The first-ever Lexus EV is here with a 250-mile range and 201 horsepower.
While most automakers are embracing the electric era, Toyota is late to the EV party and has instead been focusing on hybrids. That changes today with the reveal of the Lexus UX 300e, the luxury division's first-ever fully electric car. Debuting at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China, the Lexus UX 300e retains the styling of the regular UX including the large grille, but the combustion engine has been replaced with an electric motor producing 201 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque.
Mounted under the floor is a high-capacity 54.3-kWh battery delivering a low center of gravity and a 248-mile range based on Europe's NEDC cycle. To manage the extra weight, Toyota's GA-C platform has been enhanced with additional braces and revised dampers.
Lexus used its experience gained from hybrid models such as the UX Hybrid to develop the EV powertrain, which features a temperature management system that operates at low and high ambient temperatures. Using a 50-kW fast charger, the battery takes around 50 minutes to fully recharge, or around seven hours from a standard 6.6-kW household socket. Several drive modes are available that take advantage of the electric powertrain, and paddle shifters are used to control the four regenerative braking modes.
Inside, Lexus claims the UX 300e has one of the quietest cabins in its class. While EVs are naturally quiet, Lexus has added additional sound insulation that blocks outside noises such as wind or pebbles that would be otherwise noticeable with no engine and transmission.
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.
The Lexus UX 300e will go on sale in China and Europe in 2020 and Japan in early 2021, but Lexus hasn't said if it plans to sell it in America.