- Lexus’s all-new compact crossover, targeting new market territory in the UK and Europe
- Designed specifically to appeal to younger, style-conscious European customers
- Design breaks with Lexus’s conventions with a “premium casual” theme
- Expected to become an instant core model in Lexus’s UK range
- Highly efficient and responsive new 1.5-litre self-charging hybrid electric powertrain
- “Class above” equipment specifications and extensive personalisation opportunities
- Focus on a rewarding driving experience and delivery of the Lexus Driving Signature – control, comfort and confidence for the driver at all times
- Available to order now; deliveries to customers from March 2024
The LBX is an all-new model for a new market for Lexus in the UK and Europe. It is set to be a game changer and key model for the brand’s growth in the region.
The smallest Lexus yet, the LBX is a self-charging hybrid electric crossover that’s designed to be accessible and easy to live with, in tune with contemporary style thinking that combines high quality with a casual feel. It offers much more than might be expected from a car in its class, embracing advanced technologies and making no compromise in the distinguishing Lexus qualities of luxury craftsmanship and omotenashi hospitality for everyone on board.
For the first time, Lexus has focused the development of a vehicle specifically on addressing the preferences, tastes and trends of the European region. The LBX will immediately become a core model brand’s line-up, with 25,000 sales targeted in Europe in 2024, more than 6,000 of these in the UK.
The use of a three-letter name is significant – previously only the LFA supercar has enjoyed this distinction. The choice of the name LBX demonstrates Lexus’s commitment to and trust in its new model: just as the LFA showed a different side to the brand in terms of attitude and performance, so the LBX will challenge the status quo and redefine what a small car can offer, energising and expanding the brand’s reach and profile.
As a new entry point to Lexus’s model range, it offers strong appeal to a younger audience and those who may not have considered a Lexus before. It will also be an attractive proposition to those seeking to downsize or purchase a second vehicle, meeting their evolving lifestyle requirements.
Chief Engineer Kunihiko Endoh comments: “Our aim was to challenge the conventional concept of a luxury car. We have thoroughly pursued a driving experience that enables a natural dialogue between the driver and their vehicle and a design that has a refined presence.”
The driving experience is central to the LBX’s customer appeal and extensive efforts have been invested to ensure the constant control, comfort and confidence of the Lexus Driving Signature are delivered in a small car package. The package of measures includes fundamental revisions to the GA-B global platform, lengthening the wheelbase, widening the track and increasing body rigidity. Packaging, suspension tuning, braking and steering all play their part in producing a car that responds instantly and faithfully to the driver’s inputs.
The new powertrain, a self-charging 1.5-litre hybrid electric system, is tuned for rewarding performance, with powerful, linear acceleration from start-up. This helps deliver low-speed agility that’s well-suited to the demands of urban driving. A new bi-polar nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery provides greater responsiveness from a smaller and lighter package, while extensive measures to address road noise and vibration ensure the kind of calm and quiet on-board experience appropriate for a premium model.
The LBX’s styling establishes a new Lexus identity with a “Resolute Look” front design that reinterprets the famous spindle grille. While the exterior dimensions are more compact than any other Lexus, the look is muscular and powerful. Inside, the emphasis is on driver-engagement with a focused driver’s cockpit based on Lexus’s tazuna concept. Inspired by a rider’s precise use of the reins to control a horse (the meaning of tazuna in Japanese) controls and information sources are arranged so that only small movements of hand and eye are required for operation, keeping the driver’s attention focused on the road. The cabin has a light, open feel with excellent visibility and an instrument panel that wraps around smoothly into the door panels.
In doing things differently with the LBX, Lexus has taken a new approach to building a model range, introducing choices that better reflect how today’s customers seek cars that match their personal style and character.
The grade strategy is designed give owners more freedom to express their individual taste and sense of style. True to Lexus’s commitment to “making luxury personal,” the LBX will be offered in grades that adopt different “Atmosphere” influences that express a refined, dynamic or sporty theme through styling details, colours, textures and finishes.
The LBX is the first Lexus model to be manufactured at the Iwate plant in eastern Japan, a facility that has benefited from Toyota Motor Corporation investment to help regenerate a region that suffered devastation from the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. Production will begin within this year; deliveries to customers in Europe will begin in early 2024.
THE LBX AND THE EUROPEAN MARKET
- An all-new model, designed for European customers
- Opens up new market opportunities, including customers who have not considered the Lexus brand before
- LBX introduced with new limited-run, top-specification Original Edition model
In developing the LBX specifically to appeal to contemporary European tastes, Lexus identified three key customer profiles: existing Lexus customers who want a second, smaller car; people who admire the Lexus brand and what it stands for but have not yet found a model that suits their needs; and those who haven’t considered Lexus before, but whose interest will be triggered by the new crossover.
These consumer types will be attracted principally by the LBX’s eye-catching exterior design, the premium look and feel of its cabin – a sense of “one segment up” quality – and the performance and efficiency of the self-charging hybrid electric powertrain.
