Lexus has unveiled its first fully electric vehicle and surprisingly, it’s a crossover. The Lexus UX 300e is seeing its public debut in China, at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition.
Starting with the GA-C platform found in the regular UX, Lexus engineers installed a 54.3-kilowatt-hour battery in the floor. It should deliver a range approaching 200 miles, with moderate driving, and can be fully charged in about 50 minutes using a fast-charger. Maximum charging is at 50 kilowatts, hence the relatively long fast-charge time.
Drive comes from a single electric motor at the front axle, which can deliver a maximum 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, and paddle shifters allow the driver to adjust the severity of the regenerative brakes. Acceleration figures weren’t mentioned.
Lexus has also implemented what it calls an “Active Sound Control” system that “transmits natural ambient sounds to allow for a understanding of driving conditions, and provides a natural feeling for the cabin’s occupants.”
By linking to a smartphone using the LexusLink app, drivers can check the battery state of charge and driving range. Charging controls are also included such as a timer function to inform the owner when the UX 300e is fully charged or schedule the charging. Climate control can also be operated remotely using the app.
There are a few exterior changes for the UX300e compared to other UX models, including special wheels and an aerodynamically optimized underbody. The interior features a different shifter design that uses a shift-by-wire system.
Lexus says that the car offers four levels of brake regeneration that are controlled by paddle shifters. As is typical among EVs, the company is claiming that the underfloor battery pack lowers the UX’s center of gravity, improving handling. The UX 300e also comes with the ability to control many of its functions through an app, including air conditioning and seat heaters; the app can also monitor battery levels and charge rates.
Lexus says the UX 300e will go on sale in China and Europe next year, with a Japan introduction in 2021.