The all-new LBX is the smallest Lexus ever
Say hello to the all-new Lexus LBX – the smallest car that Lexus has ever built (yep, smaller than the CT200h) and only the second that has been bestowed with a three-letter name.
As you’re on TopGear.com, it probably won’t take you long to remember which was the first. And Lexus has made sure to reference the mind-bending LFA supercar at the launch of this teeny crossover. “Just as the LFA showed a different side to the brand in terms of attitude and performance, so the LBX will in its own way expand its reach and profile,” reads the press release. Right.
Still, given the early sales success of the Toyota Yaris Cross – which shares its TNGA-B platform with the LBX – you can see why Lexus has gone down the small SUV route. Oh, and we’re told that LBX stands for Lexus Breakthrough Crossover.
Of course, there’s been a fair bit of work to make the LBX more of a Lexus compared to its Toyota equivalent, so while the ‘self-charging hybrid’ setup is the same with a 1.5-litre 3cyl and various electrical gubbins, the Lexus makes slightly more power with a 134bhp output. That’s compared to the Toyota’s 114bhp.
There’s way more sound deadening in the Lexus too, plus a balancer shaft added to the engine to reduce vibration. The wheelbase is 20mm longer than the Yaris Cross, but like the Toyota there will be the option of four-wheel drive thanks to a second electric motor mounted on the rear axle.
We should talk styling too, because as you might have noticed the giant Lexus spindle grille has kind of gone. We’re told that the LBX “establishes a new Lexus identity” with its angry face and headlights that are connected by a gap under the front edge of the bonnet. There are big 17 and 18-inch wheels too, plus the option of two-tone paint with a black roof.
Inside there’s a Lexus-specific dash as well as a 9.8-inch central infotainment screen and a 12.3-inch digital dial display. Certain specs will get a head-up display too, and there will be the option of leather or vegan alternatives so that it doesn’t feel like you’re in a lifted Yaris.
TEXT Gregg Potts