To help customers visualise how different option combination would look, Lexus has launched an online car configurator. This provides a virtual 3D, 360-degree introduction to the LBX, as though you are exploring an actual car, opening the doors and stepping inside to experience the design and the range of different colours, interior trims and features.
The launch model range includes an Original Edition, a top-of-the-range, high-specification version, limited to just 2,000 examples for the first European customers. Its bespoke features include a bi-tone exterior paint finish with exclusive Sonic Copper colour-way, matt black 18-inch alloy wheels, stylish exterior trim details and Original Edition badging and leather and Ultrasuede upholstery with black stitching detail.
The introduction of the new LBX gives Lexus a European model range that extends from this all-new crossover through luxury saloons, SUVs, people carriers and flagship limousines, coupes and convertibles. And even though this is the most compact model in the line-up, owners will still receive the industry-leading Lexus customer experience.
- Next Chapter design that breaks with Lexus conventions
- Design expresses premium quality and a contemporary, more casual appeal
- Powerful new frontal styling with “deconstructed” spindle grille and Resolute Look
- Compact cabin, dynamically contoured underbody, long bonnet and large wheels and tyres communicate strong stance and rewarding performance
Lexus has rewritten its own rule book in developing the all-new LBX urban-friendly crossover, not least in rethinking some of its most familiar design conventions.
This radical new self-charging hybrid electric model has styling that sets it apart from its larger stablemates and signals its intention to capture the hearts and minds of a new breed of customer for the brand.
Next Chapter design
The team that created the LBX was encouraged by the company’s top management to apply fresh thinking, evolving the principles of Lexus Next Chapter design that have defined the latest generation of NX, RX and RZ models. It’s a design approach that directly interprets the car’s driving appeal – the case of the LBX, one that’s compact and nimble around town, agile and pleasing on winding country roads; and stable and refined in highway cruising.
The desire was to produce a car with strong visual appeal for younger, city-smart Europeans who favour premium quality that comes with a more casual, contemporary look and feel. This is a Lexus you will feel at home driving in jeans and sneakers, while still appreciating the luxury craftsmanship, premium quality and engaging driving character that are time-honoured hallmarks of the brand.
Frontal design with Resolute Look and “deconstructed” spindle grille
The most significant aspect of the design is a new frontal arrangement that “breaks” the spindle grille – a design hallmark for the past decade – leading Lexus into a new era.
Koichi Suga, General Manager Lexus Design, explains: “We have ‘deconstructed’ the spindle grille to make way for a new design. We’ve succeeded in creating a new front face identity that’s completely different from before yet is instantly recognisable as a Lexus.”
The grille has been unified in a single trapezoid shape, positioned below a narrow aperture that runs beneath the leading edge of the bonnet, linking the slim headlight units and emphasised by a one-piece chrome moulding. The design draws on the heritage of Lexus’s “Resolute Look.” Introduced with the LF-S concept car of 2003, this became a signature styling cue for Lexus production models from the early 2000s.
The seamless, frameless grille generates the lines of the LBX’s spindle body, contributing to the car’s strong, dynamic stance. It is also aerodynamically efficient, helping smooth airflow over and around the car. The new headlight design creates a strong visual signature, with the daytime running lights and turn indicators integrated in bi-functional units. With this new arrangement, the lights’ distinctive L-shape has been changed to face out rather than inwards, to match the direction of each indicator light. The headlights themselves are single-project bi-beam LEDs, equipped with an Automatic High-beam System (AHS) on higher grade models.
Design that expresses the driving performance
Following the principles of Lexus Next Chapter Design, the car’s identity and proportions are rooted in the driving experience it delivers. The front pillars have been pulled back, making the cabin appear compact and the bonnet longer for a sporty profile. The flared wings express power and accentuate the large (18-inch) wheels and tyres, while short overhangs and a bold tightening of the area around the rear doors evoke nimble, dynamic performance.
Rear design projecting a strong stance
The rear of the car also projects a strong stance, the styling inspired by a surprising source – the Kagami-Mochi rice cakes that are a traditional Japanese religious offering at New Year. These are made of two discs – a small one set on top of a larger one. When viewing the LBX from the rear, this balance of shapes is reflected in the car’s compact cabin positioned above a powerful underbody – another visual cue implying a low centre of gravity and stable handling.
Styling details include a subtly patterned film covering for the rear pillars, creating an intriguing textured appearance. Aero parts front and rear have silver accents that draw the eye to the strong underbody.
The licence plate has been moved down to the bumper, which makes the LEXUS name on the back door appear more prominent on the clean expanse of the back door. Similarly, the latest evolution of the Lexus signature L-shaped light bar has greater visual impact, with the turn signal and reversing lamps having a subdued presence when not illuminated.
The LBX is 4,190mm long, 1,825mm wide and 1,545mm high and has a 2,580mm wheelbase. The tight, 5.2m turning radius is ideal for urban driving.
