05 Jun 2023
Following its global reveal, Lexus New Zealand announces the brand-new Lexus LBX is set to make its way to New Zealand in early 2024.
The latest addition to Lexus' line-up, the LBX, offers New Zealand customers an accessible path to owning a luxury vehicle. Positioned just below the popular UX SUV, it serves as an entry-level option for the Lexus range.
The inspiration behind the new LBX stemmed from the vision of Lexus Master Driver, Akio Toyoda, who sought to redefine the conventional notion of luxury cars and to go beyond the constraints of compact size to deliver a high-quality driving experience and design. 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.
To achieve a true Lexus experience contained within a crossover frame, the Lexus GA-B compact class platform underwent a comprehensive renewal, accompanied by refinements in electrification technology and core engineering characteristics. In pursuit of the Lexus Driving Signature, the aim was to create an engaging driving experience between the driver and car, giving the everlasting desire to stay behind the wheel, and providing comfort that put a smile on the faces of all its passengers.
Vice President of Lexus New Zealand, Andrew Davis, says the LBX embodies a ‘Premium Casual’ approach to the crossover market.
“The Premium Casual design philosophy establishes a presence and level of refinement that far exceeds its class. The mission was to develop a compact crossover appealing to customers with sophisticated taste, seamlessly integrating into their everyday lives as a casual essential,” he says.
The new LBX, which stands for "Lexus Breakthrough X(cross)-over", has been meticulously crafted to challenge the conventional notion of a luxury car. Based on the desire to provide cars that align with each customer's lifestyle, the new LBX has established a new grade system. Taking customer feedback into account, the new grade system allows customers to select from three themes that best match their lifestyle and preferences.
The cockpit design is rooted in the ‘Tazuna Concept,’ an innovative concept that elevates the Lexus human-centred philosophy to a new level. Taking inspiration from the connection between the rider and reins of a horse, the steering wheel switches are seamlessly integrated with the heads-up display, enabling the driver to effortlessly operate essential functions like navigation and audio.
The centre display features a touch-enabled 9.8-inch screen, with a range of functions seamlessly integrated into the display through intuitive soft switches. With a focus on intuitive operation and the frequency of use for each function, careful attention was placed on the size, shape, layout, and display information to ensure optimal placement. A large 12.3-inch full LCD is used for the meter display on two of the grades, and improved instrument panel visibility creates a space conducive to driving.
LBX offers a highly efficient 1.5L inline 3-cylinder hybrid engine, a compact and lightweight transaxle with enhanced motor output, and a high-output NiMH hybrid battery. The Lexus Driving Signature is achieved by harnessing the performance of the engine, motor, and battery using extensive expertise in electrification technology. Battery and motor assistance in response to accelerator input has been significantly enhanced, resulting in minimal delay and a quick motor-like acceleration feel. The synchronisation of the engine speed, vehicle speed, and engine sound during acceleration results in a smooth and linear driving experience. The HEV system is precisely controlled to optimise efficiency, leading to outstanding fuel economy.
The exterior showcases dynamic proportions and a confident stance, complemented by Lexus' latest "Unified Spindle" front facial design.
A combination of a wide-stance body with short overhangs and flared treads, along with a compact cabin design that positions the front pillars towards the rear, creates a proportion with a sense of stability while maintaining a low centre of gravity. The design achieves a commanding presence that far exceeds the constraints of its body size, which is 4,190mm in length, 1,825mm wide, and 1,560mm high.
The LBX is scheduled for delivery to New Zealand customers in the first quarter of 2024. Lexus New Zealand expects the LBX will represent around 15% of total Lexus sales. Customers are encouraged to express their interest with their Lexus dealer to secure a priority order.
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