Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus has unveiled its first dedicated all-electric vehicle, the RZ 450e. It is part of Lexus’s plans to offer a full lineup of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in all categories by 2030 and attain 100 percent BEV sales globally within the following five years. The RZ is the brand’s second electric vehicle after the UX 300e SUV that was announced a few years ago. However, while that was the EV version of an existing internal combustion model, the RZ has been built as an all-electric platform from the ground up.
Luxury EVs are becoming increasingly popular, and most luxury carmakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi already have multiple EVs in their portfolio. BMW just announced the new i7 xDrive60 7-series luxury electric sedan as part of its plan to achieve 50 percent of its sales from electric vehicles by 2030, while Mercedes-Benz launched its EQS all-electric SUV in the U.S. recently.
Related: Mercedes-Benz Unveils 373 Mile Range All-Electric SUV
The Lexus RZ is a compact, five-seat crossover SUV that comes with what the company calls a ‘Seamless E-Motion’ design that showcases the “seamless acceleration and a dynamic sense of torque” of battery-electric cars. It comes with a twin-motor setup, with the front motor putting out 150 kW and the rear motor churning out 80 kW. Overall, they deliver around 308 horsepower and 321 pound-feet of torque. The battery is rated at 71.4 kWh and has a claimed range of 225 miles, which is on the lower side when compared to similar offerings from Tesla and BMW. While the 2022 Tesla Model X has an estimated range of 333 miles, the BMW iX M60 from the same model year can go up to 280 miles on a single charge. In its press release, Lexus also claimed that the vehicle will come with the Direct4 all-wheel-drive technology that will improve start-up acceleration, stability, and power consumption.
The Lexus RZ Is Coming In Late 2022
In terms of technology, the Lexus RZ comes with a 14-inch touchscreen with the Lexus Interface infotainment system that was earlier seen on the NX and LX SUVs. It also has a panoramic sunroof that stretches from the front seats to the back. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert, and automatic emergency braking. Buyers can also opt for the Driver Monitor package that comes with the Pre-Collision System that will automatically stop the vehicle if it finds that the driver is distracted or is unable to continue driving.
A notable new feature in the RZ is a steer-by-wire technology that will be available right away in global markets, but will come to the U.S. “at a future date.” The system has no mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the tires in normal operation and will include a yoke-style steering wheel seen on newer Tesla Model S units. However, to begin with, the North American models will ship with standard round steering wheels. Lexus hasn’t announced the pricing for the RZ, but that will likely happen closer to the vehicle’s release date in late 2022.