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Electrification in cars isn’t a trend, it’s the future

Rebecca Wadey with the new Lexus NX450h+. Photo / Supplied

Content created in partnership with Lexus

If time is a luxury then two days spent driving the new Lexus NX450h+ and UX300e around the motu is the ultimate in opulence. Also a luxury? Not stopping for gas along the way due to the electrification of these vehicles. 

Anyone who knows me knows that as penance for a 1972 Chrysler Valiant I bought in Melbourne and shipped home when I relocated to Aotearoa in 2001, I am offsetting my carbon footprint for the rest of days. I also really love an electric car. There is something, and I speak as a non-motoring expert here, very fast and zippy about putting your foot down in one that makes you wonder if a fuel tank is what’s been holding you back all your life.

Lexus of course has the upper-hand when it comes to electric expertise and technology, being the ultra-sophisticated sister to Toyota which is unarguably a pioneer in the clean car space. Lexus has also long been a brand of unassuming luxury. They put all their bells and whistles into unparalleled comfort rather than flashy appendages. “The core of the Lexus design philosophy is to be technologically advanced yet humanised,” says Simon Humphries, head of Lexus global design. “To create striking design, but still be artistic and unpretentious.”

This approach to design is global and cross-generational. Lexus has long been a supporter and ardent promoter of the new generation of design talent with their annual Lexus Design Award competition, ‘design for a better tomorrow’. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, local finalists work closely with Lexus ambassadors Simon James and Scott Bridgens from globally renowned furniture house Resident. 

The Lexus UX300e. Photo / Supplied

Which is where we find ourselves at the beginning of our road trip, in their sunny Upper Queen Street showroom, eating a carefully prepared breakfast with personalised coffee orders while sitting on the most beautifully designed medley of chairs, watching a video of Simon and Scott working alongside AUT student and surfer Lachie Douglas, who is developing a distress bracelet for fellow surfers to wear in the ocean, notifying lifeguards if they encounter an emergency.  It’s clear that both Simon and Scott get a lot of joy out of working with these young and passionate students. 

From Resident we head to Lexus of Auckland City where we grab a delicious poke bowl to go from Sachie’s Kitchen (chef Sachie Nomura is another Lexus ambassador) before a hands on lesson on how to drive our car before we hit the road. 

I’m terrible at following instructions but luckily the Lexus UX300e is incredibly intuitive and I naturally picked up on some of the subtle extras like the head up display that shows your speed next to the speed limit (it adapts for any change of speed you go through, even temporary roadworks). 

The drive through the Bay of Plenty took in many luxurious locales along the way, from Flat White cafe, sublime against a background of the wild moana of Waihi, through to Te Puna Point Retreat, a glorious luxury lodge and avocado orchard snug on a secluded inlet, where we toasted the owners and showered before dinner. Later we drove to Black Walnut, a private dining venue in a glasshouse nestled amidst mature walnut trees set with festoon lighting, where we eventually ate. It was a glorious evening and I even managed to keep the luxury going with a spa bath back in my waterfront hotel suite in Tauranga, where peace and solitude was the greatest luxury of all. 

The next morning, as the sun rose across Tauranga Harbour, we met for smoothies and granola at the local Lexus dealership where we heard about the luxuries the team there provide new car owners. From a hamper featuring personalised gifts crafted in accordance with what they’ve learned about the customer through to a free monthly valet service, the emphasis is on community, bringing people into the Lexus family and nurturing relationships in a genuine and unpretentious way. 

At Lexus I hopped into the larger of the vehicles, the hybrid electric SUV Lexus NX, and started my effortless journey back to Auckland. This car has all the room of a classic SUV yet the weightlessness of an electric vehicle, and of course none of the gas guzzling pink-cheeked shame. 

Photo / Supplied

I know some people are prone to ‘range anxiety’ when driving an electric vehicle but it’s not something that causes me any concern. As I charge my phone overnight, so too do I charge my car, or make arrangements as needed. I find that far more convenient than getting gas! The Lexus UX300e I’d driven the day previously has a range capacity of around 300km, more than enough for my scenic tour through the Bay of Plenty without a second thought or care in the world. Should I have wanted to break away from the group and head for the hills (or, Wellington) I could easily have found a fast charger through an app on my phone and done a 20 minute top up. For my return trip in the larger NX, I had the reassurance and convenience of the hybrid electric function. 

