Wednesday 11 March 2020
The Lexus UX lands in Malaysia. Photo: Lexus

“Today, it is very common to see women driving crossovers in the city, many of them drawn by the powerful presence and sporty design,” shares Chika Kako, Lexus chief engineer and executive vice president, on the story behind the new Lexus UX.

Ideation for Lexus’ first crossover dates back to 2013, when Kako and her team realised that many drivers and passengers were underwhelmed by conventional SUV looks. “They also told us they wanted a crossover that drives like a hatchback,” she adds, which is why it made perfect sense for the brand to address those concerns.

Fast forward six years later, and they did it. The Lexus UX is a novel compact luxury crossover SUV with seamless technology for your driving pleasure.

However, the marquee isn’t just about delivering material value. Instead, they aspire to deliver an emotional experience for the urban driver. And, that, is made possible with some careful and fine detailing:

Avant-Garde Design

“The brave design makes the UX a unique crossover,” comments Kako. The idea, she adds, was to create a crossover that is strong and steady, yet beautifully styled and nimble.

Even at a glance, the styling is likely to turn heads. The oversized front grille – an extravagant interpretation of the brand’s iconic spindle design – unapologetically affirms that there is no confusion about the crossover’s identity. The exterior design changes depending on the viewing angle and lighting conditions, while the dewlaps at the front end and the finned taillights all cut a distinctive path through the air.

The rear treatment is even more radical: the one-piece taillight cluster protrudes and extends on either side of the car’s rump, acting like an integrated spoiler.

Richly expressive and dramatic, the UX exudes an elegant sportiness that might not appeal to all – but why would you want a drive that doesn’t stand out in the crowd?

1UX Lifestyle 005 - lexus
Bold design from all angles. Photo: Lexus.

Form and Functionality, At Its Best

Lexus’ latest SUV is styled in the spirit of ‘Engawa,’ where the boundaries between inside and outside architectures are seamlessly connected. The Japanese architectural concept is further enhanced with ‘Kansei’ engineering, which aims to create an emotional bond between the customer and product.

You can see this clearly on the inside, which is graced by a novel trim finish inspired by Japanese paper knows as washi. The smooth leather uses Sashiko quilting that is a 1,200 year old stitching technique. It might sound extra to some, but there is no denying that the craftsmanship is best in class.

But the UX is not just a looker without functionality and tech.

1UX interior 004 - lexus
Expect a luxurious interior in Lexus’ first premium compact crossover. Photo: Lexus

Aerodynamics has been given a lot of attention in this particular model, with some features that are world firsts. For instance, the wheel arch mouldings use airflow over their edges to reduce turbulence and lift, contributing to stability. This also helps reduce turbulence and lift, contributing to vehicle stability when cornering and driving in crosswinds.

The mathematical curves and gradations formed by the perforation patterns also align with the seat ventilation outlets. Plus, certain variants also have flaps along the spoke edges of the wheel designed to reduce wind resistance while increasing airflow to cool the brakes.

In place of a conventional dashboard, sharp, angular forms overlap and flow past each other to generate an interplay of shadows and contrasts. The result? A feeling of space and good visibility for the driver and passengers.

“With the UX, we don’t just want to deliver material value.” Kako explains, yet again, that it is all about giving an engaging emotional experience for all.

Specially Curated Journeys

The UX 200 Urban is a perfect drive around town. Its cockpit combines unique Lexus character and intuitive technology. The meter graphics are differentiated by each drive mode, helping set the tone of the driving mood, whether you’re heading to the gym for a sweat session or meeting friends at a new brunch location.

Splurge a little more and go for UX 200 Luxury for niceties such as blind spot monitoring, auto-dimming mirrors, metallic interior decor, ventilated front seats with driver’s side memory, leather upholstery with sashiko quilting, a 10.3-inch centre display, and more.

And for those who tend to gravitate to the finer – and edgier – things in life, there is the UX 200 F-Sport. That UX’s already sporty demeanour is even more pronounced in the case of this variant: the meshed black of the grille, dark-hued 18-inch alloys, a deeper front splitter and deeply drawn lateral intakes set it apart from the more subtle UX models.

The All-New Lexus UX 200 is available at all Lexus Centres in Malaysia today. The 2020 Lexus UX will be available from RM243,888 in the following colours: Sonic Quartz, Platinum Silver Metallic, Amber Crystal Shine, Sonic Titanium, Graphite Black Glass Flake, Madder Red, Blazing Carnelian, Terrane Khaki, and Celestial Blue. The 2020 UX also comes with a comprehensive warranty of five years with unlimited mileage for your peace of mind.