Lexus has revealed the RZ450e, its second battery electric vehicle following the UX300e.
However, unlike the latter, which is just the electric variant of the UX crossover, the RZ450e is a dedicated EV model. That means it was designed and engineered from the ground up to be electric.
Lexus models are known for their unique “Spindle” grille. However, since the RZ450e is an EV, the grille has a more muted form and is mostly blanked off to improve aerodynamics. The angular daytime running lights have been retained, though.
At the rear, the SUV has a dramatically sloping roofline with a discreet spoiler and full-width tail-lights. The short deck lid is a unique design feature, too.
Inside, the cabin has been designed to offer a minimalist, yet luxurious environment, with Ultrasuede, an upholstery material made from 30% bio-based and sustainable materials, available as an option. Lexus’ new 14-inch Interface system – first seen in the NX – is also present here.
The cabin meanwhile, has been designed to offer a minimalist, yet airy and maximally appointed luxury environment. An instrument panel positioned low on the dashboard flows into the simple design of the door cards here.
The cockpit’s key feature is the new butterfly-shaped steering wheel, which resembles the yoke of an aeroplane. It is connected to Lexus’ first-ever Steer-by-Wire system, which has a maximum steering angle of around 150 degrees.
This will help eliminate the need for hand-over-hand operation during manoeuvres such as three-point turns and U-turns.
PLATFORM AND DRIVETRAIN
The RZ450e is built on the e-TNGA platform, which is also utilised by the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra. The RZ450e is substantially more powerful, though, packing 308bhp compared to the 200something bhp offered by its “siblings”.
This output is delivered to all four wheels by two electric motors. The one in front pumps out 201bhp, while the one in the rear is rated at 107bhp.
The RZ450e will have a battery capacity of 71.4kWh and offer a range of 450km (J-WLTC).
Helping the RZ harness its performance is the Direct4 all-wheel-drive system, which Lexus says can provide high-precision motor torque control.
It also uses MacPherson-strut type suspension in front and trailing arm double wishbone suspension in the rear. Frequency Reactive Dampers are also on hand to help maintain handling stability without affecting ride comfort.
The Lexus RZ450e is slated to reach Singapore in May 2023.