The exterior colour choices include vivid shades and Lexus’s deep-lustre sonic finishes. Premium Plus Design and Takumi Design versions are specified with bi-tone paintwork, combining any colour option with a contrasting black roof. The LBX Original Edition comes as standard in an exclusive Sonic Copper bi-tone execution.
LIFE ON BOARD
- Clean, open and refined cabin design with Omotenashi comfort and convenience
- Focused Tazuna driver’s cockpit concept with excellent visibility
- Saloon-style driving position
- Lexus Link multimedia with cloud navigation, smartphone integration and advanced voice recognition capability
- Optional, app-based digital key can be shared remotely with up to five users
- Advanced climate control with nanoe-X air quality system
Lexus designers sought to create a simple and refined interior that creates the feel and atmosphere of a higher segment model. This effect is founded on three key elements: good visibility with an open view out and an uncluttered, smooth instrument panel; the sense of wide interior space; and a centre console with a commanding presence.
Throughout, the cabin expresses the Lexus omotenashi approach to making those on board feel welcomed and comfortable, with design details that anticipate their needs – from lighting and climate control, to the design and adjustment of the seats, the response of the multimedia system and the e-Latch electronic door release system.
The driver’s cockpit is an interpretation of Lexus’s Tazuna concept, first introduced on the NX mid-size SUV. This positions principal controls and information sources immediately around the driver, so operation or reading only requires minimal movements of hand or eye, helping keep the driver focused on the task of driving, with least distraction.
To help maintain a wide, clear view and open cabin feel, the horizontal instrument panel has a clean and simple design. At each side, its form flows into the door panel, giving a sense of wrapping around the front seat occupants, so the feel is expansive yet encompassing. The continuous line created by this design also helps the driver sense the degree of vehicle roll when driving through bends.
Prominent centre console
The centre console is a prominent, rigid structure with a large display that’s tilted back so that it integrates smoothly with the structure. It also features upholstered side knee pads, a tactile, padded centre arm rest and a lower storage box for small items that also contains a 12V accessory socket and C-type USB port.
The low hip-point adds to the driver’s sense of being at one with their car, giving them a saloon-like driving position. To ensure a good view out for everyone on board, the rear seats are set slightly higher than those at the front.
The seat designs focus on preserving a stable posture and minimising head movement when cornering, with a deep-hung cushion construction with an enlarged contact area and flatter seatback that holds the body snugly while keeping the chest upright. For the driver, this adds to their sense of connection with the car.
Eight-way power adjustment is available for the front seats. The rear seats divide and fold 60:40.
The LBX is the latest model to adopt a reminder system that gives an alert if children, luggage or other items are left on the front passenger or rear seats.
12.3-inch digital driver’s instrument display
The focused quality of the Tazuna concept is enhanced with a new, fully digital instrument displays – seven or 12.3-inch according to model specification. The lay-out and prominence of the meters and data change according to the drive mode selected and can be customised to suit individual preferences. The content of the multi-information display within the unit can also be adjusted.
An optional head-up display is also available with a choice of three operating modes to provide different amounts of information on vehicle performance and the status of driver assistance systems.
New steering wheel design
The design of the three-spoke steering wheel adds to the control, comfort and confidence elements of the Lexus Driving Signature, while programmable touch-sensor switches on the wheel provide quick and intuitive access to the driver’s preferred vehicle settings. A steering wheel heater is available in higher grade models, with options for synthetic or genuine leather trim. The shift lever is also positioned and profiled for comfort and ease of use, in line with the Tazuna design principles.
Upholsteries and trims
The premium quality and attention to detail is evident in the use of upholstery and trims with strong visual and tactile appeal. As well as top-quality semi-aniline leather, the options include a vegan-friendly interior that uses synthetic leather and materials for the seat coverings and steering wheel, shift lever and door trims.
The LBX also features new Tsuyusami charcoal-effect trim inlays, created using a new film technique that uses multiple layers to give a highly textured appearance with a sense of depth.
The interior ambient lighting design adds to the omotenashi effect of people being made welcome and feeling completely at home in the vehicle. Indirect lighting creates a premium ambience, for example around the door pull handles, footwells, wireless charger and lower console storage box.
On higher grade models there are 50 different colour options, in 14 groups across five themes: Healing, Relaxing, Arousing, Focusing and Exhilarated. These can be selected to suit the driver’s mood, the journey or the time of day.
Multimedia, information and entertainment
The LBX is equipped with the latest Lexus Link Connect system, operated via a 9.8-inch touchscreen with an anti-reflective coating that makes it clear to read in all lighting conditions.
Its functions include cloud-based navigation, optimising journey planning with real-time information on traffic events and delays. Further convenience is provided by dynamic voice recognition and the “Hey Lexus” on-board assistant. This responds to voice commands from both driver and front seat passenger, recognising more conversational language. For example, simple saying “Hey Lexus, I’m cold” will prompt the system to raise the climate control temperature. It can also recognise whether the driver or the front passenger are speaking and can function without the need to turn off audio playback.
