Lexus is to unveil its first battery electric vehicle (BEV) in Australia, the UX 300e, at the upcoming Melbourne Cup, to which it has naming rights.
The UX 300e will boast a driving range of 360-kilometres powered by a 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery and the first BEV from Toyota’s luxury vehicle division, although several hybrids have already been released as part of the Toyota luxury brand’s “Lexus Electrified” vision that was unveiled at the same event last year.
The Lexus UX 300e willl be the flagship UX model, and will be able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds. A 54.3kWh lithium-ion battery located under the vehicle floor helps to lower the centre of gravity to such a degree that Lexus is able to describe the feel of the SUV as “comparable to that of a sports coupe.”
The front-axle-mounted electric motor is similarly placed much lower in the engine bay and weighs approximately half the weight of a conventional petrol engine. The removal of exhaust hardware has also enabled Lexus to lower the floor of the boot which provides 11-litres of underfloor volume for charging cable storage.
Offered in Luxury and Sports Luxury models, the UX 300e is filled with a veritable suite of high-end luxury features including heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, heated steering wheel, and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.
Other key highlights include LED headlamps and foglamps, smart entry & start, power operated tailgate, a power adjustable steering column, eight-way power adjustable front seats, a 7.0-inch driver display, 10.3-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, DAB+ digital radio, and wireless smartphone charging.
“The UX 300e further advances these values from the successful hybrid UX 250h, offering a new standard of performance and handling in our luxury compact SUV and a soon-to-be-announced ownership package that will set a new standard for BEVs,” said Scott Thompson, the CEO of Lexus Australia.
No price appears to have been made public yet. That will be revealed in the formal unveiling next month at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.