2024 Lexus LBX hybrid city SUV unveiled, not confirmed yet for Australia

The Toyota Yaris Cross city SUV now has a Lexus luxury twin, with standard hybrid power and high-tech features from larger models in the range.

Lexus has unveiled the smallest model in its history, the 2024 Lexus LBX city SUV, however the hybrid model has yet to be confirmed for Australia.

Previewed last month, the LBX is the Lexus luxury twin to the Toyota Yaris Cross SUV, and has been designed primarily for the European market with hybrid power as standard.

If the LBX was to be added to the Australian line-up, it would be as the smallest – and likely most affordable – model in the company’s range.

The 4.2m-long, Yaris-based LBX is expected to undercut the current 4.5m-long, Toyota Corolla-based UX small SUV, which is priced from $46,085 plus on-road costs with petrol power, or $53,820 plus on-road costs as a hybrid.

The LBX measures 4190mm long, 1825mm wide and 1545mm tall, riding on a 2580mm wheelbase – 10mm longer overall, 20mm longer in wheelbase, 60mm wider and 45mm lower than the Yaris Cross.

Compared to the Lexus UX, the LBX is 305mm shorter in overall length, 15mm narrower and 60mm shorter in wheelbase, but its roof sits 25mm further from the road.

The pint-sized Lexus will be offered exclusively in hybrid form, using a more powerful version of the Toyota Yaris hatch and Yaris Cross SUV’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and electric motors.

Power is rated at 100kW – up from 85kW in the Yaris Cross, and 96kW in the updated Yaris hatch in Europe – sent to the front wheels only through a continuously-variable automatic transmission.

It is the first three-cylinder Lexus, the first Lexus SUV to be sold only as a hybrid, and tied with the defunct Lexus CT200h hatchback as the company’s least powerful model.

The design of the LBX was previewed without disguise during a Toyota media event 18 months ago, and has undergone minimal changes to its styling in that time.

Key design features include the body-coloured honeycomb front grille (dubbed the ‘spindle body’), sharp adaptive LED headlights connected by a chrome bar, and a distinctive W-shaped LED tail-light strip above ‘LEXUS’ badging.

The only notable difference between the December 2021 preview image and the final vehicle unveiled in June 2023 are tweaked headlights, which have flipped Lexus’ traditional L-shaped daytime-running light signature.

Buyers can choose from alloy wheels up to 18 inches in diameter, and an optional black contrast roof.

The LBX is only the second Lexus in history to wear a three-letter name, after the 2011 LFA supercar. The use of LBX rather than BX could be to avoid a trademark clash with Citroen, which sold a BX of its own in Europe in the 1980s.

Inside, the LBX diverges from other new-generation Lexus models with a touchscreen placed lower down in the car, reminiscent of the latest Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class.

The 9.8-inch infotainment touchscreen offers wireless/wired Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto and satellite navigation, and integrates most air-conditioning functions – though it is joined a set of slim switches for temperature below.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver – the largest ever fitted to a Lexus, including the $150,000 to $200,000 LX luxury four-wheel-drive – and a three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles.

The seats in Lexus’ initial images are trimmed in suede-like material with orange stitching and accents.

A full suite of advanced safety technology is available, including autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.

No decision has been made at this stage on whether the 2024 Lexus LBX will be offered in Australia.

What do you think? Should Lexus Australia offer the LBX here? Let us know in the comments section below.

The post 2024 Lexus LBX hybrid city SUV unveiled, not confirmed yet for Australia appeared first on Drive.

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