With the all-electric UX 300e, Lexus takes its ’Lexus Electrification‘ vision to the next level. However, first and foremost, this is a Lexus, and nothing has been overlooked. The first Lexus BEV offers exceptional craftsmanship, build quality, comfort and quietness. From studying BEV noise patterns, specific actions like bespoke BEV tyres and wheel-arch liners that reduce noise caused by stones, grit or water spraying up from the road, were taken to reduce in-cabin noise significantly. Leaving no stone unturned, even the car’s drive-by-wire selector has been shaped by hand.
Also high on Chief Engineer Takashi Watanabe’s ‘must have’ list was ‘fun’, which has resulted in a BEV driving experience that is dynamic yet extremely refined. This is due mainly to the car’s low centre of gravity, a characteristic of the UX platform (GA-C), helped in this case by locating the battery beneath the vehicle body and the electric motor low in the engine bay. The UX 300e also boasts bespoke suspension and steering, with elements of the Lexus advanced posture control, which was showcased on the new LF-30 Electrified concept.
The UX 300e also benefits from 15 years of Lexus leadership in electrification. With over 1,8 million Lexus electrified hybrids around the globe today, of which 450.000 are in Europe, the UX 300e engineering team was able to leverage unequalled know-how in battery design, manufacturing and battery management systems.
Finally, the new UX 300e welcomes owners to Lexus’ unique ownership experience that is unmatched by other premium BEVs. This means, for example, helping UX 300e customers with multiple charging solutions – at home with a Lexus charging station and on the move using a full-service solution called ‘Lexus Charging Network’ that was developed together with Digital Charging Solutions GmbH, a leader in the field of seamless and convenient digital charging solutions. When fully rolled out, this service will allow access to Europe’s largest network of around 160.000 public charging stations. This is accessible using the Lexus Link connectivity app that was created to complement the luxury brand’s famed ‘Omotenashi’ customer-centric service philosophy.
A LEXUS ‘BEST-SELLER’ GOES ELECTRIC
The UX 300e is the newest member of the UX compact crossover family that Lexus launched early in 2019. Since then, the UX has quickly become the best-selling Lexus in Europe. More than 30.000 have been sold so far, claiming a record 4,3 per cent segment share for Lexus. As the first production model under the ’Lexus Electrified’ banner, the all-electric UX 300e was developed for exciting urban performance. Lexus engineers kept the distinctive design and utility characteristics of the UX crossover intact and focused on the opportunity to build on the performance advantages unique to BEVs.
Optimised for urban driving, the UX 300e’s all-new BEV drivetrain features a high-output 150 kW (204 DIN hp) electric motor/generator that lends the car a natural-yet-brisk acceleration character. It is powered by a newly developed high-capacity 54 kilowatt-hour battery located directly underneath the floor of the cabin which delivers 400 km of range in the NEDC cycle, corresponding to 305-315 km of range in the WLTP cycle depending on options, such as wheel size etc.
Like the rest of the UX family, the UX 300e adopts Lexus’ new Global Architecture – Compact (GA-C) platform. This lightweight yet super-rigid structure (made even stronger by the underfloor battery and cross members which support it), combined with the car’s low centre of gravity (due to the battery and electric motor position) and refined suspension tuning, endow the UX 300e with exemplary steering precision, handling agility and ride comfort, along with a distinctive ‘Lexus Electrified’ driving character.
WORLD-CLASS ELECTRIFIED QUALITY
To ensure the first Lexus BEV embodies the same world-class quality that is a hallmark of all Lexus cars, the UX 300e will be built alongside electrified hybrid models at Lexus’ award-winning Kyushu plant, with production overseen by ‘Takumi’ master craftspeople. Here, attention to detail is everywhere, from the beautiful hand-sanded paintwork to the cleanroom assembly of electric components. At the plant, an elite team stitches the leather seats with a design inspired by ‘sashiko’, a traditional Japanese quilting technique which brings both strength and a distinctive style to the upholstery. Before shipping, every UX 300e will be checked for perfection in a ‘Quiet Room’ facility by Takumi craftspeople. Here they use their finely trained ears and fingertips to detect and rectify unwanted noise and vibrations within the cabin.
EUROPE: A KEY MARKET FOR THE FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC LEXUS
The UX 300e has been launched in selected European markets in the second half of 2020, and from 2021 in the rest of Europe. Spearheading the company’s ’Lexus Electrified’ vision, it is expected to make up as much as one third of UX sales by 2022. Following the success of the other UX models, the UX 300e launch is perfectly timed to meet the growing demand for premium quality BEVs. While most urban areas in Europe are relatively well served in terms of charging stations, the UX 300e is expected to have broadest appeal in countries with highly-developed charging infrastructures such as Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, and to entice ’urban explorers’ attracted to the flexibility of a luxury crossover that is agile and fun to drive in the city.
ELECTRIFIED CROSSOVER DESIGN
Like the rest of the UX family, the new UX 300e showcases Lexus design features like the signature grille, sculpted character lines and athletic coupé-like roofline. To the front, distinctive daytime running lights are arranged in an arrowhead motif above the headlights, emphasizing the Lexus L-shaped lighting signature. These appear like brows above the standard single-projector dual-beam LED headlights or the optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units.
