By Otsile Kadiege
Lexus unveiled a new small premium SUV called the LBX. The all-new, all-hybrid electric LBX is the smallest Lexus yet. LBX stands for Lexus Breakthrough Crossover, a compact SUV that’s said to extend Lexus’ brand appeal into new market territory.
On the oustide, Lexus’ design ambition was to create a car that is more relaxed than formal in character. The most significant aspect of the design is a new frontal arrangement that “breaks” the spindle grille – a design hallmark for the past decade – leading Lexus into a new era.
The seamless, frameless grille grille has been unified in a single trapezoid shape, positioned below a narrow aperture that runs beneath the leading edge of the bonnet, linking the slim headlight units with L-shaped daytime running lights and integrated turn signals. In profile, the LBX follows the principles of Lexus Next Chapter Design. The front pillars have been pulled back, making the cabin appear compact and the bonnet longer for a sporty profile. It’s shod with a set of 18-inch wheels.
At the rear, the LBX sports an integrated spoiler, an LED light bar with L-shaped taillight design and ‘LEXUS’ lettering on the tailgate. The Lexus LBX is 4,190 mm long, 1,825 mm wide and 1,545 mm high and has a 2,580 mm wheelbase. The exterior colour choices include vivid shades and Lexus’ deep-lustre sonic finishes. Emotion and Cool versions of the LBX can be specified with bi-tone paintwork, combining any colour option with a contrast black roof.
Interior design and technology
Inside, Lexus says their designers sought to create a simple and refined interior that creates the feel and atmosphere of a higher segment model. Highlights include vegan-friendly synthetic leather and materials for the seat coverings and steering wheel, shift lever and door trims, new Tsuyusami charcoal trim inlays, 50 colour ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument display, an optional head-up display, a 9.8-inch touch display with an infotainment system which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto and an optional 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system to name a few.
Safety and assistance systems
The Lexus LBX benefits from the comprehensive safety and driver assistance provisions of the latest generation of Lexus Safety System +. Key elements include a Pre-Collision System with Intersection Turn Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist/Lane Keep Assist and Road Sign Assist. Additional items that support safer driving and manoeuvring and reduce the burden on the driver include Lexus’ e-latch electric door release system with Safe Exit Assist, a driver monitor, intelligent parking sensors with auto-braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Blind Spot Monitor.
An extended safety will be optionally available, introducing features such as a Front Cross Traffic Alert system and a Panoramic View Monitor. A remote parking option can take all the stress out of manoeuvring the car into a tight space; it even allows the driver to park their vehicle remotely, using their smartphone.
The LBX is powered by a new generation, self-charging Lexus hybrid electric system featuring a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine. It has a total system output of 100 kW of power and peak torque of 185 Nm. It’s paired to E-CVT (Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission). As standard, the LBX sends power to the front wheels. There will be an optional Lexus’ E-Four all-wheel drive, which introduces an additional electric motor on the rear axle.
The LBX is the first Lexus model to be constructed on a variation of the GA-B small car global architecture platform. Front and rear suspension systems are designed for high rigidity and light weight which is said to give the Lexus LBX agile, stable cornering and steering response with smooth ride comfort. All versions feature a MacPherson strut design at the front; front-wheel drive models use a rear torsion beam while the all-wheel drive LBX has a double-wishbone arrangement.
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