The smallest-ever Lexus model is coming – with an inline-three cylinder hybrid
The smallest-ever Lexus SUV is coming to Australia.
Lexus confirmed today its LBX hybrid city SUV will arrive on local shores in the “first half of next year”, and be the brand’s new entry-level model.
With styling inspiration borrowed from the 2003 LS-F concept, Lexus said the LBX previewed the “latest interpretation of the trademark Lexus spindle body” – hinting at the design direction for other models.
To be offered in both front-drive and all-wheel-drive variants, the LBX is powered by a 1.5-litre inline-three mated to a CVT and hybrid powertrain. In overseas guise, the LBX’s internal combustion engine produces 101kW and 184Nm, while all-wheel-drive is achieved by mounting an electric motor to the rear axle. Final outputs are yet to be confirmed.
The nickel-metal hydride battery, meanwhile, can offer “EV mode” for short periods and under light loads. Front-drive models are expected to use a rear Torsion beam, while all-wheel-drive models get more sophisticated independent rear suspension (IRS).
Inside, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument display paired with a 9.8-inch, almost portrait touchscreen infotainment system; and vegan leather is available.
The LBX will come with Lexus’s full active safety suite including radar cruise control, lane tracing assist and advanced autonomous emergency braking (AEB).
To be first shown in Australia at the Melbourne Cup Carnival early November (of which Lexus is a major sponsor) the LBX will sit below the current entry-level model, the $79,990 (before on-road costs) UX 300e Luxury. Lexus said Australian pricing will be confirmed early next year.
Lexus said LBX stood for “Lexus Breakthrough Crossover” and was eager to highlight the LBX is only the second Lexus model to use the fabled three-letter nomenclature, the only other being the LFA supercar.
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