Lexus embarks on its electric journey with UX 300e

This is the first EV from the luxury brand, but it's not for America.

You'll have trouble spotting difference between the EV version and the regular UX.

Lexus is ready to enter the electric life with its first battery-electric car, the UX 300e. The vehicle, based on a regular UX crossover we know well, ditches the engine for a totally electric powertrain that Lexus said will deliver 250 miles on the outdated and generous NEDC (New European Driving Cycles) standards. Expect a real-world mileage to come in lower.

The electric Lexus made its debut on Friday at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China, and basically, what you see is what you get. This UX 300e doesn't look too different from a regular UX at all. In fact, I don't think there's one major design differentiation when comparing photos of this EV model to a regular UX. The big Lexus grille is still present, and the UX's attractive rear end reports for duty. The "Electric" badge is new though, obviously. Special aero wheels and underbody covers will keep the UX 300e more efficient, too.

Inside, it's the same story with the typical Lexus cockpit front and center. One notable change is the gear selector. The brand said the shift-by-wire system was relocated to keep the console design simple and boost functionality. Paddle shifters actually control regenerative braking with four different modes (like we saw on the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime) and drivers will hear a Lexus-developed tone while motoring along, thanks to Active Sound Control.

Big changes are underneath the skin, where an electric motor and a 54.3 kWh battery live. The lithium-ion battery, mounted underneath the floor for good packaging, will accept up to 50 kW at a DC fast charging station. Those plugging into something lesser will see 6.6 kW on a standard charge. The front-mounted electric motor, meanwhile, creates 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. With all of that power sent to the front wheels, drivers will definitely be able to light the front tires up with ease.

Additional engineering changes include more braces for the platform and retuned shock absorbers to play nice with the electric powertrain package. All of this, in combination from Active Sound Control, should make the UX 300e eerily quiet to drive.

Will we see it in the US? That's a big nope. Lexus will put the UX 300e on sale in China and Europe next year, before it reaches Japan in 2021.

Now playing: Watch this: 2019 Lexus UX 200: A high-style crossover low on performance