Luxury doesn’t always have to come in big packages. Lexus has set about to prove that point, and with the official premiere of the LBX, they’ve proven that it can be done. Teased just late last month, what could be the brand’s smallest but no less premium crossover to date has its covers taken off, and it will be available worldwide by Q4 of this year.
Lexus LBX to deliver a high-quality driving experience and design
The inspiration behind the Lexus LBX came from none other than Lexus Master Driver Akio Toyoda himself. His vision was to redefine the “norm” of big luxury cars, that size won’t be a hindrance in delivering a high-quality experience and design. Ultimately, the goal was to “design a car tailored for the discerning customer, allowing them to relax and feel like their true self during casual drives”.
Thus was born the “Premium Casual” design philosophy that Lexus believes will establish a presence and level of refinement far exceeding all else in its class.
The exterior of the LBX shows off a new era, particularly for Lexus’ well-known Spindle Grille. The grille has now been framed in a single trapezoid shape and placed below a narrow aperture that runs beneath the leading edge of the hood, neatly integrating into and with the slim headlight units. Headlights being mentioned, the daytime running lights (DRL), and turn indicators have been integrated into bi-functional units.
The LBX follows the Lexus Next Chapter Design principle and with its longer(-looking) hood, flared wings, 18-inch alloy wheels, short overhangs, and sporty lines, it does well to show off an agile, dynamic look.
As for the rear, the license plate holder is now relocated down to the bumper so that the LEXUS-lettered signature on the tailgate is made more prominent. With the latest evolution of the Lexus signature, the L-shaped light bar looks much bolder, with the turn signal and reverse lights looking more subdued when not illuminated.
Inside the LBX, Lexus believes it has struck a balance between simplicity and elegance, and craftsmanship and high quality. The simple and refined interior is pinned on three key elements: good visibility with an open view out and a simple, smooth instrument panel, the sense of wide interior space, and a center console with a commanding presence.
The cockpit features a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument display, featured in a Lexus for the first time. The layout and configuration of the meters and data change according to the drive mode selected and can be further customized to one’s preferences. An optional head-up display is also available.
The LBX also comes equipped with the latest Lexus Link Connect system, operated via a 9.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It features the “Hey Lexus” on-board assistant, as well as wireless or wired connections for Apple CarPlay, and a wired link for Android Auto. Audio is pumped into the cabin by way of 13 speakers distributed around the interior space, with a subwoofer integrated into the tailgate for some added low frequency.
The LBX is the first Lexus model to be constructed on a variation of the GA-B small car global architecture platform. Driving dynamics and performance is enhanced by the front and rear suspension systems that were designed specifically for the small crossover’s high rigidity and lightweight. The MacPherson strut design at the front, and the rear torsion beam of front-wheel drive models or the double-wishbone arrangement in the all-wheel drive variant provide both stable cornering and steering response with smooth ride comfort.
Powering the LBX is a new generation, self-charging Lexus hybrid electric system featuring a compact and lightweight 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine. It also comes with a new low resistance, high output, bi-polar nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery which enables extra electric motor support when accelerating and extends the car’s all-electric EV driving capability.
The figures? Maximum output from the full hybrid system is 136 DIN hp/ 100 kW (or about 134 HP) with a peak torque of 185 Nm. The engine is mated to a CVT and drives either the two front or all four wheels, depending on the variant chosen.
Lexus Philippines has seen no shortage or slowing down when keeping up with the brand’s newest releases. With the intended Q4 availability of the LBX, we shouldn’t have to wait too long past that to see it in our local dealerships. Truly, one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or luxury by size. Seeing the LEXUS badge on the back of this premium crossover should be enough, and we’re sure it will meet, if not exceed every fan’s expectations.