2023 Lexus RZ, All you want to know about a Great Car
2023 Lexus RZ: What to Expect From the Upcoming Luxury EV
The new electric SUV is going to debut April 20, 2022.
The 2023 Lexus RZ will be the first global all-electric SUV from the brand and will likely share the e-TNGA platform with the Toyota bZ4x and Subaru Solterra. Expected to arrive to the U.S. market at the end of 2022 following a springtime debut, the RZ will be the first vehicle in a new chapter for Lexus. The brand plans to only sell electric cars by 2030 in North America, Europe, and China, and in the rest of the world by 2035.
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, revealed the exterior design of the RZ 450e during a massive press conference in Japan, where he also shared the electrification plans for Toyota and its bZ electric sub-brand, and a few of the electric concepts Lexus is working on for its electric future.
LF-Z Electrified Meets RZ
The Lexus RZ was previewed in concept form by the LF-Z Electrified, an electric SUV that adopted a futuristic design language and several new technologies for Lexus. While the RZ’s design is more tamed compared to the LF-Z, we can see some of its swift character lines on the side making it to the RZ. The Lexus’ signature boomerang lights are not as sharp in the RZ, but the spindle grille is almost the same except for its middle aperture and dots along the side.
The swift roofline and long tailgate in the RZ also came from the LF-Z, with its taillights adopting a less dramatic effect on the production version.
The RZ will also have two new technologies previewed by the LFZ—Direct4 and steer-by-wire. During the Design Miami/ fair, where Lexus teamed up with artist Germane Barnes to create ON/, a one-to-one sculpture of the LF-Z Electrified Concept rendered in steel and hanging from wires, we talked with Brian Bolain, global head of marketing for Lexus, about these technologies.
“The benefit is that the customer gets what they expect—small steering input, small steering output, small braking, small braking. It’s not something that has been artificially engineered to feel nimble by creating a large output from a small input,” Bolain said.
There’s no word on whether the RZ will offer a yoke steering wheel like the bZ4x, and LF-Z Electrified, but Bolain told us Lexus opted for a “warm” cabin experience, where the learning curves are almost nonexistent, and customers are familiar with the cabin.
Differentiating From The BZ4x
Besides its size, Direct4 and the steer-by-wire system, the RZ will have a different in-cabin experience than the bZ4x. Like we’ve seen with all Lexus products, the craftmanship is hugely noted in Lexus’ interiors, and the RZ won’t be the exception. Although Bolain didn’t give any details about the RZ’s cabin, he did say customers must feel the upgrade in a Lexus.
“The places where we have to remain different are in the materials, the stitching, the trims, the finish work. That’s our chance to elevate, adding higher strength steel so the rigidity is higher than a Toyota, those are the places that translates to a tactile experience,” he said.
We’ve yet to learn about the RZ 450e powertrain. Although Direct4 is meant to be used with two electric motors (one for the front axle and one for the rear), Lexus has stayed tight lipped on horsepower. But, if we use the NX as an example, there are key differences with the RAV4—including a new powertrain. Although a bigger battery in the RZ probably won’t happen, we hope it offers more than the 215 hp that the bZ4x offers.
Lexus is getting into the EV game with the RZ SUV, which likely shares a platform with the Toyota bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra. This being a Lexus, we’re expecting a much posher cabin to go along with its more upscale exterior styling. The powertrain should also be different in the Lexus, as patent filings have revealed the company’s plans to use the RZ450e moniker. We know the luxury brand has been working on a two-motor setup called Direct4, which offers standard all-wheel drive and more power than the bZ4x’s 215-hp rating. So far, we’ve only seen teaser photos of the RZ’s exterior, but it looks sharply styled with a floating roof, a ducktail spoiler, and aggressive headlamps.
What’s New for 2023?
The RZ will be an all-new entrant in the Lexus lineup for 2023 and the brand’s first all-electric offering.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’re guessing on price here, but we think Lexus will offer the RZ450e in standard and F Sport trims. When we find out more about the RZ’s pricing as well as its standard and optional features, we’ll update this story with that information and provide a recommendation.
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