LEXUS TREADS ITS OWN PATH AGAIN
Not for Lexus a run-of-the-mill downsized turbo engine with an automatic gearbox. Instead, the UX uses a naturally aspirated fourcylinder petrol engine, complete with intelligent variable valve timing. The compression ratio is a very high 14:1 and Lexus claims an impressive 41% thermal efficiency. On hybrid models, a pair of motor generators either augments the petrol engine to drive the car forwards or harvests energy under braking to recharge the batteries.
The gearbox is an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The advantage of using this sort of gearbox over a dual-clutch or a torque-converter automatic, says Lexus, is improved refinement and fuel economy.
There is a four-wheel-drive version of the UX, too, badged E-four. Unconventionally, the rear axle is driven by a third electric motor rather than the combustion engine, and that motor can operate at medium and low speeds only.