Lexus UX: First Generation

Motor Trend Interviews Lexus UX Chief Engineer Chika Kako

Lexus UX F SPORT

Motor Trend has an interview with Chika Kako, Lexus International executive vice-president and the chief engineer of the new UX:

Motor Trend: What vehicles did you benchmark?

Chika Kako: As a crossover we checked of course, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, [and] Audi Q3. We also [checked the] Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and BMW 1 Series. If we look at the market here right now, BMW X2 is coming, our package is quite close.

MT: UX rides on the Lexus GA-C. What is the GA-C and TNGA?

CK: At Lexus GA-C is our global architecture “C-platform” and it’s the same TNGA platform as CH-R, Auris, and of course, Prius. It’s a common (shared) platform, however, because the basis already provides good noise and vibration levels, as well as drivability and rigidity, we were able to further expand and enhance from what we had as a baseline.

There are several things we have done [at Lexus for UX]. We have made center of gravity lower, we are using aluminum doors, fender and foot panels, and the [liftgate] is a resin door with aluminum reinforcement. These changes make the center of gravity lower. Body rigidity is also reinforced by using laser screw welding and body adhesives in the structure. This makes the body more rigid and handling response better.

There’s some detail into how the Lexus UX design factors in aerodynamics:

MT: The taillights on the UX are very striking. Can you talk about the design?

CK: The appearance is quite unique, but it serves an aerodynamic function and is inspired by the rear wing of a race car. Our designers and engineers collaborated on the question, “How can we modify the shape and stabilize the airflow?“

It’s about letting the airflow be smoothed out, rather than the air wrapping around behind the car creating different pressure zones. That kind of thinking was also applied on the fender edge molding. If you look at the car, there is quite a unique shape to the fender. The upper portion is quite straight, but the back edge is abrupt. This is really for the aerodynamics.

Kako also confirmed that that fender molding will only be available in black, and that the UX will be manufactured at the Kyushu factory in Japan. The on-sale date is October in Europe and December for North America.

Comments
I like this new media/radio/volume controls. In general, whole interior looks luxury, including this shot... a lot more than CT, HS, NX ever did... even nicer than ES.

F sport shifter and whole integration of the shifter into that centre console is way better than Lexus have done before even in better models:

Seems like wrap-around coupe like interior... also sitting in it in videos, you sit on it like in coupe, even if it is higher off ground.

Color heads up seems pretty big:

Real life pictures look great, I think a lot of people dumped on the Lexus official photos for being bland. I think the UX could be a great seller, they did a nice job here.
OlFius
You actually give the answer already. If there is so much better alternative.
That space on the dashboard could be used differently.
So, and why not a cassette player, that is becoming a hype again.
I really want to add. I’m the one who bought CDs just for listening to them on the way to work. It is supposed to have better quality or at least I feel so. It’s not about functionality but about the ways and means.
If most people on Edmunds say the CHR has enough power, then the pair of UX should be fast enough for most people's driving. I understand it's underpowered compared to the competition with 200-250 HP but hopefully torque curve is much improved. I'm still waiting for a Lexus BEV though because I've had it with all these new engine and transmission complexities. :)
internalaudit
If most people on Edmunds say the CHR has enough power, then the pair of UX should be fast enough for most people's driving. I understand it's underpowered compared to the competition with 200-250 HP but hopefully torque curve is much improved. I'm still waiting for a Lexus BEV though because I've had it with all these new engine and transmission complexities. :)
Still, makes you wonder why they did not offer 2.5l with 208hp for US market... making it cheaper and further away from NX?

For Western Europe, Hybrid will likely be 90% of sales and for Russia who knows, maybe hybrid will be more than 30%.
New self lightening vent controls, looking interesting and unique:

