Link to digital press conference here.
Our presentation highlights include European debuts for forthcoming new models – the LC Convertible a new halo model for our brand, and the UX 300e, our first all-electric vehicle.
We are also introducing new safety-focused technology in the form of Digital Side-view Monitors for our ES business sedan.
And, looking to the future and our “Lexus Electrified” programme, we are presenting the LF-30 Electrified, a concept exploring what an advanced luxury car might offer in 2030.
The LC Convertible joins the LC Coupe as an aspirational, halo model for the Lexus brand – a car that delivers a unique driving experience that stimulates all the senses.
The exterior styling is based on the coupe’s aerodynamic design, reinterpreting its distinctive roofline in a convertible that looks superb – top up, or down.
When lowered, the four-layer soft-top is stowed neatly beneath an integrated tonneau cover, preserving an elegant silhouette. The quiet, smooth and controlled action of opening and closing the roof reflects the car’s high quality, and attention to safety.
To achieve dynamic performance comparable to the coupe, the LC Convertible’s body structure has been reinforced, while maintaining an optimal weight distribution.
The naturally aspirated five-litre V8 engine gives invigorating acceleration, best enjoyed with the top down.
The rich sound of the engine and exhaust adds to the sensory quality. Engine intake notes are transmitted into the cabin by a sound generator, and a valve in the exhaust enhances the driving soundtrack.
At the same time, the cabin is a relaxing environment. With the top lowered, wind flow inside the car is suppressed and conversation is effortless, even when driving at speed.
All the fine-quality features that distinguish the interior of the LC Coupe have been applied to the convertible. From world-class craftsmanship, to the luxurious look and feel of the materials.
The LC Convertible is a car that looks after its occupants like a personal concierge and has all the signature driving qualities of a Lexus. European sales will commence this summer.
Digital Side-view Monitors debut in Europe on the Lexus ES 300h
At the end of 2018, Lexus launched a new generation of the ES business sedan, a car that introduced the model to Western Europe for the first time.
The ES is already rated best-in-class by the independent safety test organisation Euro NCAP.
Now the ES 300h hybrid is going further still, pioneering new safety technology with the adoption of Digital Side-view Monitors.
This innovative system replaces – and drastically improves on – conventional door mirrors.
It’s another illustration of our strategy to apply imaginative technologies to deliver even higher safety for all our customers.
The system comprises two five-inch colour screens, located inside the car at the base of the front pillars.
These relay live images from two weather-proof external cameras.
User friendliness and ergonomics were key when designing the in-cabin screens.
So they are positioned in the driver’s intuitive line of sight and give an enhanced view at all times, thanks to built-in heaters in the cameras and automatic night-time contrast adjustment.
Furthermore, when the driver selects reverse or uses the turn indicators, the cameras automatically zoom out to widen the field of view, eliminating any blind spots.
The Digital Side-view Monitors will be available as optional equipment for the ES 300h, in selected European markets from March 2020.
Lexus Electrified and LF-30
The LF-30 Electrified concept showcases Lexus’s vision for future design, advanced technologies and electrification.
Having pioneered hybrid technology, Lexus views electrification as a unique opportunity to transform the joy of driving – creating a unique Lexus driving signature with exceptional ride comfort, quietness and craftsmanship.
We call this “Lexus Electrified” – and the LF-30 Electrified concept brings this vision to life.
It’s a brave, artistic and futuristic vehicle, that challenges preconceptions of what a luxury performance car could be in 2030.
And it was developed here in Europe, at our design centre in the South of France.
Created from a blank sheet of paper, it opens new perspectives on vehicle proportions and surfacing.
And on how customers will interact with technology, interior space, materials and the driving experience itself.
The prominent cockpit is designed as a space where the driver is in firm control.
We call this concept “Tazuna” – the Japanese word for the reins used to control a horse.
This new architecture merges car and driver, so that one becomes a natural extension of the other.
Everything is designed for simple, intuitive operation – with steering wheel switches, a head-up display and augmented reality.
And the driver can use gesture control to convey their wishes to the vehicle.
The LF-30 also uses steer-by-wire, replacing the mechanical connection between the steering wheel and tyres with electronic control.
This makes turning performance more flexible, requiring less effort, and always true to the driver’s intentions.
To make driving more fun, and to realise the ultimate potential of motor control technology, there is integrated control of the powertrain, steering, suspension and brakes.
This advanced posture control guarantees an ideal vehicle set-up at all times, by optimising the drive force at each wheel.
For example, the car can switch to front, rear or all-wheel drive, in a fraction of a second.
The LF-30 is a true driver’s car, but it also offers advanced, autonomous driving options.
It has a “Guardian Mode,” which increases safety and gives the driver greater confidence and sense of control.
And a “Chauffeur Mode,” which takes over the driving completely.
The LF-30 is much more than a striking design study, it previews advanced technologies that will be introduced on future Lexus cars.
The UX 300e is Lexus’s first all-electric vehicle – and the first model launched under the “Lexus Electrified” banner.
It’s also the newest member of the UX family, the compact crossover we launched early in 2019.
The UX has quickly become our best-selling model in Europe. Around 25,000 have been sold so far, taking a record five per cent segment share.
The UX 300e is designed for the urban environment. Its power output is 150kW – or 204hp – and its 54 kilowatt-hour battery gives it a target driving range of 300km, based on the WLTP cycle.
This means it meets customer requirements for a compact urban vehicle, avoiding cost, weight and space constraints.
With the UX 300e, we wanted to take electrification a step further, creatng a unique Lexus based on four core elements.
Firstly, it offers exceptional craftsmanship, build quality, comfort and quietness.
After studying the noise patterns of electric vehicles, we took measures to significantly reduce noise in the cabin.
Secondly, the driving experience is refined, yet dynamic, and stability is excellent. This is thanks to high body rigidity and a low centre of gravity, helped by locating the battery beneath the vehicle body.
The UX 300e also benefits from elements of the advanced posture control we are showcasing in the LF-30 Electrified concept.
Thirdly, our 15 years of experience with hybrids mean we can guarantee exceptional battery reliability and durability.
And finally, choosing a Lexus electric vehicle brings with it an ownership experience that’s unmatched in the motor industry. This means, for example, helping our customers with charging solutions – at home, and on the road.
Deliveries to European customers will start from the end of this year. And next year we expect the UX 300e to account for 15 per cent of all UX sales.
Looking ahead, we have plans to expand our electrified vehicle line-up. We will launch our first plug-in hybrid and another all-electric model built on a dedicated EV platform, early in this decade.
These new models will support our brand’s growth in Europe, alongside our wide range of hybrid vehicles, which already account for 96 per cent of our sales in Western Europe.
We achieved record sales in Europe, and our sixth consecutive year of growth in 2019. And as we grow our line-up with new products and powertrains, we are confident the momentum will continue, allowing is to reach a six-digit annual sales total in the near future.