Lexus has reimagined the compact luxury vehicle for youthful and urban buyers with the LBX, introducing levels of sophistication and quality not previously seen in a car of this size. It offers bold design and a wide stance.
The newcomer is immediately identifiable as a Lexus with the latest interpretation of the trademark spindle body, with more than a nod to the LS-F concept from 2003. The smooth tapered bonnet and angled head lamps give the impression of forward motion.
From the side the minimal front and rear overhangs make for a sporty look that extends to the rear, with a roof spoiler and lower bumper, with a grooved recess on each side sweeping towards the tyres.
The latest signature design aesthetic is evident with L-shaped rear lamps, horizontal LED strip light and LEXUS lettering centred on the lift back door. Built on Toyota’s GA-B compact vehicle platform, the new model has been modified and retuned.
The 2580mm wheelbase and wide section 225mm tyres on 17 or 18-inch wheels add to the LBX’s road-handling abilities and dynamic looks. It’s powered by a highly-efficient 1.5-litre inline three-cylinder hybrid powertrain.
It features a compact and lightweight transaxle with enhanced motor output and a high-output NiMH battery. Available in both front-drive and all-wheel drive variants, the front suspension features a newly developed MacPherson strut arrangement.
Rear suspension on the front-drive variants uses a lightweight and exceptionally rigid torsion beam while the AWD variant uses a trailing arm type two-link double-wishbone set-up housing the rear motor.
The LBX also features drive force control, which intelligently adjusts acceleration and deceleration based on the driving conditions. During uphill and downhill driving, the system detects variations in road incline and provides assistance.
When the system detects significant front/rear/left/right G-forces during cornering on twisty roads, it increases deceleration upon release of the accelerator, maintains engine rpm and allows for smooth re-acceleration, thereby assisting in a pleasant driving rhythm.
The result is a seamless and responsive driving experience that takes the driver’s intentions and surroundings into account. Braking vehicle posture control is on hand to suppress pitch and achieve a linear braking feel and increased stability.
Inside, clever design elements are used to create the illusion that the space is larger than it actually is. A simple, horizontal instrument panel allows for an open field of vision while the design of the A-pillars optimises forward and downward visibility.
The height of the centre display and console is sloped and lowered further downwards towards the floor and the driver’s seating position is also lowered to decrease both the centre of gravity and to give the cabin an open and airy feeling.
The Tazuna concept of “human-centred” interior design is evident with functions and controls intuitively placed, meaning minimal eye movement for driver and eyes forward with maximum attention on the road.
The dashboard display uses a 12.3-inch full LCD screen for exceptional presentation of key vehicle information, with the 9.8-inch centre console touchscreen offering the latest in multimedia technology and operation of further vehicle controls and features.
The LBX offers 14 pre-set interior illumination themes and an additional 50 colours for occupants to truly personalise their Lexus. Quietness was also a focus of the design, with multiple solutions put in place to ensure a near noise free driving experience.
Safety-wise, the LBX includes proactive driving assist, pre-crash safety, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert and lane tracing assist. The new model has not yet been confirmed for the local market.
Lexus Australia continues to assess models for potential sale down under, and a decision on LBX will be made at a later stage.