2019 Lexus UX Explained – Video
Lexus introduced the world’s first luxury hybrid vehicle 15 years ago, and the brand remains the luxury hybrid leader. The 2019 UX 250h underscores that position with a new-generation hybrid powertrain that delivers engaging performance and exemplary fuel efficiency.
The new gasoline engine is notable for its high thermal efficiency, and the new hybrid system has a projected output of 176 total system horsepower. Optimizing the level of electric motor assistance and engine rpm produces a linear acceleration feel without the engine running at high revs. Engine speed is synchronized with vehicle speed to create an immediate and continuous acceleration feel.
The hybrid system has a compact and lightweight new transaxle and Power Control Unit, designed to minimize power losses through heat and friction. Locating the nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) battery and compact cooling system below the rear seat helps maximize cabin and cargo area space, and their location supports the vehicle’s low center of gravity.
The E-Four system gives the UX 250h all-wheel drive capability by using an additional electric motor on the rear axle. Power distribution between the front and rear axles is automatically optimized when accelerating, cornering, or driving on slippery surfaces. When a loss of rear-wheel grip is detected, power directed to the rear is increased to around 80 per cent, at speeds up to 43mph (70km/h), contributing to handling stability.
Some hybrid drivers enjoy using “hypermiling” techniques to maximize fuel efficiency. The Lexus UX 250h introduces new technologies that take hypermiling to new heights. The UX 250h debuts Predictive Efficient Drive, a Lexus-first system that analyzes driving habits and the expected road and traffic conditions to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery. The more the UX 250h is driven, the more data is gathered to help optimize fuel consumption. (The system can be turned off if desired.)
Predictive Deceleration Support technology uses accumulated knowledge about a driver’s behavior to predict when and where the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. For example, when the UX approaches a location where the driver has slowed or stopped in the past, and the driver releases the accelerator pedal, Predictive Deceleration Support increases regenerative braking, allowing more efficient energy recovery and recharging of the hybrid battery. The system can provide deceleration support up to about 1,000 feet ahead of the vehicle.
Predictive State of Charge (SOC) control for the hybrid battery is a world-first technology that functions on both downhill roads and in congested traffic. Operating when the UX is following guidance from the navigation system, it will predict the route for a distance of up to about six miles (10km) ahead.
The 2019 Lexus UX will be available in two versions: the UX 200 introduces a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine coupled with a new Direct-Shift continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the UX 250h pairs the same 2.0-liter gas engine with a new fourth generation hybrid drive system. New technology that networks with navigation allows the UX 250h to proactively optimize hybrid operation by learning, and adapting to the driver’s routes and driving habits.