Lexus Premieres First All-Electric Vehicle, the UX 300e
Lexus gets in on the electric vehicle (EV) action with the launch of its first all-electric model, the UX 300e.
Keeping the unique design and characteristics of the UX crossover intact, the battery-powered crossover will go on sale next year, reaching Chinese and European markets first, then expanding to Japan in early 2021. The car isn’t expected to make it to North America.
Based on the gasoline-fueled UX small crossover, the UX 300e has a front electric motor—a 4KM type—that develops 201 horsepower and 300 Nm. This motor is powered by a 54.3-kWh lithium ion battery pack that provides approximately 400 kilometers of range. Standard AC (alternate current) charging maxes out at 6.6 kW, but a fast-charging capability of 50 kW is made possible with a DC (direct current) connection.
Aside from being the first Lexus electric car, the front-wheel-drive UX 300e will also be the first to feature the newly developed Lexus Electrified technology, which enables seamless integrated control of powertrain, steering, suspension and brakes, allowing the driver to ‘control the driving force’ and achieve the finesse needed for optimal driving experience in every situation. Here are some of the UX 300e’s nifty features that help achieve this end:
- A Drive Mode Select function gives drivers the power to control the amount of acceleration and deceleration depending on driving conditions.
- A low center of gravity is achieved by placing the motor and battery underneath the vehicle body. Combined with optimized front/rear weight distribution, the UX 300e is able to achieve excellent cornering and enhanced handling at speed.
- The Lexus UX 300e employs the Toyota’s GA-C platform for mid-sized cars to ensure the structure has the dynamics necessary to meet the demands of electrification.
- Sound insulation is added to keep outside noises at bay, as these tend to be amplified because of the absence of an internal combustion engine (ICE).
- An Active Sound Control feature “transmits natural ambient sounds to allow for a greater understanding of driving conditions, and provides a natural feeling for the cabin's occupants.”
The UX 300e distinguishes itself from other UX models with an aerodynamically-optimized undercarriage and wheels, plus a relocated shift-by-wire system on the center console.
Regarding the car’s onboard safety features, the car’s press release has this to say:
“Lexus prioritizes 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.”
Besides this statement, the actual suite of safety features have not been listed in the press release, but Lexus resources say that it contains pedestrian alert and active cruise control, among others.
Lexus unveiled its first electric vehicle at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China, which runs from November 22 to December 1.
It’s worth noting that the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show is organized on the same dates.