I also had a great travelling companion in ‘Hey Lexus’ (a Siri-like function) who I had turn the radio on, up LOUD and then off again. 

Our last stop on the way was the Falls Retreat, the perfect definition of unpretentious luxury with its sprawling organic vegetable garden and rustic barn setting the scene for the most divine morning tea of made-from-scratch pastries, cakes, crackers and spreads. Sitting around the fireplace on the most beautiful autumnal day, hearing the passion of owners Emma and Brad about how they marry their values of sustainability with the demands of running a luxury retreat was the perfect end to a wonderful trip. 

With electrification undoubtedly the way of the future, it’s exciting to see the marrying of innovative technology with the unparalleled luxuries and personalised touches of this leading brand. Lexus aims to be fully electric by 2035. We’re very happy to be along for the ride.

No items found.
Rebecca Wadey with the new Lexus NX450h+. Photo / Supplied

Content created in partnership with Lexus

If time is a luxury then two days spent driving the new Lexus NX450h+ and UX300e around the motu is the ultimate in opulence. Also a luxury? Not stopping for gas along the way due to the electrification of these vehicles. 

Anyone who knows me knows that as penance for a 1972 Chrysler Valiant I bought in Melbourne and shipped home when I relocated to Aotearoa in 2001, I am offsetting my carbon footprint for the rest of days. I also really love an electric car. There is something, and I speak as a non-motoring expert here, very fast and zippy about putting your foot down in one that makes you wonder if a fuel tank is what’s been holding you back all your life.

Lexus of course has the upper-hand when it comes to electric expertise and technology, being the ultra-sophisticated sister to Toyota which is unarguably a pioneer in the clean car space. Lexus has also long been a brand of unassuming luxury. They put all their bells and whistles into unparalleled comfort rather than flashy appendages. “The core of the Lexus design philosophy is to be technologically advanced yet humanised,” says Simon Humphries, head of Lexus global design. “To create striking design, but still be artistic and unpretentious.”

This approach to design is global and cross-generational. Lexus has long been a supporter and ardent promoter of the new generation of design talent with their annual Lexus Design Award competition, ‘design for a better tomorrow’. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, local finalists work closely with Lexus ambassadors Simon James and Scott Bridgens from globally renowned furniture house Resident. 

The Lexus UX300e. Photo / Supplied

Which is where we find ourselves at the beginning of our road trip, in their sunny Upper Queen Street showroom, eating a carefully prepared breakfast with personalised coffee orders while sitting on the most beautifully designed medley of chairs, watching a video of Simon and Scott working alongside AUT student and surfer Lachie Douglas, who is developing a distress bracelet for fellow surfers to wear in the ocean, notifying lifeguards if they encounter an emergency.  It’s clear that both Simon and Scott get a lot of joy out of working with these young and passionate students. 

From Resident we head to Lexus of Auckland City where we grab a delicious poke bowl to go from Sachie’s Kitchen (chef Sachie Nomura is another Lexus ambassador) before a hands on lesson on how to drive our car before we hit the road. 

I’m terrible at following instructions but luckily the Lexus UX300e is incredibly intuitive and I naturally picked up on some of the subtle extras like the head up display that shows your speed next to the speed limit (it adapts for any change of speed you go through, even temporary roadworks). 

The drive through the Bay of Plenty took in many luxurious locales along the way, from Flat White cafe, sublime against a background of the wild moana of Waihi, through to Te Puna Point Retreat, a glorious luxury lodge and avocado orchard snug on a secluded inlet, where we toasted the owners and showered before dinner. Later we drove to Black Walnut, a private dining venue in a glasshouse nestled amidst mature walnut trees set with festoon lighting, where we eventually ate. It was a glorious evening and I even managed to keep the luxury going with a spa bath back in my waterfront hotel suite in Tauranga, where peace and solitude was the greatest luxury of all. 

The next morning, as the sun rose across Tauranga Harbour, we met for smoothies and granola at the local Lexus dealership where we heard about the luxuries the team there provide new car owners. From a hamper featuring personalised gifts crafted in accordance with what they’ve learned about the customer through to a free monthly valet service, the emphasis is on community, bringing people into the Lexus family and nurturing relationships in a genuine and unpretentious way. 

At Lexus I hopped into the larger of the vehicles, the hybrid electric SUV Lexus NX, and started my effortless journey back to Auckland. This car has all the room of a classic SUV yet the weightlessness of an electric vehicle, and of course none of the gas guzzling pink-cheeked shame. 

