Meet the smallest Lexus ever. Designed to crack a younger audience looking for a taste of luxury without the large footprint (and price) of a traditional SUV. Built for European markets, it’s a compact SUV that shares underpinnings with the Yaris Cross thanks to the flexible TNGA-B platform. However, the LBX merely isn’t some badge-engineered Yaris Cross spin-off, it offers a more powerful hybrid powertrain with different styling. But before we get into the list of features, we have to talk about the name.
Lexus hasn’t released a three-letter name since the LFA, so there are big responsibilities for this compact luxury crossover.
The styling is unlike anything we’ve seen from Lexus beforehand, dropping the huge spindle grille for a ‘deconstructed’ variety. Thankfully, it’s less in your face and has a more subtle single trapezoid shape below a narrow aperture linking the slim headlamps. Even the L-shaped light bar is different in design and we think it’s better for it.
In terms of the dimensions, the LBX is 4,190 mm long, 1,825 mm wide and 1,545 mm high and has a 2,580 mm wheelbase. So it’s similarly sized to a VW T-Roc and the new Volvo EX30 EV that was just announced.
The hybrid powertrain includes a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with a combined power output of 136 DIN hp/ 100 kW with a peak torque of 185 Nm. Designed in such a way that the LBX can have a lower bonnet line. There’ll be an option for an E-Four all-wheel drive variant which introduces an additional electric motor on the rear axle. Interestingly, Lexus claims its smallest car yet will match its bigger cars for noise, vibration, and harshness with doors being given dampening sheets to suppress noise throughout the cabin.
On the inside, there’s vegan leather now and Tsuyusami charcoal trim inlays while a new 12.3-inch fully digital instrument display is added here on a Lexus for the first time. Other feature highlights include OTA updates, a Mark Levinson audio system, a head-up display, and a digital key.
While being developed for the European markets, the LBX makes sense as a compact luxury hybrid SUV which will also be the most affordable Lexus if it goes on sale in Australia. We’d wager that the LBX will come to our shores as there’s plenty of space in the current Lexus portfolio for it to fit in. C’mon Lexus Australia!
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