Gecko
How could you ever purchase UX over either of these two - especially the Volvo? I couldn't.
XC60 owner here. I suggest staying away from a Volvo if you value engine response a lot. That 2.0 turbo has big power numbers but a ridiculous lag to the point I call it painful to drive. The B48 is the golden standard but the X1 is way too cramped. Maybe the X2 could be a good choice.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • March 6, 2018
I agree with you @Joe ... all the negative comments surprise me. Admittedly the white on white makes for a terrible debut. I notice they are profiling it in the off-white color on the Lexus website!?!! Ugh! ... But I was expecting a design more extreme like that 'concept from another universe'. I am appreciating the Japanese sculpted 3 dimensional design that is striking, yet refined and more cohesive overall than say that of the NX. The base grille seems to me the best iteration yet of the spindle grille on par with the LC spindle. Notice how the DRL's coalesce back and up toward the raised corners of the shape of the hood. I luv the LF-1 like taillights and the overall multi-dimensions of the rear fascia. Yes, the front overhang is excessive as is inherent to the spindle grille, but it is nothing compared to the unsightly 'catfish over-bite' look of the US base NX! (and I own one!) By the way, I notice the same rearview mirror design seems to be carrying over onto all new designs. I like. And I think the interior is exceptionally designed with seeming top material quality especially for entry level. I can't wait to see it in real life in Atomic Silver to highlight the exterior detail with Noble Brown interior ... Overall, I think the UX is remarkably different from the rest of the herd of brands ... and beautiful too. I know I tend to be more conservative, but I have to say I think they hit this one out of the park. They're going to sell like hotcakes. I prefer a larger vehicle or I would buy this one in a heartbeat. Well done Lexus!

Wow! ...

View attachment 2763

View attachment 2764 View attachment 2765
This thing is gonna look amazing wrapped, lowered, and Vossen'd.
Yeah I was expecting to hate it but its well done to me, the interior is very good. How I would love to see something to fight the GLA 45 with a UX-F!

Ian Schmidt
This thing is gonna look amazing wrapped, lowered, and Vossen'd.
#Schmidt2020 hhahahahah :)
Joe
Frankly, I am a bit surprised being one of the few that like the UX. I don't understand all these negative comments here. Or did you all really seriously expected that this model would be an LC 500 on high heels?:confused:
I'm still thinking things through, but my take is also positive. I do feel the design is conservative, but that's only in comparison to the LC & LS.

I'm very much on board with the UX/NX/RX design as a whole, though I share @Gecko's dislike of the front overhangs. Even so, the RX L was a course correction by balancing the front and rear overhangs, and the UX does the same thing. At least they're even.

I do wonder why this is a late-2018 release rather than mid-2017, as the UX will now have to sit beside both the next-generation RX and NX.

Ian Schmidt
This thing is gonna look amazing wrapped, lowered, and Vossen'd.
Literally said the same thing today to @Gecko. Blacked out, it's going to be BOSS. :bomb:
If the UX comes with the features @Gecko mentioned as standard, I feel as if it will succeed in its mission. Every X1 that I see is a base lease special with halogen headlights, if it in fact is actually owned by a consumer and not living life as a dealer service loaner. I can't attest to how the UX feels in terms of interior quality, but the BMW is just bad. It's almost a $45k car before you've got decent quality seats and not the park-bench quality Sensatec. Frankly, even non-car people recognize the new X1 as BMW's red headed stepchild with minivan looking proportions.
^Make no mistake though - this is UX in press photos, so it is likely the fully optioned model. I am sure there will be models with 16" wheels, halogen projectors, NuLuxe interior, painted plastic trim, etc.

Not being a hater, just pointing out that we have all seen "stripper" X1s for a while because they're on the road now. This is UX's first debut so of course, Lexus will show top-spec models to the media.

I still prefer the exterior design of the X1, but will not disagree that UX seems to have the nicest interior of all.
Gecko
^Make no mistake though - this is UX in press photos, so it is likely the fully optioned model. I am sure there will be models with 16" wheels, halogen projectors, NuLuxe interior, painted plastic trim, etc.

Not being a hater, just pointing out that we have all seen "stripper" X1s for a while because they're on the road now. This is UX's first debut so of course, Lexus will show top-spec models to the media.

I still prefer the exterior design of the X1, but will not disagree that UX seems to have the nicest interior of all.
Thankfully for Lexus, there are not many differences usually when it comes to interior. There will be 17" and 18" wheels, and likely cloth interior for EU, maybe smaller media screen? But otherwise, not many differences as usual with Lexus.
I appreciate the chiseled good looks, inside and out. Very Black Dynamite!
What isn't dynamite is the 168 HP four-banger. Very femme.
I don't wanna hear about "engaging performance" and then you come with 168 HP in a crossover
Sounds like some bowl%$#@ to me! Don't bullschtein me!

If the NX has 235 HP, why can't this get 200 HP?
Why not take the Camry's new 4-banger engine and slam it in there? Hell take the Camry's hybrid system too, while you're at it?
This has the styling to get young guys into the dealership, but when they drive it, they're heading right back out.

They're on a righteous path, but they are coming up small when it comes to guts, maracas.
The chicks will put up with this. I guess that's who Lexus is really targeting.
BD
spwolf
Still, makes you wonder why they did not offer 2.5l with 208hp for US market... making it cheaper and further away from NX?

