2021 Lexus UX 300e electric SUV: details, specs and pictures
The new Lexus UX 300e electric SUV is targeting a 186-mile driving range on a full charge, thanks to its 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery and single electric motor.
It's also set to get a 10-year/1,000,000-kilometre (621,371-mile) battery warranty – one of the longest in the industry – as Lexus seeks to reassure buyers who may be worried about the longevity of batteries. Lexus will repair or replace the battery within that time/distance limit if it can no longer hold at least 70% of its original maximum charge.
Lexus also claims that despite this being the maker’s first battery-electric vehicle, it'll provide greater "Lexus-ness" than ever before. Takashi Watanabe, chief engineer for the brand's electric range, has said: "The UX 300e is a model that'll open the door for the Lexus Electrified approach, serving as a gateway into the electrified world."
Watanabe added that the UX 300e would prioritise a "natural and linear acceleration feel" rather than the instantaneous punch often associated with electric cars. The UX 300e is expected to accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and will have a top speed of 99mph.
Lexus is also working on making the UX 300e as quiet as possible by using special sound technology, as well as a new climate-control system that uses the seat heaters for reduced energy consumption.
The UX 300e was originally revealed at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in China in November 2019. It's driven by an electric motor developing 201bhp and 300Nm of torque, making it more potent than the UX 250h hybrid model. There's no four-wheel drive version of the electric model for the time being.
Lexus has confirmed that the UX 300e will accept a maximum of 50kW via a DC fast-charger, however. This should result in a 0-80% top-up in around 50 minutes. Meanwhile, AC charging – the type provided by home wallboxes – is capped at 6.6kW, which is likely to result in a full charge in just over eight hours.
While the exterior 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. Android Auto should also feature – just as it does in the updated Lexus LC 500h.
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. Until now, Lexus’ electrified line-up consists solely of hybrid vehicles, including the CT hatchback, ES saloon, RX SUV and several other models.