Smartphone integration is enabled using wireless or wired connections for Apple CarPlay, or a wired link for Android Auto.
The system’s My Setting function allows up to three users to register their own, customised preferences for the multimedia (audio, navigation, etc), vehicle (driving position, interior lighting, instrument display etc) and safety and driver assistance systems (PCS warning time, Blind Spot Monitor sensitivity etc). The car will automatically recognise the user either by the presence of a digital key, connected Bluetooth device or facial recognition (on models fitted with a Driver Monitor Camera).
In common with the latest new Lexus models, the LBX offers seamless over-the-air software updates for its multimedia and safety systems, so owners can benefit from upgrades without having to organise a visit to a Lexus workshop.
Further convenience is provided by an optional digital key. Compatible with both Apple and Android devices, this allows up to five individuals per car to use an app on their smartphone to unlock and start the vehicle. They don’t have to take their phone out of their pocket or bag, just having it on their person is sufficient. One year’s digital key subscription is included in the car’s purchase price.
The app can also be used as a wireless key for remote vehicle locking and unlocking, allowing, for example, the car to be used as a secure drop off point for parcel deliveries. And if the smartphone is lost, or the battery is depleted, a physical key can still be used.
Mark Levinson, Lexus’s exclusive audio partner, has designed an optional premium system for the car, featuring an array of 13 optimally positioned speakers. The system comprises 10 9cm Unity speakers, each with an integrated tweeter, plus 22.9cm woofers in each of the front doors and a 22.4cm subwoofer beneath the luggage compartment floor.
The system features the new Mark Levinson Quantum Logic Surround technology to deliver an accurate and full-bodied sound stage, smoothly balanced frequency characteristics and high clarity and definition.
The standard audio system for the LBX has six speakers, with four 9cm mid-range speakers plus an 18cm woofer in each of the front doors.
Air conditioning and Lexus Climate Concierge
The design of the air conditioning unit targeted weight and space saving, quiet operation and efficiency that helps overall fuel economy. Heating performance and energy efficiency have been enhanced with a new air inlet design that increases the recirculated air rate.
On higher grade models, Lexus Climate Concierge automatically co-ordinates air conditioning operation with the seat and steering wheel heaters so that the desired temperature is achieved promptly for each passenger. The system will also introduce fresh, low-humidity air into the upper part of the cabin to prevent window fogging, while recirculating warm air around the occupants’ feet.
The Climate Concierge further enhances cabin air quality, using nanoe-X, a Panasonic technology that discharges microscopic nanoe water particles from the air vents. These have multiple beneficial effects, helping inhibit viruses and bacteria and neutralising odours. They also have a moisturising effect on human hair and skin.
Using the Lexus Link app, owners can operate the air conditioning system remotely, warming or cooling the cabin or initiating windscreen de-icing prior to making a journey.
e-Latch electronic door release
Lexus’s e-Latch system provides intuitive, smooth and easy door opening and locking/unlocking with no mechanical noise.
On the external door handles, a door opening switch is provided on the back of the handle. Inside, the door pull and handle are integrated so the door can be opened in a single movement – no need to release the handle, then push. The release switch is designed to help prevent unintended opening; doors are auto-locked when the car’s speed exceed 2.5mph. Opening will only be permitted if the shift is in “Park,” the brake pedal is depressed, or the parking brake is engaged. If there is a loss of battery power, the doors can be opened manually.
On models above the entry-level Urban grade, the e-Latch is linked to the Safe Exit Assist system, which deactivates the interior door opening switch if there is a risk of contact with vehicles approaching from the rear (further details in the safety chapter, below).
With all rear seats in place, the load compartment in the front-wheel drive LBX extends to 402 litres, with space to carry two 75-litre suitcases beneath the tonneau board; in the all-wheel drive version there’s 317 litres.
Space has been maximised by eliminating recesses and protrusions and creating storage space for tools, a tyre repair kit and other items beneath the deck board. The lightweight folding tonneau board can be stored flat on the deck floor when larger items need to be carried.
Power back door
A power back door is available for the LBX, with a compact motor that provides quiet operation and quick response. The door can be opened using switches on the instrument panel and smart key, with a closing switch also provided on the bottom edge of the door. A close and lock switch will shut and secure the door, when the user is carrying the vehicle’s smart key.
The maximum opening angle can be adjusted by the user, for example to avoid hitting a low garage ceiling or other obstacles. The default setting is 79 degrees.
The LBX is available with an Advanced Park system which uses an array of four cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors to gain all-round, real-time coverage of the car’s immediate surroundings. This helps the driver achieve efficient, smooth automatic parking manoeuvres with fewer repositioning movements.
An automatic park function can be used for reverse and front-first parallel and series parking and exiting (forward exit from parallel parking position). It controls all the necessary vehicle control functions – steering, braking, accelerator and shift.
A memory function uses a camera image to provide automatic parking in up to three regularly used spaces, for example on a home driveway.
