Published on April 22nd, 2022 | by Subhash Nair0
Lexus RZ Is The First All-Electric Car From The Brand
After more than a decade of hybrids, the all-electric Lexus RZ has been revealed.
Lexus has doubled down on the electric car business with their new RZ. This battery electric vehicle (BEV) is closely related to the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra – the first BEVs from those Japanese car brands. This isn’t the first BEV from Lexus – that honour goes to the UX300e. This is, however, the first dedicated EV model with no ICE powertrains available for the RZ at all. Lexus has the ambitious goal of selling nothing but BEVs by 2035, so the RZ is a significant model that may preview the brand’s approach to this sort of car. Fine tuning and development of this vehicle was carried out at the Toyota Technical Centre Shumoyama.
In terms of key performance stats, the Lexus RZ 450e is identical to those vehicles in their all-wheel drive forms. That means it sits on the new e-TNGA chassis, it sports a 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery, and have motors on each axle with 150kW to the front axle and 80kW on the rear axle. The smaller rear axle drive unit is due to its low profile form factor, which enables larger interior passenger and cargo space. In addition, the rear motor gets a more efficient rear inverter for an increased cruising range. The quoted range 360km on 18″ wheels using prevailing standards for EV range in the US. Toyota’s similar bZ4X is rated at 460km of range based on internal tests.
DIRECT4 all-wheel drive is the marketing term for this system. The system uses wheel vehicle speed, acceleration, steering angle information and more to control distribution of power. When the steering yoke is turned, drive force is front-wheel biased. This shifts to the rear wheels upon exiting a corner.
The Lexus Driving Signature on the RZ has been developed with the following aims:
- feeling secure to ride in
- pleasing to the touch
- exhilarating to drive
For the first time, Lexus is using Frequency Reactive Dampers, which alters the dampening force on the extension stroke of the absorber in response to road surface frequency input.
In terms of design the silhouette is also largely similar to the bZ4X and Solterra, but it’s clear that Lexus has put the work in to differentiate this model from its siblings. The Lexus spindle grille has now evolved into a BEV ‘Spindle Body’ as the front is largely covered up for aerodynamics. This will be the aesthetic that future Lexus BEVs will follow. New two-tone colour schemes will have the RZ’s front, upper hood and roof finished in black in contrast with the rest of the body colour.
Inside, a spacious interior with sustainably sourced materials has been crafted. A steering yoke is optional with steer-by-wire technology. This yoke is set at an angle that is easier for the driver to handle. With Lane Tracing Assist, only a little steering input is needed.
A 14″ touchscreen serves as the infotainment display. Lexus use acoustic glass and a new weatherstripping design to create an extremely quiet interior.
A rather interesting ‘Shadowy’ ambient lighting system is presented.
Ultrasuede material makes up the seat upholstery. This is made out of 30% bio-based sustainable materials. The interior can be optioned in Orage (not a typo), Palomino and Dapple Gray/Black.
In the US, customers can expect the Lexus RZ 450e in showrooms by the end of this year.
Main specifications of the new RZ (prototype)