Closer inspection of the UX 300e reveals exclusive 17” or 18” wheels, a distinctive ‘Electric’ side emblem, with discreet DC and AC charging inlet covers on the left and right rear quarters respectively.
EXCLUSIVE 17“ OR 18“ WHEELS
Created especially for the first all-electric Lexus, a choice of exclusive 17” or 18“ wheels are offered on the UX 300e, both finished in medium grey. As on the UX, the 17“ wheels are ’aero ventilating’ and feature flaps on each side of the spokes. These are similar in shape to the ‘Gurney flap’ which is installed on the rear wing of Formula 1 race cars to regulate the airflow and create vortices that increase downforce. This innovative new wheel design enables more confident driving by providing stable braking performance, increasing cooling efficiency and reducing turbulence along the sides of the car.
In addition to the UX’s aerodynamic rear combination light, which reduces air pressure changes by about 16 per cent and contributes to excellent rear stability during cornering as well as in side winds, the UX 300e is equipped with aerodynamic shutters in the lower front grille. Depending on the battery state, the shutters are opened and closed automatically to reduce the UX 300e’s coefficient of drag to 0,31. In situations where the airflow generated through driving exceeds what is required for cooling, the shutters are closed to optimise the airflow entering through the grille. Also 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.
BESPOKE DESIGN FEATURES
As first presented on the UX, the new UX 300e features a cabin inspired by an established Japanese architectural concept where the inside and outside are seamlessly connected. This unique approach gives the driver a better sense of the extremities of the car, making it much easier to manoeuvre in tight urban spaces.
As with all UX models, everything of importance is positioned around the driver, 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). For the first all-electric Lexus, 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.
Another central point of interaction for the UX 300e driver is the finely crafted drive selector. Replacing the conventional gearshift, this fits snugly in the driver’s palm and applies Lexus’ very latest ‘shift-by-wire’ technology to create a premium feel for controlling reverse/neutral/drive. Additionally, the operation stroke has been shortened to enable rapid shifting.
To the rear, the exclusive UX 300e rear seats are heated and specially designed to seamlessly accommodate both passengers and the battery beneath.
INTELLIGENT BATTERY PACKAGING
The new UX 300e crossover package is ideal for electrified urban driving. While the 2.640 mm wheelbase contributes to a smooth, stable ride and cabin roominess, the 4.495 mm length and best-in-segment 10,4 m curb-to-curb turning diameter help make this all-electric Lexus easy to manoeuvre and convenient to park. As part of the UX family, the overall visibility in the UX 300e is enhanced by a low bonnet enabled by the new (GA-C) platform and the low-mounted drivetrain.
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 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. Finally, a hands-free power rear tailgate makes loading the UX more convenient.
The UX 300e is a fully-fledged Lexus with its own specially crafted BEV drivetrain. Developed to deliver class-leading refinement and performance, and leveraging Lexus’ unique experience in building over 1,8 million electrified hybrids since 2005, the first all-electric Lexus features a newly developed front-wheel-drive BEV system equipped with a large-capacity lithium ion battery and a high-output electric motor.
The new UX 300e showcases the very latest lithium-ion battery technology including a high-density electrode and advanced electrode stacking structure. Carefully sized for the real-world needs of urban customers in Europe, the UX 300e’s battery is designed to deliver a good balance of optimal range (up to 315 km WLTP) and dynamic driving performance. This range meets customer requirements for an urban compact vehicle. It also allows for a more compact and lightweight battery, which contributes to the overall efficiency of the UX. And of course, it improves packaging, enabling the space and practicality that is expected from an urban crossover.
PURE LINEAR ACCELERATION, ENGAGING 4-LEVEL DECELERATION
The UX 300e’s BEV system has been engineered to ensure the electric motor’s powerful low-speed torque is maximized to deliver an instant linear response. Acceleration characteristics have also been optimised to suit urban driving situations: at low throttle (stop-start driving, etc.), the controllability of vehicle speed is prioritised, while at mid-to-high throttle (merging onto motorways, etc.), the focus is on continuous powerful acceleration.
To realise a refined drive, the UX 300e’s all-new PCU allows effortless driving with minimal accelerator input. In fact, Lexus engineers went so far as to ensure smooth acceleration even when the driver’s accelerator pedal operations are slightly erratic. In addition, for a more comfortable ride, irregular vehicle speed fluctuations are reduced, even with varying road surface gradients.
For engaging performance in situations such as frequent stop-and-go driving in the city and navigating winding roads, the UX 300e’s deceleration can be controlled in four levels using the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel.
ALL-NEW LITHIUM-ION BATTERY PACK
Installed under the cabin floor and rear seat, the UX 300e is powered by a newly developed 54,3 kWh battery pack made up of 288 large-capacity lithium ion battery cells. Carefully sized to offer an optimum balance of range and driving performance, the clever positioning of the battery allows for a large-capacity battery pack while also contributing to lowering the car’s centre of gravity and creating 47 litres of additional luggage space compared to the UX 250h.