- Rewarding driving experience central to the LBX’s appeal
- Focus on strengthening the car’s fundamental characteristics rather than applying electronic systems
- Lexus’s first use of the GA-B global small car platform, with focused revisions to enhance dynamic performance
- First car in its class to feature Vehicle Posture Braking Control
- Extensive measures to reduce and control noise and vibration
Driving performance was a focus point for development of the LBX. Lexus’s ambition was to deliver the Lexus Driving Signature in a small car package, engineering a vehicle in which the driver feels confident, comfortable and in control at all times. Prompt, faithful steering, braking and throttle responses and stable handling in all conditions generate a natural dialogue and constant sense of connection between driver and car.
Chief Engineer Kunihiko Endo explains: “We worked on achieving a nimble drive that maximises the benefits of the LBX’s small size and light weight, while focusing more than ever on honing the car’s fundamental characteristics, without relying on electronic controls.”
This involved measures such as lowering the centre of gravity, widening the track to enhance inertia specifications, making the body more rigid, reducing weight, using larger, wider tyres and revising the suspension. These all combine to ensure the car moves faithfully and responsively in line with the driver’s intentions.
Packaging: first Lexus to use the GA-B global architecture platform
This is the first Lexus to be built on the GA-B compact car global platform, fundamentally revised to help produce the Lexus Driving Signature.
An extended wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track combine to give greater stability and handling characteristics that make the car feel like a hatchback or saloon to drive. Using larger wheels and tyres increases the tyre’s contact area with the road surface, which adds to the stable feel and confidence-building sense of control.
The platform gives the LBX a low centre of gravity, but Lexus has secured a low, 285mm hip point, to give the driver a position at the wheel that’s more like a saloon than an SUV, with legs extended rather than upright.
Strong body structure
Body rigidity is another key element in achieving the confidence, comfort and control of the Lexus Driving Signature.
The upper body is strengthened with structural adhesive and numerous short-pitch welding points, notably around the back door aperture. Reinforcements improve the torsional rigidity, while using lightweight parts such as an aluminium bonnet and moulded resin for the wheel arches, rockers and lower door sections helps maintain a low centre-of-gravity and contribute to fuel efficiency. The centre pillars and bumper reinforcements are made from light-yet-strong hot-stamped steel. The positioning of the roof reinforcements allows a thinner roof panel to be used, delivering further weight-saving gains.
The underbody meanwhile benefits from laser screw welding and high-decay adhesive strengthening measures. The positioning of the underbody reinforcements also has the benefit of reducing vibrations, making for a more comfortable ride.
Chassis and suspension
The suspension system has been designed for steering response and turning ability. Detailed measures have been implemented to enhance rigidity and response to lateral forces in the arms.
The front has a new MacPherson strut-type design that is rigid and lightweight to give agile handling and a high-quality ride. At the rear there is a torsion beam on the front-wheel drive LBX and a double-wishbone set-up with trailing arms to accommodate the E-Four system on the all-wheel drive model.
The new unified spindle and Resolute Look front design help improve the LBX’s drag coefficient, reducing front life and managing the flow of air from the front bumper down the sides of the vehicle.
Airflow over the car is optimised with details such flush belt mouldings, precise profiling of the front bumper corners and rear bumper sides and the addition of fin shapes to the rockers. The contour of the roof, the rear gate-style spoiler and the design of the rear combination lamps also play a part in the LBX’s aerodynamic efficiency and a 0.34 Cd figure.
In addition to the lower hip point, Lexus has considered every aspect of the driving position to foster the sense of connection with the car that’s key to the Lexus Driving Signature.
The new three-spoke steering wheel has been brought closer to the driver and set at a more upright angle, while driver’s view is enhanced by the shape of the bonnet and slim front pillars, giving a clear sense of the vehicle’s corners and reducing the left and right blind spots when manoeuvring and turning.
The seat design has been carefully considered, too, with a flatter back and a cushion structure and length that help the driver gain a better feel for how the car is behaving.
Noise and vibration control
The LBX may be a small car but Lexus has invested considerable effort in producing the kind of quiet, calm cabin environment customers might expect from a larger premium model.
The package of measures to control noise and vibration includes particular attention to the doors. Their closing sound has been tuned to communicate reassuring quality, using damping sheets inside the panels, covering service holes and using a sealer around the door trim.
A high-damping mastic is used on the roof to counter the transmission of road noise and an expansive roof silencer helps maintain cabin quietness, for example reducing the noise made by rainfall.
A seal is fitted around the entire bonnet opening, which suppresses noise caused by airflow turbulence. Engine noise is reduced thanks to the addition of a balancer shaft, while the underbody features adhesive with a high damping quality and reduced gaps between parts. On higher grade models, acoustic glass is used for both the windscreen and front side windows, while liners, insulators and foam and other noise-absorbing materials are used at strategic points around the cabin.
Vehicle Braking Posture Control
This is the first vehicle in its class to use a Vehicle Braking Posture Control system. This provides automatic balancing of front and rear brakeforce to suppress pitching under braking and reduce roll when cornering. As well as keeping the car stable it also filters out vibrations to help maintain a comfortable ride.
