The luxury brand of Toyota Lexus they presented their first all-electric special vehicle, the RZ 450e. Part of Lexus plans to offer a complete line of battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) in all categories by 2030 and cover 100% of global BEV sales over the next five years. The RZ is the brand’s second electric vehicle after the UX 300e SUV announced several years ago. Although it was the EV version of an existing combustion model, the RZ was built as an all-electric platform from the start.
Luxury electric cars are becoming more and more popular and most luxury drivers, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, already have a variety of electric cars in their portfolio. BMW has just announced the new i7 xDrive60 Series 7 luxury electric sedan as part of its plan to cut 50% of its electric car sales by 2030, while Mercedes-Benz recently launched its all-electric EQS SUV in the US.
The Lexus RZ is a five-seater compact crossover SUV that comes with what the design firm calls “Seamless E-Motion,” which “Continuous acceleration and a dynamic torque feel” of battery powered electric cars. It comes with a dual engine configuration, with the front engine producing 150 kW and the rear engine producing 80 kW. Overall, they deliver about 308 drive wheels and 321 pounds of torque. The battery is rated at 71.4 kWh and has a 225-mile rechargeable battery, which isn’t on the low side when compared to similar offerings from Tesla and BMW. While the Tesla Model X 2022 has an estimated capacity of 333 miles, the BMW iX M60 of the same model year can travel up to 280 miles on a single charge. In its press release, Lexus also confirmed that the vehicle will be equipped with four-wheel Direct4 transmission technology that will improve speed, stability and energy consumption.
In terms of technology, the Lexus RZ comes with a 14-inch touch-sensitive fabric featuring the Lexus Interface infotainment system previously featured in the NX and LX SUVs. It also has a panoramic solar panel that sits on two front seats in the back. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, speed warning and automatic emergency braking. Buyers can also opt for the Driver Monitor package that comes with the Pre-Collision System that automatically stops the vehicle if they sense the driver is distracted or unable to continue driving.
A notable new resource in RZ is Steer-by-Wire technology which will be immediately available in global markets but reach the US “At a future date.” The system will have no mechanical connection between the rudder and the tires in normal use and will include a pitcher-style rudder seen in the most recent Tesla Model S units. For starters, however, North American models are shipped with round flyers. Lexus has not announced the price of the RZ, but it will likely be closer to the vehicle’s launch date in late 2022.