Photo / Supplied

I know some people are prone to ‘range anxiety’ when driving an electric vehicle but it’s not something that causes me any concern. As I charge my phone overnight, so too do I charge my car, or make arrangements as needed. I find that far more convenient than getting gas! The Lexus UX300e I’d driven the day previously has a range capacity of around 300km, more than enough for my scenic tour through the Bay of Plenty without a second thought or care in the world. Should I have wanted to break away from the group and head for the hills (or, Wellington) I could easily have found a fast charger through an app on my phone and done a 20 minute top up. For my return trip in the larger NX, I had the reassurance and convenience of the hybrid electric function. 

I also had a great travelling companion in ‘Hey Lexus’ (a Siri-like function) who I had turn the radio on, up LOUD and then off again. 

Our last stop on the way was the Falls Retreat, the perfect definition of unpretentious luxury with its sprawling organic vegetable garden and rustic barn setting the scene for the most divine morning tea of made-from-scratch pastries, cakes, crackers and spreads. Sitting around the fireplace on the most beautiful autumnal day, hearing the passion of owners Emma and Brad about how they marry their values of sustainability with the demands of running a luxury retreat was the perfect end to a wonderful trip. 

With electrification undoubtedly the way of the future, it’s exciting to see the marrying of innovative technology with the unparalleled luxuries and personalised touches of this leading brand. Lexus aims to be fully electric by 2035. We’re very happy to be along for the ride.

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Electrification in cars isn’t a trend, it’s the future

Rebecca Wadey with the new Lexus NX450h+. Photo / Supplied

Content created in partnership with Lexus

If time is a luxury then two days spent driving the new Lexus NX450h+ and UX300e around the motu is the ultimate in opulence. Also a luxury? Not stopping for gas along the way due to the electrification of these vehicles. 

Anyone who knows me knows that as penance for a 1972 Chrysler Valiant I bought in Melbourne and shipped home when I relocated to Aotearoa in 2001, I am offsetting my carbon footprint for the rest of days. I also really love an electric car. There is something, and I speak as a non-motoring expert here, very fast and zippy about putting your foot down in one that makes you wonder if a fuel tank is what’s been holding you back all your life.

Lexus of course has the upper-hand when it comes to electric expertise and technology, being the ultra-sophisticated sister to Toyota which is unarguably a pioneer in the clean car space. Lexus has also long been a brand of unassuming luxury. They put all their bells and whistles into unparalleled comfort rather than flashy appendages. “The core of the Lexus design philosophy is to be technologically advanced yet humanised,” says Simon Humphries, head of Lexus global design. “To create striking design, but still be artistic and unpretentious.”

This approach to design is global and cross-generational. Lexus has long been a supporter and ardent promoter of the new generation of design talent with their annual Lexus Design Award competition, ‘design for a better tomorrow’. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, local finalists work closely with Lexus ambassadors Simon James and Scott Bridgens from globally renowned furniture house Resident. 

The Lexus UX300e. Photo / Supplied

Which is where we find ourselves at the beginning of our road trip, in their sunny Upper Queen Street showroom, eating a carefully prepared breakfast with personalised coffee orders while sitting on the most beautifully designed medley of chairs, watching a video of Simon and Scott working alongside AUT student and surfer Lachie Douglas, who is developing a distress bracelet for fellow surfers to wear in the ocean, notifying lifeguards if they encounter an emergency.  It’s clear that both Simon and Scott get a lot of joy out of working with these young and passionate students. 

From Resident we head to Lexus of Auckland City where we grab a delicious poke bowl to go from Sachie’s Kitchen (chef Sachie Nomura is another Lexus ambassador) before a hands on lesson on how to drive our car before we hit the road. 

I’m terrible at following instructions but luckily the Lexus UX300e is incredibly intuitive and I naturally picked up on some of the subtle extras like the head up display that shows your speed next to the speed limit (it adapts for any change of speed you go through, even temporary roadworks). 

The drive through the Bay of Plenty took in many luxurious locales along the way, from Flat White cafe, sublime against a background of the wild moana of Waihi, through to Te Puna Point Retreat, a glorious luxury lodge and avocado orchard snug on a secluded inlet, where we toasted the owners and showered before dinner. Later we drove to Black Walnut, a private dining venue in a glasshouse nestled amidst mature walnut trees set with festoon lighting, where we eventually ate. It was a glorious evening and I even managed to keep the luxury going with a spa bath back in my waterfront hotel suite in Tauranga, where peace and solitude was the greatest luxury of all. 