The system uses independent front and rear pressure regulators to adjust brakeforce distribution according to the driver’s use of the brake pedal and vertical movement of the suspension. During initial braking, the vehicle will pitch in response, making it easy to feel how the car is slowing. When the driver applies more pressure on the brake pedal, more brake force is directed to the rear so that body lift over the rear wheels is suppressed and the car’s body sinks down. With reduced pitching, driver confidence is increased with a linear braking feel and a reassuring sense of the tyres having secure contact with the ground, even under heavy braking.
The LBX uses an electronically controlled, pressure-on-demand braking system with a high-performance pump motor for easy usability and a natural braking feel. Disc brakes are fitted – ventilated at the front and solid at the rear.
The electronic power steering is tuned for a nimble, smooth feel. The structure has an intermediate shaft with an expansion/contraction stroke mechanism that helps absorb vibrations.
The driver can manually adjust the steering wheel reach by 50mm and height (tilt) by 40mm.
- New Lexus 1.5-litre self-charging hybrid electric powertrain
- Compact, lightweight three-cylinder engine with world-class thermal efficiency
- New bi-polar hybrid battery offers greater power density and output, supporting responsive, linear acceleration
- Optional E-Four all-wheel drive system
The LBX has a new self-charging full hybrid electric powertrain that is both highly efficient and tuned for the kind of prompt, responsive acceleration that’s characteristic of battery electric power. It’s a key element in giving the LBX a rewarding driving character and securing the all-round rewards of the Lexus Driving Signature.
The total system output is 134bhp/136 DIN hp/100kW with peak torque of 185Nm, giving 0-62mph acceleration in 9.2 seconds for the front-wheel drive model, 9.6 with all-wheel drive. Official WLTP combined cycle figures indicate fuel economy of up to 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions from 102g/km.
1.5-litre VVT-iE engine
The 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine has world-class thermal efficiency, supported by high-speed combustion, achieved with technologies evolved from Formula 1 engineering, including a longer stroke, increased valve angle and laser-clad intake valve seats. The Ultra-lightweight pistons are designed for performance at high engine revs and have a resin skirt coating that reduces friction with the cylinder wall.
Further thermal efficiency is gained from a variable cooling system that adjusts the coolant flow rate according to the engine’s running conditions and the outside temperature. This achieves quicker engine warm-up and reduces friction losses, contributing to fuel economy and supporting efficient air conditioner performance.
Electronic, intelligent variable valve-timing on the intake side – VVTi-E supports a good balance between fuel economy and power response, even at low engine speeds or with low oil temperatures.
Lexus’s small-capacity hybrid system uses a new transaxle, designed to save weight and space. Nonetheless, it delivers 17 per cent higher output than conventional units of the same size, with class-leading fuel consumption, quiet running and low emissions.
Artificial Intelligence tools were used together with Model Based Development (MBD) and precision measurement in the transaxle redesign to reduce the size of the geartrain and achieve a shorter transaxle unit. Further space is saved by the two motor-generators being located on separate shafts. Every element was scrutinised for ways size and weight could be reduced without sacrificing performance or quality. Details include new gear tooth design, lubrication and cooling mechanisms, casing design and the use of low-viscosity oil.
The new power control unit (PCU) is sufficiently compact to be mounted directly above the transaxle, helping secure a low bonnet line and consequently supporting both fuel efficiency and pedestrian protection performance.
New bi-polar hybrid battery
The LBX follows the all-new RX to become the second Lexus model to benefit from a new high-output bi-polar nickel metal hydride (NiMH) hybrid battery.
The innovative bi-polar technology allows for a higher power density to be achieved from a more compact and lighter battery unit. Response delay is reduced by half, which contributes to nimble, exhilarating performance, giving the kind of high torque delivery at low speeds that’s normally associated with pure electric vehicles. It also benefits from a redesigned cooling system to help prolong battery life and performance.
The entire battery pack is accommodated beneath the rear seats, avoiding any loss of cabin or load space.
Hybrid Control System
The Hybrid Control system harnesses the increased electric motor and hybrid battery output to deliver sharp response at start-off and a feeling of continuous acceleration. Compared to previous hybrid systems, responsiveness has been increased by about 30 per cent and initial acceleration by around 20 per cent; acceleration is sustained, without the feeling of a drop off in momentum.
The system also supports rewarding performance by assisting acceleration and deceleration force when driving on inclines, so there’s less need to use the throttle when travelling uphill, or the brakes when going downhill.
With the hybrid battery contributing more power at start-up, engine revs are around 20 per cent lower, so there is a more pleasing, linear relationship between the driver’s use of the accelerator and the engine sound.
The system detects when the car begins to travel downhill and automatically implements deceleration control, even when the driver comes off the brake pedal.
