Lexus Lbx, the technical secrets of the compact SUV

It is the first model of the brand built on Toyota’s global platform for the B segment: everything has been modified or created to give maximum driveability and safety. that’s how

Maurice Bertera

If from a conceptual point of view the Lbx, the first compact SUV-crossover from Lexus arriving at the beginning of 2024, marks an important turning point for the Toyota premium brand, as far as the technological aspect is concerned, it makes more sense to speak of changes ‘in the family’ than innovative solutions. The goal was to guarantee top dynamic performance for the segment. At the Milan preview, Chief Engineer Endoh explained: “To create the Lexus feeling of being one with the car, we worked to achieve a nimble driving that maximized the benefits of the car’s compact size and low weight. At the same time, we’ve focused more than ever on refining key features without relying on electronic controls.” It should be remembered that the LBX is the first Lexus model built on a variant of the GA-B platform of the global compact car architecture. It has been radically adapted to meet Lexus requirements, giving it the key benefits of a low center of gravity, wide tracks, short overhangs and a highly rigid structure.


To achieve the desired handling, the front and rear suspensions have been designed for high stiffness and low weight, to give the Lbx a response agile and stable when cornering and steering, with constant driving comfort. The model features a MacPherson structure at the front; front-wheel drive models use a rear torsion bar, while the all-wheel drive LBX adopts a double wishbone pattern. The electronically controlled braking system includes Vehicle Braking Posture Control: it automatically balances the front and rear brake force distribution to limit pitching and maintain linear and reassuring performance. It also helps to reduce vehicle roll when cornering, keeping it stable at all times and greatly filtering out vibrations.


The concept of improving what you have at home also emerges in the choice of powertrain. LBX is powered by a new generation Lexus Premium Hybrid system, with a compact and lightweight 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine. Major components of the hybrid system have undergone a substantial redesign, including the transaxle and power control unit, to improve efficiency, reduce losses, save weight and limit size. There is also a new bipolar al battery nickel metal hydride (NiMH) low-resistance, high-power technology, which further supports the engine during acceleration and extends the all-electric driving capability of the car. The maximum combined output of the hybrid system is 136hp/100kW with a maximum torque of 185Nm. The Lbx setting includes the option of all-wheel drive E-Four by Lexus, which introduces an additional electric motor on the rear axle. When setting off, cornering and on low-grip surfaces, the system automatically distributes the driving force towards the rear wheels, helping to keep the vehicle stable and reassure the driver.


LBX benefits from the comprehensive package of safety devices and driving assistance from the latest generation of Lexus Safety System +. The car is therefore equipped with multiple systems to detect crash risks, alert the driver and automatically provide steering, braking and power control, if needed, to help avoid or mitigate the consequences of a collision. Key elements include a pre-collision system with turn assist, dynamic and adaptive cruise control, lane detection assist/lane keeping assist and road sign assist. To reduce driver stress there are the electric door opening system with electronic locking with Safe Exit Assist, a Driver Monitor, intelligent parking sensors with automatic braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitor. An extended safety package will be optional adding a Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) system and Panoramic View Monitor (PVM).


The Lbx could not miss the system – managed via a 9.8-inch touchscreen – which provides cloud-based navigation, optimizing travel planning with real-time information on traffic events and delays. Then there is the “Hey Lexus” on-board assistant which responds to voice commands from both the driver and the front passenger. Smartphone integration is standard, with wireless or wired connections for Apple CarPlay and a wired connection for Android Auto. The digital instrument display from 12.3 inches (making its absolute debut on a Lexus) is highly legible. Among the technological options, the digital key and the optional premium audio system for the car stand out – characterized by 13 speakers – by Mark Levinson, exclusive partner of the Japanese house. Finally, as with all new Lexus models, LBX offers seamless over-the-air software updates for its multimedia and safety systems, so owners can benefit from the latest innovations without having to go for service.