The next morning, as the sun rose across Tauranga Harbour, we met for smoothies and granola at the local Lexus dealership where we heard about the luxuries the team there provide new car owners. From a hamper featuring personalised gifts crafted in accordance with what they’ve learned about the customer through to a free monthly valet service, the emphasis is on community, bringing people into the Lexus family and nurturing relationships in a genuine and unpretentious way. 

At Lexus I hopped into the larger of the vehicles, the hybrid electric SUV Lexus NX, and started my effortless journey back to Auckland. This car has all the room of a classic SUV yet the weightlessness of an electric vehicle, and of course none of the gas guzzling pink-cheeked shame. 

Photo / Supplied

I know some people are prone to ‘range anxiety’ when driving an electric vehicle but it’s not something that causes me any concern. As I charge my phone overnight, so too do I charge my car, or make arrangements as needed. I find that far more convenient than getting gas! The Lexus UX300e I’d driven the day previously has a range capacity of around 300km, more than enough for my scenic tour through the Bay of Plenty without a second thought or care in the world. Should I have wanted to break away from the group and head for the hills (or, Wellington) I could easily have found a fast charger through an app on my phone and done a 20 minute top up. For my return trip in the larger NX, I had the reassurance and convenience of the hybrid electric function. 

I also had a great travelling companion in ‘Hey Lexus’ (a Siri-like function) who I had turn the radio on, up LOUD and then off again. 

Our last stop on the way was the Falls Retreat, the perfect definition of unpretentious luxury with its sprawling organic vegetable garden and rustic barn setting the scene for the most divine morning tea of made-from-scratch pastries, cakes, crackers and spreads. Sitting around the fireplace on the most beautiful autumnal day, hearing the passion of owners Emma and Brad about how they marry their values of sustainability with the demands of running a luxury retreat was the perfect end to a wonderful trip. 

With electrification undoubtedly the way of the future, it’s exciting to see the marrying of innovative technology with the unparalleled luxuries and personalised touches of this leading brand. Lexus aims to be fully electric by 2035. We’re very happy to be along for the ride.

No items found.
Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program

Electrification in cars isn’t a trend, it’s the future

Rebecca Wadey with the new Lexus NX450h+. Photo / Supplied

Content created in partnership with Lexus

If time is a luxury then two days spent driving the new Lexus NX450h+ and UX300e around the motu is the ultimate in opulence. Also a luxury? Not stopping for gas along the way due to the electrification of these vehicles. 

Anyone who knows me knows that as penance for a 1972 Chrysler Valiant I bought in Melbourne and shipped home when I relocated to Aotearoa in 2001, I am offsetting my carbon footprint for the rest of days. I also really love an electric car. There is something, and I speak as a non-motoring expert here, very fast and zippy about putting your foot down in one that makes you wonder if a fuel tank is what’s been holding you back all your life.

Lexus of course has the upper-hand when it comes to electric expertise and technology, being the ultra-sophisticated sister to Toyota which is unarguably a pioneer in the clean car space. Lexus has also long been a brand of unassuming luxury. They put all their bells and whistles into unparalleled comfort rather than flashy appendages. “The core of the Lexus design philosophy is to be technologically advanced yet humanised,” says Simon Humphries, head of Lexus global design. “To create striking design, but still be artistic and unpretentious.”

This approach to design is global and cross-generational. Lexus has long been a supporter and ardent promoter of the new generation of design talent with their annual Lexus Design Award competition, ‘design for a better tomorrow’. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, local finalists work closely with Lexus ambassadors Simon James and Scott Bridgens from globally renowned furniture house Resident. 

The Lexus UX300e. Photo / Supplied

Which is where we find ourselves at the beginning of our road trip, in their sunny Upper Queen Street showroom, eating a carefully prepared breakfast with personalised coffee orders while sitting on the most beautifully designed medley of chairs, watching a video of Simon and Scott working alongside AUT student and surfer Lachie Douglas, who is developing a distress bracelet for fellow surfers to wear in the ocean, notifying lifeguards if they encounter an emergency.  It’s clear that both Simon and Scott get a lot of joy out of working with these young and passionate students. 

From Resident we head to Lexus of Auckland City where we grab a delicious poke bowl to go from Sachie’s Kitchen (chef Sachie Nomura is another Lexus ambassador) before a hands on lesson on how to drive our car before we hit the road. 

