Lexus Breakthrough X-over (crossover)
Lexus has taken the wraps off the first-ever LBX—which as you can probably tell, is the smallest Lexus yet. Although it is claimed to be developed with European customers in mind, it’ll also be available in Japan and a few other select markets from Q4 2023.
The LBX looks significantly different from the Lexuses we all are familiar with. I mean, visually, it looks like something from BYD, and that—depending on your personal views—may or may not be a good thing. However, according to Lexus, the LBX debuts a new “Resolute Look” front design that reinterprets the famous/controversial spindle grille. The rest of the car also doesn’t look like something we all are familiar with the brand—not that it needs to, but you know, I’m just saying. That said, you’ll find solace in the fact that there is a good number of ‘L’ shapes throughout.
But anyway, the LBX is not based on any BYD vehicle. It is—in case you couldn’t figure it out already, is a Lexusized version of the Toyota Yaris Cross. It measures 4,190 mm long, 1,825 mm wide and 1,560 mm long, with a wheelbase of 2,580 mm. Depending on the variant/market, the wheel size is gonna be 17- or 18-inches. The Audi Q2 is no longer in production, so who is it gonna compete against? Well, that’s a good question, but I’m not entirely sure because most luxury crossover offerings these days are much larger than this one.
The cabin and dashboard look significantly different compared with the Toyota Yaris Cross, as you would expect. I mean, you can’t just keep the same dashboard, wrap it in leather and change the logo. The photos here show different variants with mono and bi-tone themes. There’s a fairly large 9.8-inch central touchscreen, and there’s also gonna be a 12.3-inch digital driver display—which I’m told is an optional extra. Other key highlights include an optional head-up display, wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, Android Auto (wired), an optional 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, and 64-color ambient lighting. Smartphone-based digital key, Panasonic’s nanoe-X air purification technology, and a power back door are all optional extras.
The LBX also boasts the latest-gen Lexus Safety System+ suite of advanced safety and driver assistance systems. These include Pre-Collision System with Intersection Turn Assist; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control; Lane Tracing Assist/Lane Keep Assist; Road Sign Assist; Safe Exit Assist; a driver monitor; parking sensors with auto-braking; Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Blind Spot Monitor. Front Cross Traffic Alert system, Panoramic View Monitor, and remote parking (via smartphone) are all optional extras.
There’s no fancy air suspension setup here. All versions feature MacPherson struts at the front; front-wheel-drive models use a rear torsion beam while all-wheel-drive LBXs have a double-wishbone arrangement.
Moving on to the juicy bits of the story, the LBX features a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine (M15A-FXE), two motor-generators and a CVT. The AWD model (E-Four) includes an extra motor on the rear axle, of course. The system output figures are gonna be 100 kW (136 metric hp) and 185 Nm (136 lb-ft). Lexus claims a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 9.2 seconds, if such things interest you.