Lexus is officially entering a new era — an electrified era, to be precise. The luxury brand has finally unveiled details of the all-new, highly anticipated 2023 RZ 450e. Following the launch of the RX400h in 2005, the RZ 450e will be the brand’s first global battery electric vehicle (BEV).
Keeping to the brand’s core standards, the Lexus RZ promises to “invigorate all guests’ authentic love for driving exhilaration, and in doing so, will broaden its Lexus Electrified portfolio of hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), battery electric vehicle (BEV), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) products to exceed the needs and expectations of a more diverse set of luxury buyers,” according to a press release.
The compact, all-wheel-drive RZ 450e has a 71.4 kWh battery that gives the SUV a claimed range of up to 360 km. The motor for the front wheels makes 201 hp, while the rear motor has 107 hp for a combined 308 hp. It’s expected to hit dealerships near the end of the year.
The RZ will also offer DIRECT4 all-wheel drive system paired with LDS (the “Lexus Driving Signature”), which is a uniquely Lexus driving experience that aims to achieve predictable, linear response according to the driver’s intentions. With these features, drivers are said to expect the RZ to offer a “human-centred” driving experience that is further supported by advanced safety technologies and a “uniquely Lexus” BEV identity.
The interior will feature a 14-inch infotainment screen that will use the Lexus Interface multimedia system recently launched on the NX and LX. The RZ 450e will also feature Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, the brand’s latest suite of driver assist features that includes Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Emergency Driving Stop System, and more.
In case you missed it, Lexus has big plans for its electrified portfolio as it shifts its focus onto BEVs. Specifically, the automaker recently announced its goal of offering a full lineup of BEVs in all categories by 2030 and, just five years later, achieving 100 per cent BEV sales globally.
“We believe that Lexus, an established luxury automaker, should continue pursuing the creation of exciting cars while respecting nature and the global environment to achieve a carbon-neutral society,” said Takashi Watanabe, chief engineer, ‘Lexus Electrified’, Lexus International. “The RZ has been developed with the aim of creating a uniquely Lexus BEV that feels secure to ride in, is pleasing to the touch, and is exhilarating to drive. DIRECT4, the core technology of ‘Lexus Electrified,’ is all-wheel drive system that achieves quick and linear response according to driver in-put. We will continue to take on the challenge of providing customers with new experiences and a uniquely Lexus BEV driving experience.”
In terms of design, we can expect the all-new RZ to embody the unique Lexus vehicle design and driving experience made available through advanced, electrified technology. The EV will be based on the e-TNGA platform (which is BEV-specific) and will boast a lightweight, highly rigid body which will reportedly enhance the fundamental performance of the vehicle via optimal weight distribution.