Predictive Efficient Drive
Predictive Efficient Drive predicts driver behaviour and road and traffic conditions to optimise hybrid battery power charging or discharging in line with the actual driving situation. This intelligent operation helps enhance fuel efficiency. It works in conjunction with the car’s cloud-based navigation, gathering data when following a route regularly used by the driver; it can be switched on or off as the driver prefers.
Predictive Deceleration Support recognises locations on the route appropriate for deceleration support and shows them as icons on the navigation screen. As the car approaches the support point, regenerative braking is increased to support the driver (this function operates even when navigation route guidance isn’t being provided). The increase in regenerative braking also provides more efficient battery charging.
The system uses Predictive State of Charge Control (SOC) during route guidance to pinpoint areas such as an uphill gradient or traffic congestion up to 6.2 miles ahead and determine efficient battery charging or discharging. For example, Downhill SOC control will make use of battery charge before reaching a downhill route section, so the opportunity to recover energy isn’t wasted. Congestion SOC control proactively charges the battery before reaching traffic congestion, using information from live traffic reports. This potentially reduces the number of times the engine will have to start when moving in slow traffic.
Higher grade models (Takumi, Takumi Design and Original Edition) are equipped with a Sequential Shiftmatic system which lets the driver select the shift range using paddle controls on the steering wheel.
The system delivers highly responsive engine braking force in six steps, giving a shift feel similar to using a manual transmission and thus increasing the driver’s sense of engagement with the car, particularly when following winding country routes.
E-Four all-wheel drive
The driver can gain extra confidence from safe and stable performance when cornering or pulling away in low-grip conditions with the option of Lexus’s E-Four all-wheel drive (on Takumi and Takumi Design grade models). This introduces an additional electric motor on the rear axle and automatically directs an appropriate level of drive force to the rear wheels. The compact, fuel-efficient system can vary the ratio of front to rear-wheel drive torque from between 100:0 to 20:80.
SAFETY AND DRIVER ASSISTANCE
- Latest generation Lexus Safety System+ active safety and driver assistance systems provided as standard
- Enhanced hazard detection capabilities and new braking, steering and drive force control functions to help avoid collisions
In addition to features such as the Advanced Park system and Vehicle Braking Posture Control detailed above, the LBX is equipped as standard with the comprehensive safety and driver assistance provisions of the latest generation of Lexus Safety System+. This equips the car with multiple systems to detect accident risks, alert the driver and automatically provide steering, braking and drive force control if required to help avoid or lessen the consequences of a collision.
The Pre-Collision System (PCS) provides an increased detection range with a new combination of front radar and camera sensor. Its operational scope includes being able to recognise motorcycles and oncoming vehicles. Its Intersection Assistance is also enhanced, to include detection of oncoming vehicles and cross pedestrians when making a turn at a junction.
The system further benefits from Emergency Steering Assist which helps keep the car stable and within its traffic lane when the driver needs to avoid a parked car, pedestrian or other obstacle to the side of the road. The system is also available with Active Support, which works to avoid a collision by providing gentle braking and steering.
The PCS also provides Low Speed Acceleration Suppression, recognising sudden, unintended use of the throttle when driving at low speed. The optional Front Cross Traffic Alert warns the driver of approaching vehicles from either side, helping the driver at junctions with poor or compromised sight-lines.
Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) provides a wide range of inter-vehicle distance settings, so the driver can tailor performance to their personal preference.
Functions include Curve Speed Reduction, ensuring an appropriate speed for smooth driving through bends, and Overtaking Prevention, which regulates the car’s speed to avoid overtaking a slower vehicle on the wrong side on a multi-lane road. The driver can also easily reset the cruising speed to comply with changes in the speed limit detected by the Road Sign Assist system (RSA).
The Lane Departure Alert (LDA) has been enhanced to recognise more objects, including adjacent street furniture such as utility poles, kerbstones and guard rails. It can also detect when the driver is steering to avoid a person or parked vehicle in the LBX’s traffic lane.
The high-performance camera used by the Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) is better able to distinguish road markings; when markings are obscured, for example in heavy traffic, the system will follow the path of the vehicle ahead. It can also recognise 3D objects so can adjust its performance to give appropriate lateral clearance from vehicles in adjacent lanes or roadworks, operating in way that feels natural to the driver.
Lane Change Assist can be used when the car’s LTA is activated. When the driver signals to make a lane change, the system checks for safety using the PCS radar and camera, calculates the target trajectory and provides appropriate steering control. Once the lane change is complete, LTA returns to its normal operating status.
The Driver Monitor is a camera mounted above the steering wheel which keeps a constant check on the driver’s condition. If it detects that they have lost concentration through being tired or unwell, it triggers visual and audible alerts. In a world-first, the system is linked to the car’s active safety systems, so that should the driver fail to respond, the car can be brought smoothly to a controlled halt with the hazard lights activated (Emergency Driving Stop).
Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) includes Obstacle Anticipation Assist, Deceleration Assist and Steering Assist. The system operates at lower speeds, for example when driving around town. The front camera scans the area ahead of the car to check for hazards such as pedestrians about to cross or walking along the side of the road, parked cars and cyclists. If there is a collision risk, the system will provide braking and steering to avoid the obstacle, while keeping the car in its traffic lane.