I’m terrible at following instructions but luckily the Lexus UX300e is incredibly intuitive and I naturally picked up on some of the subtle extras like the head up display that shows your speed next to the speed limit (it adapts for any change of speed you go through, even temporary roadworks). 

The drive through the Bay of Plenty took in many luxurious locales along the way, from Flat White cafe, sublime against a background of the wild moana of Waihi, through to Te Puna Point Retreat, a glorious luxury lodge and avocado orchard snug on a secluded inlet, where we toasted the owners and showered before dinner. Later we drove to Black Walnut, a private dining venue in a glasshouse nestled amidst mature walnut trees set with festoon lighting, where we eventually ate. It was a glorious evening and I even managed to keep the luxury going with a spa bath back in my waterfront hotel suite in Tauranga, where peace and solitude was the greatest luxury of all. 

The next morning, as the sun rose across Tauranga Harbour, we met for smoothies and granola at the local Lexus dealership where we heard about the luxuries the team there provide new car owners. From a hamper featuring personalised gifts crafted in accordance with what they’ve learned about the customer through to a free monthly valet service, the emphasis is on community, bringing people into the Lexus family and nurturing relationships in a genuine and unpretentious way. 

At Lexus I hopped into the larger of the vehicles, the hybrid electric SUV Lexus NX, and started my effortless journey back to Auckland. This car has all the room of a classic SUV yet the weightlessness of an electric vehicle, and of course none of the gas guzzling pink-cheeked shame. 

Photo / Supplied

I know some people are prone to ‘range anxiety’ when driving an electric vehicle but it’s not something that causes me any concern. As I charge my phone overnight, so too do I charge my car, or make arrangements as needed. I find that far more convenient than getting gas! The Lexus UX300e I’d driven the day previously has a range capacity of around 300km, more than enough for my scenic tour through the Bay of Plenty without a second thought or care in the world. Should I have wanted to break away from the group and head for the hills (or, Wellington) I could easily have found a fast charger through an app on my phone and done a 20 minute top up. For my return trip in the larger NX, I had the reassurance and convenience of the hybrid electric function. 

I also had a great travelling companion in ‘Hey Lexus’ (a Siri-like function) who I had turn the radio on, up LOUD and then off again. 

Our last stop on the way was the Falls Retreat, the perfect definition of unpretentious luxury with its sprawling organic vegetable garden and rustic barn setting the scene for the most divine morning tea of made-from-scratch pastries, cakes, crackers and spreads. Sitting around the fireplace on the most beautiful autumnal day, hearing the passion of owners Emma and Brad about how they marry their values of sustainability with the demands of running a luxury retreat was the perfect end to a wonderful trip. 

With electrification undoubtedly the way of the future, it’s exciting to see the marrying of innovative technology with the unparalleled luxuries and personalised touches of this leading brand. Lexus aims to be fully electric by 2035. We’re very happy to be along for the ride.

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.
Rebecca Wadey with the new Lexus NX450h+. Photo / Supplied

Content created in partnership with Lexus

If time is a luxury then two days spent driving the new Lexus NX450h+ and UX300e around the motu is the ultimate in opulence. Also a luxury? Not stopping for gas along the way due to the electrification of these vehicles. 

Anyone who knows me knows that as penance for a 1972 Chrysler Valiant I bought in Melbourne and shipped home when I relocated to Aotearoa in 2001, I am offsetting my carbon footprint for the rest of days. I also really love an electric car. There is something, and I speak as a non-motoring expert here, very fast and zippy about putting your foot down in one that makes you wonder if a fuel tank is what’s been holding you back all your life.

Lexus of course has the upper-hand when it comes to electric expertise and technology, being the ultra-sophisticated sister to Toyota which is unarguably a pioneer in the clean car space. Lexus has also long been a brand of unassuming luxury. They put all their bells and whistles into unparalleled comfort rather than flashy appendages. “The core of the Lexus design philosophy is to be technologically advanced yet humanised,” says Simon Humphries, head of Lexus global design. “To create striking design, but still be artistic and unpretentious.”

This approach to design is global and cross-generational. Lexus has long been a supporter and ardent promoter of the new generation of design talent with their annual Lexus Design Award competition, ‘design for a better tomorrow’. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, local finalists work closely with Lexus ambassadors Simon James and Scott Bridgens from globally renowned furniture house Resident. 

