LEXUS PRESS CONFERENCE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW 2018
Text from the presentations given by Pascal Ruch, Head of Lexus Europe, and Chika Kako, Chief Engineer of the UX, at the launch of the Lexus UX at the Geneva Motor Show.
More high-resolution images can be downloaded from here.
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Lexus!
It has been nearly 30 years since we launched our brand. If you think about it, Lexus was a disrupter at that time, demonstrating that we could build innovative vehicles, with great performance and incredible quality. Of course at the centre was and always will be our commitment to providing a personalized and exceptional customer experience.
Over the years we have leveraged our disrupter mindset and our DNA of product innovation by introducing industry-first technologies in many fields such as active safety, car manufacturing and on-board premium features.
Other innovations include bringing the first premium crossover to market with the RX.
And of course our industry leading self-charging hybrid has been nothing short of amazing. Since we introduced this new technology to the premium market back in 2005, we have sold more hybrids than all of our competitors combined.
Today we have the largest range of premium self-charging hybrids on the market with over 1.3 million sold globally, and more than 350 thousand in Europe.
Our disruptor mindset and Lexus DNA have extended to the design of our vehicles. The Lexus signature grille has become a hallmark in the industry and we collected many awards for innovation in design, such as with the recently launched LC.
Now let’s take a look at some of the vehicles we have with us today.
10 years ago we introduced the F marque … combining muscular design, authentic sports performance and cutting-edge technologies. Today we present here in Geneva the car that brings this milestone to life: the RC F 10th anniversary edition. This will be a limited run of only 350 units globally … and European customers can expect to take delivery by the end of the summer.
Now let’s look further into the future. At the recent Detroit Motor show we have revealed our vision of a new type of flagship crossover with the Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept, and today it’s making its European Premiere here in Geneva.
This amazing vehicle signals our future design direction. It’s combining crossover capabilities with outstanding performance, innovative features and Lexus true quality.
The LF-1 Limitless Concept is like a co-pilot, anticipating the needs of its driver and passengers. For example, it has a virtual assistant with links to navigation, radar and cameras to provide advanced predictive capabilities.
As a further proof of our disruptor mind set and commitment to innovation, this vehicle is capable of hosting any powertrain: self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric or even fuel cell.
Limitless is more than just the name of the concept vehicle; it’s also how we see our opportunities for the coming years. Already today, 98% of our sales in Western Europe are electrified, and we will continue playing a leading role in the electrification trend in the global automotive industry.
Now let’s turn to more immediate product news.
Our next launch is just around the corner: it’s the RX L, our first seven-seater to be offered in Western Europe. The RX L retains the stylish and elegant design of the RX, while offering even more space and versatility.
This has been achieved by optimizing vehicle packaging with only 110 mm additional length. Third-row passengers also benefit from great comfort and luxury, for example thanks to a 3-zone climate control system. On top, the RX L offers great luggage space flexibility behind the third row.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with close to 75 thousand Lexus sales in 2017 in Europe – the highest ever – we achieved our 4th consecutive year of sales growth. But our ambition is to get to 100 thousand vehicles in Europe by 2020.
One model will strongly contribute to this objective and to the growth of the Lexus brand globally. It’s covered here on my right, it’s one of our most exciting product launches ever.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce now in world premiere the new Lexus UX.
Thank you! This is a new type of crossover and I can tell you, everyone at Lexus was excited to reveal it to the world today. Among us, there’s one person who is probably even more passionate than everyone else.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome
Ms Chika Kako, Lexus Executive Vice President and chief engineer of the new UX.
Good morning Lexus Guests. Thank you for joining us on this special occasion.
The Lexus UX introduces a new genre crossover. It is built for modern adventurers who prefer an imaginative, refined lifestyle, and who are on a non-stop adventure to experience it. We call them Creative Urban Explorers.
The aim for the UX was not to conform to the established, solid crossover look, but to achieve a compact design that is both strong and stylish, breaking with the conventions of the segment to deliver something more distinctive and dynamic.
The vehicle’s interior was very important to me, because that is where driver and car connect. The UX cabin is very stylish, with high quality materials designed by the best Japanese craftsmen and an ‘inside-out’ philosophy inspired by a traditional style of Japanese architecture which blurs the boundary between the inside and outside of a house.
The foundation for the vehicle’s dynamic performance focuses on enabling nimble and instant response to driver inputs, while maintaining a sense of stability and safety.
For more on what’s under the UX’s hood, here’s Pascal…
Thank you, Kako-san, for such a great vehicle.
In terms of powertrains, of course our self-charging hybrid technology will play a key role in the UX line-up, especially in Europe! The UX 250h will feature a new-generation 2 litre petrol engine combined with a compact electric motor, or even two in the all-wheel drive version. This powertrain will bring segment-leading fuel efficiency as well as a smooth and dynamic driving experience.
The UX will also be available as UX 200, with a brand new 2 litre petrol engine and transmission, delivering superior energy efficiency and direct acceleration feeling.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, as you can see, with this UX, the other models here on display and our ongoing commitment to innovative powertrains, Lexus will continue to disrupt the market.
Let me now also introduce the Chief Designer of UX, Mr. Tetsuo Miki and Chief Branding Officer, Mr. Tokuo Fukuichi. And now I would like to invite on stage the president of Lexus International, Mr. Yoshihiro Sawa for the photoshoot.
Thank you very much for your attention. Please take some time to discover UX and the other new models and enjoy your day in Geneva.