29 / 6 / 2020

HEAD-TURNING CROSSOVER DESIGN USHERS IN ALL-ELECTRIC ERA AT LEXUS

  • First all-electric Lexus embodies all the bold design and striking visual appeal of the brand’s best-selling urban crossover
  • Featuring a host of bespoke exterior and interior aerodynamic design enhancements
  • Intelligent packaging helps retain passenger and luggage space of UX

In conceiving the first all-electric Lexus, the designers and engineers faced a twofold challenge - alongside state-of-the-art electric functionality, it should be visually appealing, embodying the striking design language that is an acknowledged hallmark of the Lexus brand.

“We never saw our first all-electric model as an exclusive flagship which would the preserve of the very affluent buyer,” commented Pascal Ruch, Head of Lexus Europe. “It had to be grounded in a model which had proven appeal in the marketplace yet was fresh and contemporary at the same time. Given the strong connection it had developed with the young urban customer, the UX was this model”.

Lexus retained the distinctive design and utility characteristics of the UX intact and focused on the opportunity to build on the performance advantages unique to BEVs. Clever design and positioning of the battery in particular resulted in a BEV that is closely aligned with a crossover which has attracted 25,000 buyers in its first year on sale, making it the best-selling Lexus in Europe.

Sharing all the muscular presence, sculpted character lines and athletic coupé-like roofline of the UX, closer inspection of the UX 300e reveals exclusive wheels, a distinctive ‘Electric’ side emblem, with discreet DC and AC charging inlet covers on the left and right rear quarters respectively.

BESPOKE WHEEL DESIGN

Created especially for the UX300e, 17” or 18“ wheels finished in medium grey are available, the former are ’aero ventilating’ with flaps on each side of the spokes, similar in shape to the ‘Gurney flap’ installed on the rear wing of F1 race cars to regulate the airflow and increase downforce.

This innovative new wheel design provides stable braking performance, increasing cooling efficiency and reducing turbulence along the sides of the car.

ENHANCED AERODYNAMICS

The UX 300e features aerodynamic shutters in the lower front grille, which, depending on the battery state, open and close automatically. When the airflow generated through driving exceeds what is required for cooling, the shutters are closed to optimise the airflow entering through the grille.

The aerodynamic wheel mouldings and rear combination light are carried over from the UX, the latter reducing air pressure changes by ca. 16 per cent and contributing to excellent rear stability during cornering as well as in side winds.

Unique to the UX 300e, the car’s underfloor covers have been enlarged and the bottom surface of the battery has been made flat and smooth, creating an aerodynamic underbody structure.

INTERIOR DESIGN

The "driver-oriented" cockpit offers a class-leading field of vision and feeling of space, while at the same time using central ornamentation to achieve a smooth connection between the driver and passenger areas. With all the controls falling naturally to hand, there’s even a clever centre console with a palm rest that has the audio controls built in. The driving instruments have been specially designed with a digital speedometer creating a sporty look, a driving range indicator and a four-level deceleration indicator., A finely crafted drive selector replaces the conventional gearshift.

The UX 300e rear seats are specially angled to seamlessly accommodate both passengers and the battery beneath.

INTELLIGENT BATTERY PACKAGING

With the compact lithium-ion battery installed below the rear seats and under the cabin floor, rear space is hardly compromised at all compared to other UX crossover models (16.4 mm less rear headroom), whilst the boot space is actually increased by 47 litres (deck to luggage cover) to 367 litres (loaded to luggage cover) compared to the UX 250h hybrid. A hands-free power rear tailgate makes loading the UX 300e more convenient.

The Lexus UX 300e will be introduced to selected markets in Europe by the end of the year.