Lexus has unveiled its first battery-electric vehicle, the UX 300e ahead of its public showing at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in China which takes place from November 22 until December 1. Starting with the UX crossover as a base, Lexus has given the hitherto partially electrified model a full-electric powertrain.

The brand’s smallest SUV’s electric powertrain features a front-mounted motor producing 204 PS and 300 Nm of torque, positioning this above the 184 PS from the 2.0 litre Atkinson-cycle engine in the UX 250h hybrid and the 169 hp/205 Nm of the petrol-powered UX 200.

Motive power for the UX 300e is supplied via a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which provides range of up to 400 km, and this can be charged on standard AC at a maximum rate of 6.6 kW, or on a fast DC charger at a maximum rate of 50 kW.

The GA-C architecture of the UX has been given structural enhancements with additional bracing and revised damping to ‘match the dynamic changes of electrification’, says Lexus. The UX 300e has been given additional insulation to suppress external noises such as from wind or debris pick up by the tyres, which would be otherwise be concealed by the sounds of a conventional powertrain, the company said.

These measures make the UX 300e one of the quietest in its class, Lexus adds. The UX 300e visually remains similar to its petrol-fed siblings, though it does get special aerodynamic wheels as well as an underbody cover to smooth airflow for aiding efficiency and reducing wind noise.

Silence may be golden to some, but Lexus has also added Active Sound Control to produce ambient sounds for an aural understanding of driving conditions and a more natural feeling for its occupants, the company said. The UX 300e offers a selection of driver characteristics from its Drive Mode Select function, while ‘shift’ paddles behind the steering wheel offer four different levels of braking regeneration.

The battery in the UX 300e crossover is equipped with a temperature management system for operation in high and low ambient temperatures, while reliability is also improved with the use of multiple monitoring systems to regulate battery charging and to prevent situations such as overcharging.

Connectivity to the UX 300e is offered via the LexusLink smartphone app, which enables drivers to check on parameters such as battery state of charge and available range. Further functions also include a time to inform the driver when the vehicle will be fully charged, or to schedule charging for when the vehicle is next expected to be driven, or when energy prices are lower.

This app also enables the remote access to the car’s climate control, so that it can be suitably warmed or cooled before entry. The Lexus UX 300e is set to go on sale in Europe and China next year, and subsequently enter the Japanese market in 2021.