The Lexus UX300e. Photo / Supplied

Which is where we find ourselves at the beginning of our road trip, in their sunny Upper Queen Street showroom, eating a carefully prepared breakfast with personalised coffee orders while sitting on the most beautifully designed medley of chairs, watching a video of Simon and Scott working alongside AUT student and surfer Lachie Douglas, who is developing a distress bracelet for fellow surfers to wear in the ocean, notifying lifeguards if they encounter an emergency.  It’s clear that both Simon and Scott get a lot of joy out of working with these young and passionate students. 

From Resident we head to Lexus of Auckland City where we grab a delicious poke bowl to go from Sachie’s Kitchen (chef Sachie Nomura is another Lexus ambassador) before a hands on lesson on how to drive our car before we hit the road. 

I’m terrible at following instructions but luckily the Lexus UX300e is incredibly intuitive and I naturally picked up on some of the subtle extras like the head up display that shows your speed next to the speed limit (it adapts for any change of speed you go through, even temporary roadworks). 

The drive through the Bay of Plenty took in many luxurious locales along the way, from Flat White cafe, sublime against a background of the wild moana of Waihi, through to Te Puna Point Retreat, a glorious luxury lodge and avocado orchard snug on a secluded inlet, where we toasted the owners and showered before dinner. Later we drove to Black Walnut, a private dining venue in a glasshouse nestled amidst mature walnut trees set with festoon lighting, where we eventually ate. It was a glorious evening and I even managed to keep the luxury going with a spa bath back in my waterfront hotel suite in Tauranga, where peace and solitude was the greatest luxury of all. 

The next morning, as the sun rose across Tauranga Harbour, we met for smoothies and granola at the local Lexus dealership where we heard about the luxuries the team there provide new car owners. From a hamper featuring personalised gifts crafted in accordance with what they’ve learned about the customer through to a free monthly valet service, the emphasis is on community, bringing people into the Lexus family and nurturing relationships in a genuine and unpretentious way. 

At Lexus I hopped into the larger of the vehicles, the hybrid electric SUV Lexus NX, and started my effortless journey back to Auckland. This car has all the room of a classic SUV yet the weightlessness of an electric vehicle, and of course none of the gas guzzling pink-cheeked shame. 

Photo / Supplied

I know some people are prone to ‘range anxiety’ when driving an electric vehicle but it’s not something that causes me any concern. As I charge my phone overnight, so too do I charge my car, or make arrangements as needed. I find that far more convenient than getting gas! The Lexus UX300e I’d driven the day previously has a range capacity of around 300km, more than enough for my scenic tour through the Bay of Plenty without a second thought or care in the world. Should I have wanted to break away from the group and head for the hills (or, Wellington) I could easily have found a fast charger through an app on my phone and done a 20 minute top up. For my return trip in the larger NX, I had the reassurance and convenience of the hybrid electric function. 

I also had a great travelling companion in ‘Hey Lexus’ (a Siri-like function) who I had turn the radio on, up LOUD and then off again. 

Our last stop on the way was the Falls Retreat, the perfect definition of unpretentious luxury with its sprawling organic vegetable garden and rustic barn setting the scene for the most divine morning tea of made-from-scratch pastries, cakes, crackers and spreads. Sitting around the fireplace on the most beautiful autumnal day, hearing the passion of owners Emma and Brad about how they marry their values of sustainability with the demands of running a luxury retreat was the perfect end to a wonderful trip. 

With electrification undoubtedly the way of the future, it’s exciting to see the marrying of innovative technology with the unparalleled luxuries and personalised touches of this leading brand. Lexus aims to be fully electric by 2035. We’re very happy to be along for the ride.

No items found.
Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program

Electrification in cars isn’t a trend, it’s the future

Rebecca Wadey with the new Lexus NX450h+. Photo / Supplied

Content created in partnership with Lexus

If time is a luxury then two days spent driving the new Lexus NX450h+ and UX300e around the motu is the ultimate in opulence. Also a luxury? Not stopping for gas along the way due to the electrification of these vehicles. 

Anyone who knows me knows that as penance for a 1972 Chrysler Valiant I bought in Melbourne and shipped home when I relocated to Aotearoa in 2001, I am offsetting my carbon footprint for the rest of days. I also really love an electric car. There is something, and I speak as a non-motoring expert here, very fast and zippy about putting your foot down in one that makes you wonder if a fuel tank is what’s been holding you back all your life.

