ALL-ELECTRIC LEXUS UX 300e HITS EUROPE’S ROADS WITH A DISTINCTLY JAPANESE SOUL
- First all-electric luxury car “Made in Japan”
- Interior design inspired by Japanese architecture
- ‘Washi’ dashboard trim exhibits the texture of Japanese paper sliding doors, while a 1,200-year-old ‘sashiko’ quilting technique is used on seats
- Sophisticated UX 300e design features embrace ‘Omotenashi’ hospitality ethos
- Crafted by Takumi craftspeople at the world’s most award-winning factory
Now on sale in selected European markets, the new Lexus all-electric UX 300e crossover comes steeped in Japanese influences which are evident both in its sophisticated design features and in the way it is built by Lexus’ famed ‘Takumi’ master craftspeople.
The UX 300e is Japan’s first all-electric luxury car and further strengthens Lexus’ lead in developing alternative drivetrains based on an unmatched 15-year electrification program and no fewer than 10 Lexus Self-Charging Hybrid models, several already with 4th generation hybrid drivetrains.
Now spearheading Lexus’ path to electrification, the new UX 300e brings with it a distinct character through design elements and materials which draw on aspects of Japanese heritage and culture.
Interior design inspired by Japanese architecture
The UX 300e has relatively compact exterior dimensions, but its designers wanted to ensure that the inside felt open and spacious. They found inspiration for this in Japanese architecture.
UX 300e Chief Designer Tetsuo Miki explains: “Japanese houses often have a veranda, which manages the boundary between the inside and the outside – so you can pass easily from one to the other. This idea was adopted for the new UX 300e and creates a seamless connection between the inside and outside of the car.”
Inside, occupants will notice how the upper section of the instrument panel appears to extend beyond the windshield to the exterior of the car. This gives the driver a good sense of the extremities of the vehicle, making it much easier to manoeuvre in confined spaces.
Luxury cabin crafted from traditional materials
Behind the wheel, the influences are apparent from the dashboard trim, which recalls the grain of a paper known as ‘washi’, familiar from the paper sliding doors of traditional Japanese houses.
On the seats, the smooth yet durable leather upholstery is inspired by ‘sashiko’, a 1,200-year-old Japanese quilting technique. The quilted leather is decorated with perforation patterns that form mathematical curves and gradations in perfect alignment, enhancing the appearance of the seats.
“Featuring up to 10 stitches per inch, the strength of the ancient ‘sashiko’ technique has made it popular in both traditional fire-fighting uniforms and in aikido martial art,“ explains Lexus’ Interior Designer Keiko Shishido.
Sophisticated design features embrace ‘Omotenashi’ hospitality ethos
Japan’s age-old Omotenashi philosophy of treating customers as if they were a guest in one’s home is foremost in the mind of every Lexus designer and engineer. Encompassing a sense of ‘anticipating a guest’s needs even before they do’, it finds practical expression in features throughout the UX 300e.
The windscreen wipers, for example, automatically stop when a door opens, preventing guests entering or exiting the UX300e from being splashed. The hands-free power tailgate makes for convenient loading and unloading. The S-Flow Climate Control discharges mildly acidic nano-e® ions, filling the cabin with fresh air and creating an atmosphere that gently moisturises skin and hair.
The UX 300e is available with special acoustic glass which shields occupants from exterior noise. The power windows, which slow down when closing to reduce noise, mimic the courteous way in which a ‘fusuma’ (sliding door) is closed in sophisticated Japanese restaurants.
The UX 300e extends ‘Omotenashi’ customer service to the EV driver through the Lexus Link app, enhancing the Lexus Electrified ownership experience with bespoke services like remote charging, remote air conditioning/defrosting and a charging station finder. It provides access to a pan-European network of public charging stations, displaying availability, charging speed and price per kWh.
Built by Takumi craftspeople at the world’s most award-winning plant
Lexus’ rigorous approach to quality is exemplified by the ‘Takumi’ craftspeople at its award-winning production facility in Kyushu. These modern-day artisans, their skills honed over a minimum of 15 years, are Japanese precision personified. Their meticulous craft is present across every inch of the UX300e, from the intricate seat stitching to the beautiful hand-sanded paintwork to the attention to detail in the plant’s ‘Quiet Room’ facility, where the ‘Takumi‘ use their finely trained ears and fingertips to detect and rectify the minutest noise or vibration within the cabin.