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The three-pedal EV

8 months ago

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Andrew English | Journalist


7 November 2023

Many commentators and some senior folk at car makers believe the march of the battery car will presage the commodification of the automobile, and that luxury will denote more software, evermore more cockpit bongs and pings, more ocelot-hide seat upholstery and piano-black plastic panels, but definitely not a more involving driving experience. Driving an electric car, any electric car, will be about as moving as opening a refrigerator door.

Not so at Toyota, where according to chairman Akio Toyoda, his cars will not be commodities. Yet with respect Akio, that’s exactly what the Lexus UX model is: competent, reliable and supremely dull. Certainly not something you’d drive on a test track just for the hell of it, especially not your newest and most high-tech test track in Shimoyama, nestling like some 6.5 million square metre Dr Evil lair in the wooded hills about four hours south of Tokyo.

Yet here I am, driving that Lexus crossover with a smile on my face as I slam a stubby gearlever through the gate, whipping the clutch up and getting my ears chewed by the engineer beside me about breaking the speed limit – there are standards to keep up, I am on Ti business after all.

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