For Western Europe, Hybrid will likely be 90% of sales and for Russia who knows, maybe hybrid will be more than 30%.
For some random, unexplainable reason, I woke up this morning thinking about the 2nd-gen Lexus IS launch. The 2005 Geneva Motor Show saw the world premiere of the IS 220d and IS 250 variants. Barely a month later, at the 2005 New York Auto Show, the larger-engined IS 350 made its world debut. And a number of Lexus lines, such as 6ES, 4GS and 4RX have seen the public unveilings of their numerous engine and F-Sport variants spread among multiple auto shows.

Although it's unlikely (given the "UX 200 and UX 250h will start production this fall and go on sale in the U.S. in December" sentence ending the Lexus USA news release for UX), could Lexus be holding back UX 250 for a New York Auto Show world premiere at the end of this month?
I think that low ride height and hatchback-esque side profile is a clear indication Lexus is committed to replacing the CT with UX.
"Single knob ventilation control with wireless lighting

The UX’s air vents have a new single-knob control for air flow direction and volume, illuminated using a new wireless system. By combining the two functions in a single control, the vents could be made larger, improving performance. Each control has an LED light source that is powered wirelessly, using electromagnetic resonance between two coils vibrating at the same frequency. Using the same design principle as the LC’s rear combination lamps, the vent lights use mirror optics to create the effect of floating lighting depth, even though the reflector element is only 3mm thick."

This really is crazy!
Joaquin Ruhi
For some random, unexplainable reason, I woke up this morning thinking about the 2nd-gen Lexus IS launch. The 2005 Geneva Motor Show saw the world premiere of the IS 220d and IS 250 variants. Barely a month later, at the 2005 New York Auto Show, the larger-engined IS 350 made its world debut. And a number of Lexus lines, such as 6ES, 4GS and 4RX have seen the public unveilings of their numerous engine and F-Sport variants spread among multiple auto shows.

Although it's unlikely (given the "UX 200 and UX 250h will start production this fall and go on sale in the U.S. in December" sentence ending the Lexus USA news release for UX), could Lexus be holding back UX 250 for a New York Auto Show world premiere at the end of this month?
That would mean both 2.0l and 2.5l would be sold, which is unlikely.

NA PR was specific for NA. There were some features not available in Europe and some features not available for NA were not shown there, but were shown in Europe.

I am pretty sure they are trying to keep it cheaper than NX by few k. They always did this.

If we look at X1 vs X3, sales of X1 are up while for X3 are down... Lexus is trying to avoid this.
Very well proportioned look to this vehicle should do very well.
When can we expect the new ES and what of the GS now well overdue for replacement and no definite news on this front?
The IS too is just about ready for replacement/update cannot be far away.
Not sure why Toyota chose to utilise a Lexus type grille on the new Avalon/ES ugly in my opinion rather spoils what is essentially a good looking vehicle.
Still believe the Spindle grille needs to be toned down somewhat although in the newer models it does not shout quite as much as it used or maybe I have just got used to it! Not my favourite part of Lexus I must admit.
I think this should do very well for Lexus as well. The appearance of the UX has grown on me as I've studied it over the past few days. It has a nice stance and the proportions are good. The interior is very nice looking but of course the quality of materials is hard to judge by photos and the proof will be in touching and seeing it in person.
T
I'm looking at making the hybrid version of the UX my first lexus, assuming it's not slow as a slug. I currently have a RAV4 Hybrid, but I'm not really a fan of how big/whale-like in handling it is (my prior vehicle was a Mazda3). When I test drove the CT200h a few years ago, my wife and I noted that it just didn't feel very Lexus-like nor did the vehicle seem to have enough power to be able to go up a bridge/hill without sounding awful. One thing I did like about it was the the handling and body shape. Hopefully the UX doesn't end up being any slower than my RAV4 (it's actually pretty peppy for such a heavy vehicle). I don't really care if it's not sports car fast (there are precious few opportunities to wring out an engine when you live in a big city), but 0-60 > 10sec is painful for every day driving and when trying to perform passing maneuvers on the interstate. There are quite a few unknowns at this point, since the dynamic force 2L + hybrid system has not been put in any other vehicle yet, nor did Lexus state the size of the battery pack (I'm assuming it's similar in size to what's in the regular Prius). The overall look appeals to me, since it kind of looks like a Lexus version of the Mazda3 I owned a few years back. At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic about the vehicle.

