The Toyota subsidiary Lexus is entering the business with purely electrically powered models - with the Lexus RZ 450e crossover SUV. The new Lexus shares its technical substructure with the new Toyota BZ4X electric SUV, also based on the e-TNGA platform. Both are to be offered in autumn 2022.
The new Lexus RZ 450e can be reserved online and will be delivered from January 2023, is 4.80 meters long, 1.90 meters wide, and 1.64 meters high. The Japanese specify the wheelbase as 2,850 millimeters. The lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 71.4 kWh sits flat in the underbody and is an integral part of the platform. It should offer a WLTP range of around 400 kilometers.
Electric motors on both axles power the Lexus RZaxles. The front motor has an output of 150 kW, and the engine on the rear axle contributes a further 80 kW. The total power adds up to 230 kW. This puts the Lexus RZ 450e electric car at the performance level of the RX 450h, which has 313 hp. And the terminology is correct. The two electric motors form the Direct-4 drive system, which continuously controls traction on all four wheels and automatically and seamlessly distributes the drive power. The Japanese have not yet mentioned mileage data.
In terms of design, the Lexus RZ differs significantly from the look of its platform brothers and relies on the typical Lexus look. The Lexus RZ 450e electric car is based on the Lexus RX. Because there is no longer a combustion engine under the front hood, it can be flatter. The well-known Diablo grille is smaller and largely closed. Otherwise, there are only a few cooling air intakes at the front. The headlights are incredibly flat. The typical L daytime running light signature is now on the upper edge of the headlight. 18-inch light-alloy rims rotate in the black-clad wheel arches. 20-inches are also available as an option. Two small spoiler tails extend the roofline. Otherwise, the rearview dominates the surrounding light band.
The eye-catcher in the cockpit is the optional yoke steering wheel, which is flat at the top and bottom and controls the front wheels via a pure steer-by-wire system. Only a turning angle of 150 degrees is required from steering stop to steering stop, so reaching over is no longer necessary. Lexus calls the system "One Motion Grip." Hopefully not a saying that drivers of the Lexus RZ 450e often have to try because their electrically controlled steering is not working. There will also be a conventional valance for skeptics.
The steering wheel design improves the view of the fully digital instruments and the head-up display. In addition, a 14-inch touch display is located in the dashboard's center. It works with the Lexus Smart Connect multimedia platform known as the Lexus NX with cloud-based online navigation and voice control, and Over-the-air updates are allowed.
A huge dimmable panoramic glass roof stretches over the passengers for an additional charge. Also new in the data center is an additional heating system for the air conditioning system, which uses radiant heaters at knee height in front of the driver and front passenger.
Other features of the RZ will include safety and driver assistance systems of the third generation of Lexus Safety System +, a proactive driver assistant with steering assistance, and a new monitor that checks driving behavior for signs of drowsiness or distraction. Also on board is an electromechanical door opener, which only opens the door when the Blind Spot Assist detects no danger.
Lexus is entering the electric SUV business with the RZ 450e. The technology comes from the sister models, Toyota BZ4X electric SUV and Subaru Solterra. However, the Lexus offers more power and exclusively the Steer-by-wire technology called "One Motion Grip" (OMG). It is not yet known at what price the electric crossover SUV will be available.