The LBX, which sits below the UX and is the new entry-level Lexus, is an indirect replacement for the long-gone CT hatchback. It is Lexus’ first vehicle in the B-segment ever since
The LBX sits on the GA-B small car global architecture platform which is used for the first time by a Lexus model. The new vehicle now has the essential advantages of a low centre of gravity, broad tracks, small overhangs, and a very robust body thanks to fundamental adjustments made to it to satisfy Lexus’s criteria.
The most notable feature of the design is a new frontal configuration that “breaks” the spindle grille, which has been a defining feature for the past ten years and ushers Lexus into a new age. The seamless, frameless grille creates the spindle-shaped lines of the LBX’s body, adding to the vehicle’s aggressive posture.
The daytime running lights and turn indicators are combined into one unit in the new headlight design, giving it a distinctive visual identity. The lights’ distinctive L-shape has been modified in this new configuration to face outwards rather than inwards to match the direction of each indicator light.
The cabin appears more compact and the bonnet appears longer for a sportier profile thanks to the pulled-back front pillars. The choice of two alloy wheel designs, a 17 inch wrapped with 225/60R17 tyres and 18 inch with 225/55R18 tyres are highlighted by the flared wings, which also communicate power. Meanwhile, the low overhangs and bold tightening of the region around the rear doors suggest nimble, dynamic performance.
The car’s rear also conveys an intimidating outlook. The licence plate holder has been lowered to the bumper so that there is a clean look with the Lexus-lettered signature. The most recent iteration of the iconic L-shaped light bar used by Lexus has more visual impact, even when the turn signal and reverse lamps are not lit.
The LBX has a wheelbase of 2580 mm, 4190 mm long, 1825 mm wide, and 1545 mm height. It also weighs in at 1,280 kg.
Powertrain and Performance
A brand-new, self-charging Lexus hybrid electric system with a small and light 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine powers the LBX. Maximum output from the full hybrid system is 134 bhp with a peak torque of 185 Nm. The engine is thermally efficient, thanks to high-speed combustion technology and design elements including straight intake ports and laser-clad intake valve seats.
Other key contributors include ultra-lightweight pistons engineered for operation at high rpm and electronic intelligent variable valve-timing.
The newly designed power control unit is installed directly above the transaxle, which has a revised design that contributes to the LBX’s low bonnet line. The two motor generators are situated on separate shafts, saving even more space and shortening the overall length of the drivetrain.
The LBX’s front and rear suspension systems are intended for high stiffness and lightweight, resulting in agile, stable cornering and steering response, as well as smooth ride comfort. All versions have a MacPherson strut front suspension and have a torsion beam rear suspension, while the all-wheel drive LBX has a double-wishbone setup.
Vehicle Braking Posture Control is included in the electronically controlled braking system. This automatically adjusts front and rear braking force distribution to reduce pitching and preserve linear, reassuring performance. It also helps to reduce vehicle roll when cornering, keeping the vehicle pleasant and stable, and filtering out vibrations.
A variety of upholsteries and trims with great visual and tactile appeal demonstrate the quality and attention to detail. A vegan-friendly interior with synthetic leather and materials for the seat coverings, steering wheel, shift lever, and door trimmings is available in addition to top-quality semi-aniline leather.
It also features new Tsuyusami charcoal trim inlays, created using a new film technique that uses multiple layers to give a highly textured appearance with a sense of depth. Highlighting different parts of the cabin, the lighting design provides a range of 50 colour options, curated in themes that evoke different moods.
The driver’s cockpit is based on Lexus’ Tazuna concept, which was initially seen on the NX mid-size SUV. This places the primary controls and information sources directly around the driver, requiring only minor hand or eye movements.
The Tazuna concept is improved on certain versions with a new, 12.3-inch full digital instrument display, which is used in a Lexus for the first time. A head-up display is also available on certain versions.
The LBX is outfitted with the most recent Lexus Link Connect system, which is controlled via a 9.8-inch touchscreen. The “Hey Lexus” on-board assistant, which responds to voice instructions from both the driver and the front seat passenger, adds to the convenience.
Smartphone integration is possible via wireless or wired connections for Apple CarPlay, or via a wired link for Android Auto. The LBX provides over-the-air software updates for its multimedia and safety systems, allowing owners to benefit from enhancements without having to visit a Lexus dealership.
The LBX comes with Lexus Safety System+ which includes a Pre-Collision System with Intersection Turn Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist/Lane Keep Assist and Road Sign Assist.
Following its world debut, the LBX will go into production in late 2023 with first deliveries expected sometime towards Q2 of 2024.