Almost forgot: It bugs the crap out of me that the hybrid model is 250h. Why didn't they call it 200h if they're putting the 2L + hybrid system in it?? Car companies are weird.
telithos
I'm looking at making the hybrid version of the UX my first lexus, assuming it's not slow as a slug. I currently have a RAV4 Hybrid, but I'm not really a fan of how big/whale-like in handling it is (my prior vehicle was a Mazda3). When I test drove the CT200h a few years ago, my wife and I noted that it just didn't feel very Lexus-like nor did the vehicle seem to have enough power to be able to go up a bridge/hill without sounding awful. One thing I did like about it was the the handling and body shape. Hopefully the UX doesn't end up being any slower than my RAV4 (it's actually pretty peppy for such a heavy vehicle). I don't really care if it's not sports car fast (there are precious few opportunities to wring out an engine when you live in a big city), but 0-60 > 10sec is painful for every day driving and when trying to perform passing maneuvers on the interstate. There are quite a few unknowns at this point, since the dynamic force 2L + hybrid system has not been put in any other vehicle yet, nor did Lexus state the size of the battery pack (I'm assuming it's similar in size to what's in the regular Prius). The overall look appeals to me, since it kind of looks like a Lexus version of the Mazda3 I owned a few years back. At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic about the vehicle.

Almost forgot: It bugs the crap out of me that the hybrid model is 250h. Why didn't they call it 200h if they're putting the 2L + hybrid system in it?? Car companies are weird.
- 250h has bigger battery output compared to Prius. Where Prius has 23 hp max battery output, 250h has 34hp max battery output + 44hp stronger engine.
- 250h has been configured to give more electric power sooner to make revs lower and accelerate faster.
- 250h is estimated to go 0-100kmh in low 7's to mid 8's, depending on the vehicle... thats a lot better than 122hp hybrid in C-HR, but as expected since it has 45hp more overall.
R
  • R
    RAL
  • March 8, 2018
telithos
I'm looking at making the hybrid version of the UX my first lexus, assuming it's not slow as a slug. I currently have a RAV4 Hybrid, but I'm not really a fan of how big/whale-like in handling it is (my prior vehicle was a Mazda3). When I test drove the CT200h a few years ago, my wife and I noted that it just didn't feel very Lexus-like nor did the vehicle seem to have enough power to be able to go up a bridge/hill without sounding awful. One thing I did like about it was the the handling and body shape. Hopefully the UX doesn't end up being any slower than my RAV4 (it's actually pretty peppy for such a heavy vehicle). I don't really care if it's not sports car fast (there are precious few opportunities to wring out an engine when you live in a big city), but 0-60 > 10sec is painful for every day driving and when trying to perform passing maneuvers on the interstate. There are quite a few unknowns at this point, since the dynamic force 2L + hybrid system has not been put in any other vehicle yet, nor did Lexus state the size of the battery pack (I'm assuming it's similar in size to what's in the regular Prius). The overall look appeals to me, since it kind of looks like a Lexus version of the Mazda3 I owned a few years back. At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic about the vehicle.

Almost forgot: It bugs the crap out of me that the hybrid model is 250h. Why didn't they call it 200h if they're putting the 2L + hybrid system in it?? Car companies are weird.
Welcome new member @telithos ... appreciate you sharing your thoughts about possible UX ownership
telithos
Almost forgot: It bugs the crap out of me that the hybrid model is 250h. Why didn't they call it 200h if they're putting the 2L + hybrid system in it?? Car companies are weird.
Just like everyone else, Lexus uses the 'displacement equivalency' for the model number. That 178hp 2.0L hybrid drivetrain will behave like/outperform a 2.5L engine in most daily driving scenarios so why not call it '250h'. The CT wasn't called a CT180h either so why are you confused?

Displacement equivalency makes tons of sense from a marketing perspective because consumers think they are buying something bigger and better. Changing the name from 'NX200t' to 'NX300' was all it took for Lexus to make that model from a tough sell to a money printer in China, for example. Lexus USA realized the name '200t' sounds weak and simply used 'IS Turbo' and 'GS Turbo' instead before the official name is changed to '300'.
telithos
There are quite a few unknowns at this point, since the dynamic force 2L + hybrid system has not been put in any other vehicle yet...
The Dynamic Force Hybrid system actually debuted with the 2.5-liter A25A-FXS powertrain in the latest 8th-gen (XV70) Toyota Camry on sale since last August, and will also go into the newest 5th-gen (XX50) Toyota Avalon due to go on sale a few months before Lexus UX 250h. The latter will use the 2-liter A20A-FXS, which is just the Camry/Avalon unit described above downsized to 2 liters.

J
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