UPGRADES IMPROVE THE ALL-ELECTRIC LEXUS UX 300e COMPACT LUXURY SUV
- Range extended by more than 40% to 450 km (280 miles)
- Steering and suspension fine-tuned, enhancing ‘Lexus Electrified’ driving experience
- New multimedia system with greater functionality and bigger screen
- More capabilities added to the Lexus Safety System +
Wide-ranging upgrades have strengthened the appeal of the Lexus UX 300e, the urban crossover launched three years ago as Lexus’ first all-electric model. These revisions enable the UX 300e – born out of Lexus’ ambition to develop a “Creative Urban Explorer” – to go further between charges; enhance the cabin’s aesthetic appeal, comfort, and convenience; and make the car even more enjoyable to drive. The changes also affirm how well-suited electrification is to the acclaimed characteristics of Lexus vehicles, complementing quiet refinement with rewardingly responsive road behaviour.
The most notable change is a new battery system which increases driving range by more than 40%, up to 450 km (280 miles) in the combined WLTP cycle. The ‘Lexus Electrified’ driving experience has also been enhanced by detail alterations to the UX 300e’s suspension, body, and chassis.
Inside the car, the most evident improvement is the revised multimedia system. This has greater connectivity, faster and easier operation, cloud-based navigation, and bigger 8- and 12.3-inch touchscreens. The interior is now also offered with new upholstery choices.
The upgraded UX 300e debuts in showrooms across Europe from spring 2023. Upgrades for the two other UX variants, the self-charging hybrid electric UX 250h and petrol-powered UX 200, were already available from summer 2022.
Significant range increase
As Lexus’ first BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), the UX 300e has evolved from the brand’s 18 years of leadership in electrification, which started with the introduction in 2005 of the RX 400h, the world’s first luxury hybrid. Today, more than 2.5 million electrified Lexus are on the road around the world, 550,000 of these in Europe, and the ‘Lexus Electrified’ initiative continues to drive progress through the brand’s world-class know-how in battery design, manufacturing, and battery management systems. This is creating a new generation of vehicle refinement and driving pleasure, with the class-leading quality and reliability that are hallmarks of the Lexus brand.
As another step in this electrification journey, the UX 300e’s original 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery has been replaced by one with 72.8 kWh capacity. This powers a compact motor/generator which drives the vehicle’s front wheels, producing 150 kW (204 DIN hp) and up to 300Nm of torque – providing effortless, linear acceleration. The motor also generates electricity when the vehicle is braking or coasting.
Previously the UX 300e offered a range in the WLTP combined driving cycle of 305-315 km (189-196 miles), depending on options such as wheel size. The new battery improves this by more than 40%. Models running on 17-inch wheels now achieve a WLTP combined range (depending on options) of up to 450 km (280 miles); models on 18-inch wheels have a combined range (also depending on options) of up to 440 km (273 miles).
Aerodynamic efficiency helps maximise the UX 300e’s range. The underfloor covers have been enlarged, compared to other UX models, and the bottom-surface of the battery made flat and smooth, for clean underbody aerodynamics.
Electric efficiency with up to 10 years Extended Care
For increased control and battery life, sensors monitor the voltage of each battery cell and block, and battery cell temperature. With the advanced Battery Management System, this results in maximum usable battery cell capacity and extended driving range. Cool air is circulated inside the battery pack for stable battery output even at high speed and during repeated charging. Heating elements under each battery module minimise cold weather impact on the driving range and ensure full power is available from the start.
To replenish the battery, the UX 300e has an AC port on the right-side quarter panel for normal charging and a DC port on the left-side quarter panel for rapid charging. With the latter, the battery can be charged up to 80% in 80 minutes at 125A Max. In AC charge, it takes 9h30 to charge the battery up to 100% at 32A. Electrical equipment such as air conditioning and audio can be used whilst the UX 300e is being charged.
By using the Lexus Link app, UX 300e owners can check battery status, available driving range, and time remaining for complete charge. This app can also remotely schedule the charging start time, enabling owners to take advantage of off-peak energy tariffs.
Lexus’ confidence in the durability of its all-electric vehicle technology is affirmed by a standard warranty for 8 years or 160,000 km (whichever comes first), covering degradation of BEV battery capacity below 70%. This is complemented by a 5-year or 100,000 km warranty on all functional defects of the BEV main battery. Extended BEV Care is available to cover main battery defects and capacity degradation below 70% for up to 10 years or 1,000,000 km, provided that regular maintenance program health checks and servicing are completed at an authorised Lexus dealer. Lexus is confident however, given its long experience in battery technologies, that actual capacity at the point should be above 85%.
