Lexus introduced its first battery electric vehicle (BEV), the UX 300e, at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, which is being held in Guangzhou, China, from November 22 to December 1, 2019.
Since introducing the RX 400h in 2005, Lexus has been a pioneer in vehicle electrification technology, playing a leading role in offering products that possess both performance and environmental friendliness. At the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus unveiled its global electrification strategy, called “Lexus Electrified”, which targets a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment.
In particular, the technology of Lexus Electrified enables integrated control of powertrain, steering, suspension, and brakes, realising the ultimate potential of the motor control technology cultivated in HV. With this technology, Lexus can control the driving force to provide ideal vehicle posture according to each driving situation. Lexus endeavours to continue providing enjoyable and safer driving vehicles.
As the first production model under the Lexus Electrified banner, the all-electric UX 300e was developed for excellent on-road performance. Lexus engineers kept the distinctive design and the utility characteristics of the UX crossover intact, and focused on the opportunities to build on the performance advantages unique to EVs.
The UX 300e’s high-output motor provides a natural-yet-brisk acceleration character, and the high-capacity batteries located directly underneath the floor of the cabin deliver a low center of gravity and 400 km-driving range. Combined with the newest connectivity technology, the UX 300e maximises the advantages of EVs while realising driving performance and convenience in a single package. (‘yet’ philosophy)
Lexus has always focused on providing exhilarating performance, and the case is no different with development of a BEV. Starting from the refined Lexus driving signature of the UX, Lexus engineers were able to leverage the new electric drivetrain to even further enhance the vehicle’s on-road performance. At the same time, UX 300e has one of the quietest cabins in its class, as befits the sound management heritage of the Lexus DNA.
UX 300e’s Drive Mode Select function lets customers manage smooth acceleration and deceleration according to their situation. Drivers can feel the powerful acceleration and instant torque of the EV powertrain as they push the pedal, and use the paddle shift in a similar manner as engine braking, through four levels of deceleration regeneration―all while enjoying a natural on-road feel.
The UX 300e provides excellent dynamic performance thanks to the low centre of gravity resulting from motor and battery placement underneath the vehicle body, combined with optimised of front/rear weight distribution and moment of inertia. The high-performance level of the GA-C platform is enhanced with additional braces and optimization of the shock absorbers’ damping force to match the dynamic changes of electrification.
While EVs are naturally quiet, UX 300e adds insulation beyond just the battery and suppresses outside noises such as wind or pebbles which would be otherwise noticeable in the absence of an engine and transmission. Lexus focus on sound management lets drivers enjoy comfortable tranquility in the cabin. Engineers also focused on sound while driving to provide a natural feeling. Active Sound Control (ASC) transmits natural ambient sounds to allow for understanding of driving conditions, and provides a natural feeling for the cabin’s occupants.
In developing the UX 300e, Lexus utilised the knowledge acquired developing the brand’s industry-leading hybrid systems, and applied the same level of quality and comfortable operation to its first production EV as it always has with other vehicles. The Lexus engineering team delivered outstanding battery reliability, and also adopt the latest connectivity technology to maximise everyday usability and the functionality with smartphones.
The efficiency of the motor, inverter, gears and high-capacity battery were all maximised, utilising the knowledge acquired developing hybrid vehicles. By improving the performance of the entire system, the UX 300e’s driving range is an anxiety-free 400 km. The batteries are equipped with a temperature management system that operates at low and high ambient temperatures. Reliability is also increased with the use of multiple monitoring systems that regulate charging and prevent conditions like overcharging.
UX 300e offers the latest in connected car technology. By linking to a smartphone using a dedicated app, drivers can check the battery state of charge and driving range. Charging controls are also included such as timer function to inform the owner when the vehicle will be fully charged or to schedule the charging according to when the vehicle is expected to be driven next. The app also allows the owner to remotely control various convenience functions such as the A/C, seat heaters, and window defrosters.
Distinctive styling and high functionality from the Lexus UX compact crossover were passed on to the UX 300e, providing an excellent overall package. In addition to the bold and sophisticated exterior reminiscent of tough and agile driving, Lexus developed special aerodynamic wheels and underbody cover for the UX 300e.
Location of the shift-by-wire system on the centre console contributes to the simplicity and functionality of the interior design. Lexus prioritises the development of the most advanced safety technologies and quickly delivering them to drivers. UX 300e adopts Lexus Safety System+, as Lexus continues to pursue the prevention of accidents and fatalities, as well as decreasing driver stress and developing driver assist systems to provide a more natural and safe driving experience.
The UX 300e is scheduled to go on sale in the Chinese and European markets in 2020, and in Japan early in 2021.