2018 Geneva Motor Show: Lexus UX

2018 Lexus UX

The subcompact luxury crossover segment receives its newest member with the launch of the 2018 Lexus UX at the this year's Geneva International Motor Show. Designed to look like an SUV but drive like a hatchback, the UX is clearly a refreshing entry in its segment, which has been dominated by the more crossover-minded BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

2018 Lexus UX ©pressroom.lexus.com

The Lexus UX emerges as a watered-down version of the concept car it was based on--the one that appeared at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Despite the more conservative approach, the road-going model still manages to retain the sleekness that Toyota’s luxury brand is known for. Signature features, such as the hour-glass shaped grille, dipping roofline, wide taillights, and sweptback headlamps are on full display here. The production-ready UX does retain the full-width taillights of the concept, with 120 individual LEDs between them.

The UX is the first Lexus model to come with the brand's newly-developed 2.0-liter gasoline engine, which is paired with a fourth-generation hybrid system. The 168-hp in-line four-cylinder motor is mated to the brand's first ‘Direct Shift-CVT’ and uses a "high-speed combustion to achieve enhanced thermal efficiency.” Hybrid trims of the UX will come in front-wheel and all-wheel drive variants.

2018 Lexus UX ©pressroom.lexus.com

The 2018 Lexus UX cabin is more sophisticated than any of the automaker’s latest offerings. Futuristic additions pepper the interior, such as the ultra-modern looking dashboard, Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA)-themed digital dials, widescreen infotainment system, switchgear, and wireless LED ambient lighting. In terms of luxury, there’s the complete leather upholstery that takes inspiration from sashiko, a unique quilting technique that originated from Japan.

"We realized that a typical crossover would not be that interesting,” said Chika Kako, chief engineer of the UX. “We wanted to offer sporty driving to the customer, and that is why we benchmarked not only crossovers but also hatchbacks. The performance target that we set was for a hatchback."

Lexus plans to launch an F-Sport version of the UX, which will showcase a slightly more aggressive design along with interior additions and some hardware and software upgrades including Adaptive Variable Suspension, Lexus Safety System+ (with rader detection and collision warning system), and Lexus Co Drive (with Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, Auto High Beam, and Adaptive Cruise Control).

The 2018 Lexus UX goes on sale in major international markets beginning the second half of the year.

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