SUV flexibility with hatchback-like driving characteristics
The UX provides both the secure feeling of a crossover and the driving pleasure of a sophisticated hatchback. The UX 300e engineering team worked closely with Lexus’ expert ‘Takumi’ master drivers to develop an array of new technologies designed specifically to deliver a unique ‘Lexus Electrified’ driving experience. Lexus’ world-class refinement and quietness levels are combined with dynamic characteristics which prove that driving can be enjoyable with the higher-riding practicality of an SUV.
The UX evokes the feel of a dynamic, luxury hatchback the moment the driver settles behind the wheel: despite having the higher seating position desired of crossovers, its driving position results in a relatively short hip-to-heel distance which gives the driver the feeling of being closer to the ground than in other SUVs. For passengers, the interior feels open and spacious, even though the UX 300e has relatively compact exterior dimensions.
The UX is built on Lexus’ GA-C global architecture platform, a light structure which is also exceptionally rigid to sharpen responses to driver inputs. The new model enhances this by introducing a more rigid steel tailgate reinforcement and 20 additional spot welds on the back panel and side members.
The UX’s 2,640 mm wheelbase contributes to a smooth and stable ride, as well as cabin roominess, while the 10,4 m curb-to-curb turning diameter makes manoeuvring and parking easy. Driving characteristics also benefit from the UX’s low centre of gravity, partly achieved in the UX 300e by locating the battery under the cabin, as well as by using aluminium for the side doors, wings and hood, and composite materials for the tailgate. The battery’s location also increases boot space, compared to the UX 250h hybrid, from 320 litres to 367 litres (deck to luggage cover).
Enhanced driving experience
A number of detail changes have been made to the UX 300e to enhance the driving experience. Fine-tuning the electric power steering and shock absorbers has sharpened the driving dynamics, as has increasing the body rigidity with additional spot-welding points. These alterations further improve the planted feel and responsiveness of the UX, characteristics accentuated by the vehicle’s low centre of gravity and placement of the battery pack under the floor.
Lexus Drive Mode Select allows the driving experience to be tailored. Normal drive mode provides an optimal balance between driving performance and range; ECO mode maximises energy savings across all driving conditions by smoothing the throttle response, as well as moderating air conditioning operation; Sport mode delivers quicker throttle response and increased steering feel.
Drivers can also switch between four levels of deceleration, using paddle shifts on the steering wheel, to suit the type of road, their natural driving style, and their preferred feeling of control. These levels range from providing the driving feel of a conventional combustion engine vehicle to harnessing the more linear deceleration of a pure BEV. The optimum deceleration level also enhances control on snowy roads and other low-friction surfaces.
A serenely quiet and healthy cabin
Underfloor covers, which help suppress road noise, are just one of the measures taken to ensure the cabin is serenely quiet. Material in the fender liners help absorb the noise from the tyres’ contact with the road, small stones, dirt, and water; acoustic glass in the windows reduces high-frequency wind noise; and with the upgrades, there is now also more sound insulation in the body.
Cabin quietness allows the UX 300e’s occupants to fully enjoy the clear, powerful sound of the 915-watts, 13-speaker Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound System.
Also to ensure the wellbeing of everyone onboard, the UX 300e benefits from the latest generation nanoe™ X air purification technology. These nano-sized water molecules containing microscopic hydroxyl radicals deodorise bad odours, act against mould, and inhibit viruses, bacteria, pollen, and allergens. Laboratory research has shown that in one hour, nanoe X can inhibit more than 99% of viruses and bacteria, and achieve a 1.8 reduction in odour intensity. By preventing moisture evaporation, the nano-sized water particles also keep skin smooth and well-hydrated. To learn more about the nanoe X technology, please consult https://newsroom.lexus.eu/breathe-easy-feel-great-inside-your-lexus-with-nanoe-x/
New multimedia system: easier to use, greater functionality
The upgrade most obvious to UX occupants is the new multimedia system. With a touchscreen rather than a touchpad control, this has more intuitive controls than its predecessor, offers increased functionality, has greater connectivity, and responds more quickly to commands.
Screen sizes have been increased, according to equipment grade, from 7 to 8 inches, with sharper graphics, and from 10 to 12.3 inches, with high-definition. For easier interaction, the screen is now positioned 143 mm further forwards.
A new voice recognition system includes the option of using the “Hey Lexus” on-board assistant. This responds to voice commands to make it easier to connect to phone calls, operate audio and climate controls, and search the internet. The new voice recognition system is programmed to understand more conversational terms, to recognise whether it is the driver or front passenger speaking, and to distinguish between background noise and commands so that it is no longer necessary to mute the audio when making commands.
