Lexus has eclipsed the major milestone of two million global sales of electrified vehicles at the end of the first quarter of 2021, reflecting a commitment to the reduction of CO2 emissions across a significant number of luxury segments. Lexus International will reveal the first Lexus plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) this year, and the first Lexus battery electric vehicle (BEV) on a dedicated platform in 2022.
By 2025, Lexus International will debut 20 new or improved models, including more than 10 BEVs, PHEVs, and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and will make available an electrified version of every model in its line-up. The future expectation on a global level is that sales of electrified models will exceed those of the petrol / diesel-only variety.
Since the launch of the RX 400h in 2005, Lexus has pioneered electrification in the luxury segment. The line-up of electrified vehicles will continue to provide a wide range of options tailored to meet the needs of discriminating customers. Based on a philosophy of ‘right time / right product / right place’, Lexus will also further develop its electrified product portfolio to best respond to a varied range of energy sources and infrastructure environments encountered globally.
Lexus electrified vehicles have contributed to a cumulative global reduction in CO2 emissions of approximately 19 million tonnes. This reduction is equivalent to the combined CO2 output of approximately 300 000 passenger cars each year for the past 15 years.
Globally, 33% of models sold were from the electrified sector during 2020. In South Africa, Lexus has already established itself as the leading luxury brand for hybrid electrification and this just further demonstrates TSAM’s commitment to this technology. In fact, for almost every Lexus model (other than LX, RC, LS and LC) sold in the country, there is a hybrid variant available. In addition, Lexus has two hybrid-exclusive model ranges – the newly-minted IS and the premium compact UX SUV.
Introduced in 2019, the UX has been one of the brand’s top sales drivers since its inception in SA. It offers luxury and safety in a high-echelon compact crossover package that combines charismatic design elements with an ultra-efficient powertrain. The UX name is derived from the design team’s guiding concept and describes the vehicle’s mission: Urban + X-over (crossover) = UX.
‘The Lexus UX was designed for the modern urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,’ so says Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Lexus Sales and Marketing. UX appeals to young buyers who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what’s also relevant to their lifestyles.’
Lexus is fully committed to lowering fuel emissions and will continue to expand its hybrid offering across the product line-up where possible. The UX 250 hybrid line-up was a natural extension for the model, and the UX has furthermore, held a valid market share in hybrid sales since the model’s introduction. As a result, the decision was made to offer the UX in hybrid only for SA. The model range now comprises, UX 250h EX (entry grade) and UX 250h SE (top spec). This means the UX 200 EX petrol grade and F Sport derivatives are no longer available for sale in the country.
Lexus continued to command market leadership in electrified technology and achieved a 29% market share in 2020 within the luxury segment. The UX was among the top contributors of this achievement.
The Lexus UX 250h range boasts an impressive 135kW total system output. Not only fuel efficient, the UX hybrid models are similarly big on performance. This hybrid provides exhilarating driving with high-speed responsiveness and a feeling of smooth, natural acceleration. The UX 250h range is available with front-wheel drive and is equipped with a 2.0-litre petrol engine which alone delivers 107kW of power at 6000rpm and an improved 188Nm of torque at 4400rpm. Working in tandem with the electric motor, this equates to a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.5 seconds. This is topped off by a maximum speed capped at just under 180km/h. Overall, the vehicle produces fuel economy figures of 4.5-litres/100km combined and CO2 emissions of 103g/km.
Both model grades are equipped with Lexus Drive Mode Select, which allows the driver to tailor the on-road experience by selecting from three different drive modes – Normal, Eco and Sport.
Normal mode provides an optimal balance between driving performance and fuel efficiency; ECO mode maximises fuel savings across all driving conditions by smoothing the throttle response, and by moderating air conditioning operation. Sport Mode delivers quicker throttle response and increased power steering feel; Sport S+ (F Sport model) dramatically changes the handling dynamics.
From the driver’s seat, the upper section of the instrument panel appears to extend out beyond the windshield into the fenders giving the driver an excellent field of vision and a clear sense of the vehicle’s dimensions and tyre placement. When viewed from the exterior, the hood appears to connect directly to the instrument panel through the windshield, blurring the boundary between interior and exterior.
The UX models are equipped with eight airbags: driver and front passenger airbags; driver and front passenger knee airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side impact airbags and front to rear side curtain airbags.
The Lexus Safety System comes standard in the hybrid SE grade and includes: Standard Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Crash System (PCS) – Brake Synchronised, Blind Spot Monitor,Lane Keep Assist with improved Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, LED Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).
The UX 250h EX is similarly-specced, and comes standard with features such as park distance control with a reverse camera (without panoramic view), push start system, Drive Mode Select, as well as niceties such as two rear USB charging ports (for passengers), a navigation system and a hands-free rear boot. In addition, other standard features include Normal Cruise Control, Heated Power Retractable Side Mirrors as well as Day and Night Mirrors.
The UX is a leap forward in the compact luxury crossover segment. This is no surprise, as Lexus designers created an overall design theme inspired by a secure, robust look, cross-bred with the stance of a sports car.
The Lexus UX 250h EX retails for R 719 600 while the top-of-the-range UX 250h SE model retails for R795 800.
All Lexus models come standard with a best-in-class 7-year/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan, Lexus Connect Service and its vehicle service intervals are set at every 15 000km, alternatively once a year.
See more specs and options and find your closest dealership here