For maximum control, battery voltage sensors have been adopted to monitor the voltage of each battery cell and block, as well as the battery cell temperature. This enhanced level of battery voltage detection, in tandem with the car’s advanced Battery Management System, results in maximum usable battery cell capacity, leading to an extended driving range.
The UX 300e battery pack has also been cleverly integrated into the BEV’s body frame, while the cross members securing the pack contribute to its body strength. For a long and trouble-free service life, the battery pack is fitted with rubber seals to protect it from all forms of water and dust. For battery longevity, the UX 300e also features advanced cooling and heating systems.
10-YEAR EXTENDED CARE ON BEV BATTERY
With all the above-mentioned measures, Lexus is confidently offering a 10-year (or up to 1.000.000 km) extended care on all functional defects of the BEV main battery and capacity degradation below 70%, provided that the regular health checks foreseen in the maintenance program are executed through the Lexus network. By default, a manufacturer warranty of 8 years (or 160.000 km) will apply only in case of degradation of the BEV battery capacity retention below 70%, and 5 years (or 100.000 km) on all functional defects of the BEV main battery.
In addition to the battery extended care, the UX 300e owner will benefit from the 3-year vehicle warranty and 5-year cover (or 100.000 km) on drivetrain defects.
SEAMLESS CHARGING TECHNOLOGY
A high-output, high-efficiency charging system offering excellent usability has been developed for the new UX 300e. To reduce running costs, it features a charger with a water-cooled cooling system, increasing the maximum output to 6,6 kW.
An AC charger port for normal charging is installed seamlessly on the right-side quarter panel of the UX 300e, whilst a DC charger port for rapid charging is fitted on the left side. For maximum comfort, the AC and DC charger ports feature a push-open type charger lid, making them easy to open. A charger inlet lamp is fitted to assist drivers charging at night and a charger lid lock system prevents opening and tampering by third parties. For added comfort, the ‘My Room’ mode (a Lexus first) enables electrical equipment such as air conditioning and audio to be used whilst the UX 300e is being charged.
AC CHARGING AT HOME OR ON PUBLIC CHARGERS
This charging method uses the AC outlet and charging cable that comes with the UX 300e, or the cable from a normal 6,6kW charger in the street. Home chargers (wallbox) use the same cable as the public charger. Interesting detail to mention is a clever maximum charge level setting that enables a user living at the top of a hill, for instance, to select a lower maximum charge level to ensure that just enough battery capacity remains after charging to allow for regenerative charging when descending the hill.
The UX 300e’s charging system also allows the owner to schedule charging times. For example, charging can start at a desired time, or be completed by a pre-set departure time, or can start at the same time every day, etc.
RAPID DC CHARGING ON THE MOVE
Using the DC charging inlet on the left side of the UX 300e, the owner can avail of the rapid chargers displayed in the Lexus Link app at shopping centres, petrol stations, in town centres or at most Lexus dealerships. Rapid DC charging enables much shorter charging times (0% to 80% in 50 minutes at 50kW or more) compared to normal charging.
ELECTRIFIED OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE
A hallmark of all Lexus cars, the UX 300e uses innovative technology to make its owner’s life more enjoyable. These include advanced features such as heated seats for all occupants and a heated steering wheel for cold mornings. Or the Touch Pad-controlled 10,3-inch Lexus Premium Navigation with over-the-air map updates and seamless smartphone connectivity provided by Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®.
As well as creating ‘Lexus Electrified’ technologies for the car itself, the UX 300e development team were determined to offer customers a world-class connectivity and charging experience – at home, on the road and in the city. To achieve this, in true Japanese Genchi Genbutsu (‘go and see’) fashion, they first conducted extensive research into the behaviour and expectations of BEV owners.
‘LEXUS CHARGING NETWORK’ ACCESSED BY BESPOKE LEXUS LINK APP
Putting innovative technology at the heart of the UX 300e ownership experience, to achieve enjoyable and trouble-free driving in its first all-electric car, the Japanese luxury carmaker has launched a full-service solution called ‘Lexus Charging Network’. Developed together with Digital Charging Solutions GmbH, a leader in the field of seamless and convenient digital charging solutions, with access to the largest charging network in Europe. The new service is accessible using the ‘Lexus Link‘ connectivity app that was created to complement the brand’s famed ‘Omotenashi’ service philosophy.
When fully rolled out, the new Lexus Charging Network will provide access to Europe’s largest network of around 160.000 public charging stations, allowing UX 300e drivers to check availability, charging speed and price per kWh. The Lexus Link’s Charging Station Finder quickly locates charging stations wherever owners drive in Europe and once they arrive at a charging station, they simply identify themselves using the Lexus Link app or an RFID card before charging.
Using the Lexus Charging Network, UX 300e owners will benefit from receiving only one contract and a single charging card for all participating charging stations, meaning they can charge in different countries without the need for a large number of cards or contracts with other providers. Payment is made via a single monthly invoice.