ Safety System+ helping to prevent accidents and ‘reduce driver stress’.
Based on the GA-C version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, the UX 300e’s battery comes with a temperature-management system in order to maximise its performance and lifespan. The car has a sibling in the form of the Toyota C-HR EV, although this is confined to the Chinese market.
China is where the Lexus UX 300e will launch in 2020 and the compact SUV is due to arrive in the UK in 2021. When it arrives, it'll compete with the likes of the Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric, MG ZS EV and several other small electric SUVs.