The Lexus Safety System+ package also provides Automatic High Beam or, on higher specification models, an Adaptive High-beam System for automatic adjustment of the headlight beams to achieve optimum forward illumination without dazzling oncoming traffic.
Road Sign Assist (RSA) can recognise and display a wider range of highway warning and command signs. The car’s speed limiter can be linked to the RSA, reducing powertrain output and applying braking if necessary to keep the car within the legal speed limit for a given road.
Help when making manoeuvres is provided by the Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitor, together with a Reversing Camera and a Parking Support Brake. The Parking Support Brake automatically applies drive force and braking control if there is a risk of contact with a static object, vehicles approaching from the rear or pedestrians, when moving at low speed.
Wet arm wiper
The driver gains better visibility in poor weather conditions with a new wet arm wiper, as featured previously on Lexus’s flagship LC and LS models. This distributes washer fluid from the wiper itself, giving more thorough and immediate windscreen clean.
UK MODEL RANGE, PRICING AND WARRANTY
- Four UK core model grades – Urban, Premium, Premium Plus and Takumi
- Additional Premium Plus Design and Takumi Design models
- Top specification Original Edition, limited to 250 examples only
- On-the-road prices from £29,995
- Lexus warranty cover of up to 10 years/100,000 miles
True to its principle of “making luxury personal,” the LBX presents an unprecedented breadth of choice when it comes to the car’s styling, from exterior colours to interior upholsteries and finishes.
Six different grades are available, ensuring there’s something to suit a wide range of personal tastes and preferences. Each grade evokes one of four different Lexus “atmospheres” through different design executions and specifications, each with a distinctive aesthetic theme: Elegant, Relax, Emotion and Cool.
Elegant and Relax project a refined feel with a monotone exterior paint finish, 17 or 18-inch wheels and either Tahara synthetic leather (Elegant) or premium semi-aniline leather (Relax). Emotion and Cool evoke a sportier, more dynamic character, with bi-tone paintwork, 18-inch machined-finish alloys and either Tahara (Emotion) or combination Ultrasuede and leather upholstery (Cool).
The core grades and their respective atmospheres are Urban, Premium (Elegant), Premium Plus (Elegant) and Takumi (Relax). Beyond these versions, the choice for customers seeking an even more distinctive look and feel for their car includes Premium Plus Design (Emotion) and Takumi Design (Cool).
In addition, the LBX’s introductory line-up includes a special Original Edition version. This model’s exclusivity is guaranteed, with just 250 examples being offered.
The exterior colour options include vivid Solid Yellow, Metallic Red and Metallic Blue, plus Sonic White, Cement Grey and Silver Metallic.
The LBX Urban standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with automatic high beam, Lexus Link Connect multimedia system with 9.8-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, smartphone integration (wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto), E-latch electronic release, front and rear parking sensors and rear-view camera.
The LBX Premium introduces heated front seats, Tahara upholstery, rear privacy glass, wireless smartphone charger, Pre-Collision System with Driver Monitor, Rear Side Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor and Safe Exit Assist, automatic windscreen wipers, ambient cabin lighting (single colour) and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
The LBX Premium Plus builds on the Premium specification with high-gloss 18-inch wheels, power back door, 12.3-inch digital driver’s instrument display, head-up display, smart entry (front and rear) and nanoe-X air purification system.
The Premium Plus Design model adds bi-tone paintwork, machined alloys and perforated Tahara upholstery with red stitching.
Takumi grade features include a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, semi-aniline leather upholstery, power driver’s seat adjustment with memory, multi-colour interior ambient lighting, Intelligent Park Assist, an Advanced Safety Pack and LED headlights with Adaptive High-beam System.
The Takumi Design specification adds bi-tone paintwork, machined 18-inch alloys and combination Ultrasuede and leather upholstery.
The LBX Original Edition, the pinnacle of the LBX range at launch is offered in a unique Sonic Copper bi-tone finish, with matt black 18-inch wheels, bumper inserts, rear pillar decals and dedicated badging.
In addition, all LBX models benefit from the advanced safety and driver assistance systems of the third generation of Lexus Safety System+.
Full specification details can be found in the equipment specification table below.
On-the-road prices for the LBX are as follows: –
|Premium Plus Design
|Takumi Design AWD
In common with every new Lexus, the LBX is eligible for Lexus warranty protection for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first). This comprises an initial three-year manufacturer warranty, followed by up to a further seven years of service-activated warranty.
For the first three years of the car’s life, owners can have it serviced at a place of their choice. When the new car warranty period expires, they can then benefit from an additional 12 months (or 10,000 miles) warranty when their vehicle has a qualifying service at an authorised Lexus workshop. The warranty is provided at no extra cost, up to a limit of 10 years/100,000 miles. Terms and conditions apply; full details are available at www.lexus.co.uk.
For the Lexus LBX Technical and Equipment specifications please click here.