12 October 2022
Lexus is introducing a package of upgrades for the UX 300e battery electric compact crossover, including an increase of up to more than 40 per cent in the driving range.
A new battery system should enable distances of up to 280 miles to be covered on a single charge – in principle enough to travel non-stop from London to Sunderland or Edinburgh to Sheffield*.
The UX 300e will also gain detailed changes to the body and chassis, the latest Lexus Link multimedia systems, improved Lexus Safety System+ safety and driver assistance functions and a wider choice of upholsteries and trims.
The internationally acclaimed British musician Joy Crookes is the face and voice of the launch campaign for the new UX and her hit song Feet Don’t Fail Me Now features as the soundtrack for the new pan-European television commercial.
Lexus expects customer deliveries of the new UX 300e to commence during the second half of 2023. Pricing and specification details will be announced nearer the model’s on-sale date.
New, more powerful battery
Lexus is significantly extending the UX 300e’s driving range by increasing the lithium-ion battery’s capacity from 54.3 to 72.8kWh.
Maximum power remains 201bhp/159kW with 300Nm maximum torque. Models running on 17-inch wheels are expected to achieve a range of up to 280 miles* (450km, WLTP combined cycle), while those with 18-inch wheels should be able to cover up to 273 miles* (440km). In both cases, the distance may be affected by options specified for the vehicle.
Detailed changes to enhance the driving experience include fine-tuning of the steering and shock absorber settings to sharpen dynamic performance, while additional spot-welding increases body rigidity. These alterations improve the car’s responsiveness and planted feel, characteristics accentuated by the vehicle’s low centre of gravity and the location of the battery pack beneath the floor. Changes are also being made to the sound insulation to achieve an even quieter cabin.
New and improved multimedia systems
The UX 300e will follow the UX 250h in adopting the new Lexus Link multimedia systems, giving faster response, more intuitive, human-centred operation and increased functionality.
According to equipment grade, models are fitted with either eight-inch (Lexus Link connect) or 12.3-inch (Lexus Link Pro) displays, with touchscreen technology replacing the previous trackpad control. The new displays sit further forward on the instrument panel, bringing them closer to the driver for comfortable operation. They present crisper graphics – in high definition on the 12.3-inch screen. Significantly increased computing power means command responses are quicker, while “always connected” cloud-based navigation is provided as standard, giving access to real time road and traffic information for easier journey planning. The Lexus Link Pro system has embedded navigation, so operation is available in areas where cloud connection is not available.
The system’s new voice recognition system includes the option of using the “Hey Lexus” on-board assistant. This makes for easier use of voice commands to make phone calls, operate the audio and climate control and search the net. It can link to cloud-based information, so, for example, it can be asked about nearby fuel prices and other local information. It is programmed to understand more conversational terms and is better able to recognise commands when there is background noise – the audio doesn’t have be muted and the microphones can recognise whether it is the driver or front passenger speaking.
Smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay (wireless connection) or Android Auto (wired connection) is provided as standard and, for complete convenience, updates to the multimedia system software can be delivered over-the-air using the car’s DCM (data communication module). Connectivity options include a USB-A port in the centre console box for playback of high-resolution sound sources and two USB-C ports for device charging on the console. The multimedia system can save the personal preference profiles of up to three people, customising the multimedia, audio and navigation settings.
A redesign of the centre console uses the space where the multimedia trackpad was located for the controls for the heated front seats or, where these are not specified, a handy small storage cubby. The console also gains an illuminated tray in front of the air conditioning control panel, with space to hold a large smartphone.
True to Lexus’s famous omotenashi hospitality, owners will be able to use the Lexus Link smartphone app to lock or unlock the doors or operate the air conditioning system remotely, so that the cabin can be cooled or warmed before they set off on a journey.
Interior and exterior changes
The UX 300e will be available with new exterior paintwork option, Sonic Platinum. This special finish uses Lexus’s advanced sonic paint technology in which a layer just a few microns thick brings the metallic flakes in the paint into closer, uniform alignment, creating an extra brilliance and deeper shading across the car’s bodywork.
In the cabin, there is a new Hazel colour option available for both the fabric and leather upholstery options. The perforated leather upholstery has a fresh look with a new kagome stitchwork pattern, inspired by a traditional Japanese basket weave. Japanese heritage is also expressed in the Washi dashboard surface texture, influenced by the paper-grain panels found in the sliding screen doors in traditional homes.
Lexus Safety System+
Revisions to the Lexus Safety System+ bring improved performance in the Pre-Collision System, equipping the car with Intersection Turning Assist for safer left and right turns across traffic at intersections and Emergency Steering Assist, which helps the driver steer to avoid obstacles without departing from their traffic lane. The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control adopts Curve Speed Reduction, which automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed to suit the radius of a bend in the road.