To make journey planning easier and help avoid traffic delays, “always connected” cloud-based navigation is provided as standard, giving access to real-time road and traffic information. Additionally, the 12.3-inch system includes embedded navigation, maintaining operation even if cloud connection is unavailable. To make it easy to find out about such things as local parking, charging points, charging speed, and price per kWh, “Hey Lexus” can also be linked to cloud-based information.
Further improving connectivity, the new multimedia system provides smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay (wireless connection) or Android Auto (wired connection). Connectivity now also extends to the Lexus Link smartphone app, which can remotely lock or unlock the doors, trigger the hazard lights, and set the air conditioning or heating before getting into the car. The Lexus Link app can also check the battery’s charge-level, available range with the air-conditioning on or off, and time remaining until charging is complete.
The space on the centre console where the multimedia touchpad was previously located is now home to controls for the heated front seats or, where these are not specified, a small storage cubby. The console also houses a USB-A port for playback of high-resolution sound sources and two USB-C ports for device charging. A new illuminated tray in the console, in front of the air conditioning control panel, has the space to hold a large smartphone.
The UX’s multimedia system can save up to three people’s customised settings for multimedia, audio, and navigation. Updates to the system software can be delivered over-the-air via the car’s upgraded DCM (Data Communication Module).
Interior and exterior revisions
The UX’s perforated leather upholstery has a new Kagome pleating effect, inspired by traditional Japanese basket weave. And for the leather upholstery there is a striking new geometric stitchwork pattern, inspired by the traditional Japanese Sashiko (“Little Stabs”) quilting technique. This is used for its strength – with as many as 10 stitches per inch – in the making of martial arts uniforms. There is also a new Hazel colour option for all upholstery options – fabric and leather.
In another aesthetic refinement, the dashboard trim now has the look of ‘washi’ paper grain, as seen in the sliding paper doors of traditional Japanese houses. The upper part of the instrument panel is now black in all trims and the push-start button silver.
For the car’s exterior, there is a new paintwork option, Sonic Platinum, made possible by Lexus’ advanced sonic paint technology. This special finish incorporates a layer just a few microns deep which brings the metallic flakes in the paint into closer and more uniform alignment, creating more brilliance and deeper shading across the car’s bodywork.
In another detail change, the hands-free power-operated rear tailgate now responds to the door-mounted switch without delay and moves more gently during the initial and final parts of opening and closing.
Additional safety system features
Upgrades have also been made to the UX’s Lexus Safety System +, which constantly monitors the road for potential danger. The car is now equipped with Intersection Turning Assist, which when turning at an intersection detects oncoming vehicles and pedestrians crossing in the opposite direction, and Emergency Assist, which when enabled automatically makes small corrective inputs to the steering wheel to help prevent the vehicle from unintentionally departing from its lane. The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control now has Curve Speed Reduction, which automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed to the suit the radius of the bend in the road.
These additions complement the existing Lexus Safety System + features: the Pre-Collision System can detect pedestrians at night and objects such as motorcycles during the day; Lane Tracing Assist helps the driver stay in the centre of the lane and can provide support when driving around bends; and Road Sign Assist recognises traffic signs to provide information to the driver via the multi-information display or the optional Heads-Up display.
Other features which make it easy driving the UX 300e include a Panoramic View Monitor for a near-360° view around the car, to help when driving in confined spaces; Parking Support Alert, which warns of an impending collision using clearance sonar; Lexus Parking Assist for reversing into parking spaces; Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Braking, which operates when the car is reversing; and a Blind Spot Monitor, with radar devices mounted in the rear bumper, which detects vehicles in adjacent lanes that are not visible in the door mirrors.
A favourite among Lexus buyers
Lexus’ compact crossover is gaining ground with urban families who want the flexibility of a crossover vehicle with the driving characteristics of a hatchback. The UX was Lexus’ second best-selling model in Europe in calendar year 2022, selling 14,559 units, behind the all-new NX introduced that year. The UX 300e took 13% of these sales – a proportion that is expected to rise in the coming years.
When compared with the main reasons for buying compact SUVs from competitors’ brands, a greater percentage of UX buyers prioritise the hybrid or electric powertrain; brand reputation; fuel consumption/energy efficiency; general durability; and prestige. For Lexus, the UX also fulfils an essential role as gateway model to Lexus, attracting younger customers to their first luxury vehicle.
For more information, please visit https://www.lexus.eu/car-models/ux-300e/all-new-ux-300e/