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Wheels of the Week: New Lexus EV promises 450km range

The evolution of the brand’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV) is based on the “Lexus Electrified” vision.

Lexus has unveiled the new UX 300e, a significant evolution of the brand’s first production battery elecvtric vehicle (BEV). Globally, the updated UX 300e will join the new UX 200/250h announced earlier this year, with deliveries scheduled to begin in later in 2023. Lexus South Africa plans to introduce a big spec change before the end of the year.

Since the 2005 launch of the RX 400h, the world’s first hybrid SUV, Lexus has positioned itself as a pioneer of electrification in the luxury market. Based on the electrification vision “Lexus Electrified” announced in 2019, Lexus says it aims to meet the diverse needs of global customers through a broad range of electrified vehicles, from Hybrids (HEVs) to Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).

In 2020, Lexus launched the UX 300e as the brand’s first production BEV model. In 2022, this was followed by the introduction of the Lexus RZ, a dedicated BEV model. As of the end of August 2022, cumulative sales of Lexus electrified vehicles stand at approximately 2.3 million units globally.

The enhancements announced for the UX 300e include a newly developed battery pack with capacity increased from 54.4 kWh to 72.8 kWh, resulting in a cruising range of 450 km — over 40% longer than the current model.

The low centre of gravity created by the under-floor placement of the BEV battery pack gives the UX 300e a performance advantage, as do standard rear Performance Dampers. Body rigidity was strengthened with the addition of 20 spot welding points, and the Electric Power Steering (EPS) and shock absorbers were tuned for the all-electric model.

The “Lexus Safety System +” technology was expanded with the aim of providing a safer and more secure driving experience. The latest multimedia system brings a larger, higher resolution touch panel display, the form and switch layout of the instrument panel and console area have been optimised, and two new Type-C USB connectors have been added to the front of the console for improved usability when charging devices.

“As Lexus’ first BEV model and a core part of the UX family”, says Lexus international chief engineer Mitsuteru Emoto.,”The UX 300e embraces the continual performance development and evolution of advanced technology applied to the UX 200/250h announced earlier this year, while enhancing the attributes unique to an all-electric vehicle.”

UX 300e main features, as supplied by Lexus:

The UX 300e takes full advantage of the electric powertrain configuration. As a unique BEV characteristic, it does not carry front-heavy objects such as an engine, allowing heavier components to be placed towards the centre of the vehicle for optimum front/rear weight distribution and moment of inertia. The low centre of gravity provided by the underfloor battery pack and the rear Performance Dampers complement these attributes to refine the dynamics and enhance the sense of connection between the car and driver. The underfloor battery also acts as a sound barrier, and extra attention was focused on wind noise and road noise from gravel and other materials that became apparent in the absence of engine and transmission sounds. The result is a comfortable, quiet interior space.

UX 300e Specifications (Based on European specifications, prototype)

Cruising Range450 km
Energy Consumption166.7 Wh/km
Battery Capacity72.8 kWh
Fast Charging StandardCHAdeMO
Maximum Output (kW)150
Maximum Torque (Nm)300

Active Safety Functions & Equipment Enhancements Including the latest multimedia system

In order to achieve the ultimate goal of a mobile society where fatalities from traffic accidents are reduced to zero, the new UX has expanded functionality of the Lexus Safety System + active safety technology. The aim is to prevent accidents, further reduce traffic injuries and fatalities, and to lighten the burden on drivers. Furthermore, the “Hello Lexus” feature as well as an advanced digital key feature enhances customer usability, enabling door to lock/unlock and EV System Start via smartphone. A panoramic view monitor with transparent ground surface image display has also been added to show the road surface conditions and tyre position beneath the vehicle.

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