Lexus of course has the upper-hand when it comes to electric expertise and technology, being the ultra-sophisticated sister to Toyota which is unarguably a pioneer in the clean car space. Lexus has also long been a brand of unassuming luxury. They put all their bells and whistles into unparalleled comfort rather than flashy appendages. “The core of the Lexus design philosophy is to be technologically advanced yet humanised,” says Simon Humphries, head of Lexus global design. “To create striking design, but still be artistic and unpretentious.”

This approach to design is global and cross-generational. Lexus has long been a supporter and ardent promoter of the new generation of design talent with their annual Lexus Design Award competition, ‘design for a better tomorrow’. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, local finalists work closely with Lexus ambassadors Simon James and Scott Bridgens from globally renowned furniture house Resident. 

The Lexus UX300e. Photo / Supplied

Which is where we find ourselves at the beginning of our road trip, in their sunny Upper Queen Street showroom, eating a carefully prepared breakfast with personalised coffee orders while sitting on the most beautifully designed medley of chairs, watching a video of Simon and Scott working alongside AUT student and surfer Lachie Douglas, who is developing a distress bracelet for fellow surfers to wear in the ocean, notifying lifeguards if they encounter an emergency.  It’s clear that both Simon and Scott get a lot of joy out of working with these young and passionate students. 

From Resident we head to Lexus of Auckland City where we grab a delicious poke bowl to go from Sachie’s Kitchen (chef Sachie Nomura is another Lexus ambassador) before a hands on lesson on how to drive our car before we hit the road. 

I’m terrible at following instructions but luckily the Lexus UX300e is incredibly intuitive and I naturally picked up on some of the subtle extras like the head up display that shows your speed next to the speed limit (it adapts for any change of speed you go through, even temporary roadworks). 

The drive through the Bay of Plenty took in many luxurious locales along the way, from Flat White cafe, sublime against a background of the wild moana of Waihi, through to Te Puna Point Retreat, a glorious luxury lodge and avocado orchard snug on a secluded inlet, where we toasted the owners and showered before dinner. Later we drove to Black Walnut, a private dining venue in a glasshouse nestled amidst mature walnut trees set with festoon lighting, where we eventually ate. It was a glorious evening and I even managed to keep the luxury going with a spa bath back in my waterfront hotel suite in Tauranga, where peace and solitude was the greatest luxury of all. 

The next morning, as the sun rose across Tauranga Harbour, we met for smoothies and granola at the local Lexus dealership where we heard about the luxuries the team there provide new car owners. From a hamper featuring personalised gifts crafted in accordance with what they’ve learned about the customer through to a free monthly valet service, the emphasis is on community, bringing people into the Lexus family and nurturing relationships in a genuine and unpretentious way. 

At Lexus I hopped into the larger of the vehicles, the hybrid electric SUV Lexus NX, and started my effortless journey back to Auckland. This car has all the room of a classic SUV yet the weightlessness of an electric vehicle, and of course none of the gas guzzling pink-cheeked shame. 

Photo / Supplied

I know some people are prone to ‘range anxiety’ when driving an electric vehicle but it’s not something that causes me any concern. As I charge my phone overnight, so too do I charge my car, or make arrangements as needed. I find that far more convenient than getting gas! The Lexus UX300e I’d driven the day previously has a range capacity of around 300km, more than enough for my scenic tour through the Bay of Plenty without a second thought or care in the world. Should I have wanted to break away from the group and head for the hills (or, Wellington) I could easily have found a fast charger through an app on my phone and done a 20 minute top up. For my return trip in the larger NX, I had the reassurance and convenience of the hybrid electric function. 

I also had a great travelling companion in ‘Hey Lexus’ (a Siri-like function) who I had turn the radio on, up LOUD and then off again. 

Our last stop on the way was the Falls Retreat, the perfect definition of unpretentious luxury with its sprawling organic vegetable garden and rustic barn setting the scene for the most divine morning tea of made-from-scratch pastries, cakes, crackers and spreads. Sitting around the fireplace on the most beautiful autumnal day, hearing the passion of owners Emma and Brad about how they marry their values of sustainability with the demands of running a luxury retreat was the perfect end to a wonderful trip. 

With electrification undoubtedly the way of the future, it’s exciting to see the marrying of innovative technology with the unparalleled luxuries and personalised touches of this leading brand. Lexus aims to be fully electric by 2035. We’re very happy to be along for the ride.

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