Lexus enters compact SUV market with new hybrid LBX
The LBX is Lexus’ smallest SUV to date, and has been designed specifically for the European market
Lexus has unveiled an all-new compact crossover dubbed the LBX, which is set to go on sale next year as a rival to the Audi Q2, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Designed specifically for European customers, the Lexus LBX is built on Toyota's GA-B platform, which also serves as the foundation for the Yaris Cross.
Externally, the LBX boasts a redesigned interpretation of Lexus's iconic 'Spindle grille,' featuring a fresh mesh section, and to the rear can be found a full-width LED light bar.
Beneath its exterior is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine mated to a CVT automatic gearbox. It makes 134 bhp and 185 Nm of torque, and drive is sent to the car’s front wheels. As a result, the car is claimed to do 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds. Lexus will also offer an all-wheel-drive version, though there's no word on specifications for that model yet.
Supporting this powertrain is a new bi-polar nickel metal hydride battery, which is said to be lighter and more compact than a regular NiMH battery, allowing for faster charging and discharging.
To enhance body control and stability, Lexus has incorporated Vehicle Braking Posture Control, which automatically uses the brakes to reduce pitching. Compared to the Yaris Cross, the LBX has a 20mm longer wheelbase and wider track.
Stepping inside the LBX reveals a 12.3-inch digital dashboard and a nine-inch touchscreen display, and a head-up display can be fitted as an optional extra.
Like the firm’s larger and more expensive models, the LBX’s use of leather across the interior is abundant. In terms of technology, the LBX incorporates Lexus’ latest infotainment system, which already features on the brand’s NC model, and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Lexus has yet to confirm pricing, but considering its German rivals, could cost from around £35,000 when deliveries commence in the first quarter of 2024.