When Lexus announced its shift to electrification, it was nowhere close to kidding. And we believe the Japanese luxury brand. After all, most of its vehicles have hybrid variants—a logical first step. But now, the company is taking it a notch higher. This time, offering its first fully electric vehicle. Ladies and gents, welcome the UX300e.
Outside, the crossover is just like any other UX. The only difference is the badging. Just in case you’re wondering, the ‘e’ in its variant nomenclature stands for electric (obviously). The UX300e doesn’t have an internal-combustion engine or a hybrid powertrain. And while there’s nothing much that differentiates it from the regular UX, this is a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) to the core.
The same can be said inside. Everything looks like the ones you’d see in the ordinary version. The only notable differences are the shift lever, the buttons beside it, and what can be seen in the instrumentation. Though the drivetrain is different, Lexus didn’t make any radical changes, so the electric UX looks and feels familiar.
So, what has changed, you ask? The hood loses its internal combustion or hybrid powertrain. The 201hp/300Nm motor is powered by a 72.8kWh battery pack. Compared to the usual 54.4 kWh battery packs, this has 18.4kWh of additional power that extends its driving range to 450km. Juicing up the vehicle can be done via a CHAdeMO fast charger.
Inside, a new 12.3-inch touch display is used. This bigger, high-resolution display works with an intuitive interface, and is mounted closer to the driver for easier operation. This is Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto-capable, and also has the latest voice recognition system. The Lexus app allows users to check battery levels and cruising range via a smartphone. Additionally, a user’s smartphone can be used as a digital key, making car-sharing easier.
In terms of safety, the UX300e is fitted with the Lexus Safety System+ suite of features. This, in turn, improves the functionality of the pre-collision system. Other features are the lane-tracing assist, dynamic radar cruise control, and emergency driving stop system.
No information has been shared about the availability of the electrified UX. We guess this will first hit the roads of the United States and Europe. And with the current state of our country’s EV-charging infrastructure, it might take a while before this arrives on our shores.