- Lexus’s all-new compact crossover LBX equipped with a brand-new self-charging hybrid electric powertrain
- Uncompromised Lexus quality, refinement and reliability
- All-round gains in efficiency and driver rewards
- 1.5-litre engine with world-class thermal efficiency
- Hybrid system components optimised for size, weight and performance
Lexus’s “no compromise” approach to creating the all-new LBX compact crossover applies just as much to the car’s advanced, electrified powertrain as it does to its new-direction styling and luxury features. It’s equipped with a brand-new self-charging hybrid electric system that benefits from latest-generation technologies that raise the bar in all aspects of performance, from fuel and emissions efficiency through to driving pleasure.
As the long-established leader in electrification in the premium car market, Lexus has applied its unmatched know-how and experience to reimagine Lexus Hybrid Drive, saving weight and reducing the size of components wherever possible and analysing every element to see where fuel economy and emissions can be improved. At the same time, performance is more rewarding than ever with response, feedback and handling that combine to deliver the Lexus Driving Signature – comfort, control and confidence at all time.
A small engine with big ideas
The three-cylinder engine may be small in size, but it boasts impressive technical features that maximise both performance and efficiency. Some of these have their origins in the cutting-edge world of Formula 1 motor racing, such as an ultra-lightweight piston design.
Although the unit has a modest 1.5-litre capacity, it is perfectly suited to powering the LBX as part of the self-charging hybrid electric powertrain. It meets all Lexus’s stringent requirements for long-lasting reliability and being naturally aspirated, is not subject to the operating stresses of turbocharging. Customer peace of mind when it comes to quality and durability is guaranteed with Lexus’s market-leading warranty of up to 10 years/100,000 miles.
Maximum output from the full system is 134bhp/100kW with peak torque of 185Nm. This is expected to enable 0-62mph acceleration in 9.2 seconds, while permitting confident towing of loads up to 750kg.
The engine operates with exceptional thermal efficiency, which means more of the energy in every drop of fuel is converted into drive power. This is achieved through high-speed combustion and minimising losses from friction throughout the drivetrain. A variable cooling system helps the engine warm up quickly, adjusting automatically to its running conditions and the external temperature.
Using electronic variable valve-timing – VVT-iE – also supports efficiency and response, even at low engine speeds.
Smaller, lighter better
The focus on designing a system that’s smaller, lighter and ideally suited to the LBX – the most compact Lexus model yet – has brought about significant changes in the hybrid set-up. A new power control unit (PCU) ensures the increased hybrid battery output can be optimally managed; being relocated above the transaxle means it takes up less space, too. The compact packaging also sees the system’s two electric motor-generators positioned side-by-side on separate shafts.
The same principles apply to the hybrid battery. This is a new bi-polar nickel-metal hydride unit that, while being smaller and lighter, produces more energy, thus able to play a greater role in the car’s performance. The new hybrid system lets you drive at higher speeds and for longer distances in all-electric EV mode.
Close attention has been paid to delivering the hybrid system’s power in a way that’s pleasing and reassuring. The driver will appreciate how the powertrain is tuned for enjoyable performance and faithful handling, in particular with a smooth, linear acceleration feel that closely matches their use of the accelerator pedal.
On higher grade models, a sequential Shiftmatic system provides paddle controls to engage the shift range through six steps, giving the feel of using a manual transmission.
E-Four offers more
Lexus’s E-Four all-wheel drive system is available as an option on certain LBX models. Adding an additional electric motor on the rear axle automatically provides extra grip and stability when required on slippery surfaces and when pulling away and cornering, increasing driver confidence.
Optimal noise reduction
The LBX is engineered to minimise transmission of engine noise and vibration, including the use of a balancer shaft on the power unit itself and widespread use of noise-absorbing materials at strategic points throughout the vehicle.
The new hybrid battery has an impact as well: with more power supplied by the battery, the engine is able to run at up to 20 per cent lower revs. In addition to being good for fuel economy, this means the engine sound is more closely aligned to the pressure the driver applies to the throttle.