Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus has announced plans to reveal its first production electric vehicle (EV) at the Guangzhou auto show in China on November 22, one of ten electric vehicles promised by Toyota by 2025.
The announcement, however, has come without so much as a hint as to which segment the new product belongs to or which concept vehicle it will be based on.
The mystery echoes the lack of detail given in the recent announcement of an BEV (that is, pure battery electric) concept to be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor show in early October, which later turned out to be a “self-charging” hybrid crossover concept with four in-wheel motors called the Lexus LF-30 Electrified .
The next inkling we had of an actual electric vehicle from Lexus came again later in October when it unveiled the LF-30, saying, “The LF-30 Electrified will be followed next month by the first production Lexus BEV, broadening the company’s response to the needs of various regions around the world.”
This will form part of a wider but vague strategy to diversify powertrains – all Lexus would say at the time is that it “will further expand its electrified vehicle line-up ‘early in the coming decade’ with the first Lexus plug-in hybrid and a new dedicated BEV platform”.
So, Lexus will branch into plug-in hybrids at some point, as well as a dedicated BEV platform.
But the new production vehicle is thought to be based on existing model, in part due to the reference by the Japanese luxury brand to “powerchain choices” as stated in the brief press release.
“Specifically crafted to suit the needs of audiences in China and Europe, this further advances the brand’s desire to offer a portfolio of electrified powertrain choices for diverse audiences worldwide,” the brand stated in its press release announcing the unveil.
According to Motor Authority, it could be that it will be based on the Lexus UX, an entry-level compact SUV that is currently available with a hybrid powertrain.
Given the statement from Lexus also refers to making the new EV available for European customers and the fact that the Autoguide in December 2018 revealed that Lexus had trademarked the name “UX300e” in Europe, this seems a logical guess.
The hybrid version of the UX, known as UX200, refers to the 2 litre petrol engine in the compact crossover – could the moniker of the all-electric UX300e suggest a 300km driving range however?
All the details will be revealed next Thursday – although it could be that any hype may be somewhat dampened considering the day of the Lexus EV’s unveil will come hot on the heels of the long-awaited unveil of leading EV maker Tesla’s pickup truck.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.