Lexus unveiled the 2023 RZ on Wednesday, the first dedicated EV of the luxury brand, and the first Lexus electric model to be sold in the United States.
Scheduled to reach the dealership later this year, this small crossover will launch in the RZ 450e camouflage with a range of 225 miles and a 71.4-kwh battery pack with dual-motor all-wheel drive.
The RZ 2023 shares the e-TNGA platform with the Toyota BZ4X and its 2023 Subaru Solterra Twin. But Lexus suggests that the RZ will be more fun to drive – in line with a strategy that will focus on capabilities for Toyota EVs, with Lexus EVs at the center of performance and range.
Lexus did not release a composite output – just saying that the front motor produces 201 hp, while the rear motor produces 107 hp. To that end, the RZ gets more power (the BZ4X has 214 hp) and a Lexus-specific Direct4 all-wheel drive system. According to Lexus it uses speed, acceleration and steering-angle sensors to judge how much torque should be sent to each axis. According to the automaker, it could turn off power on an axis to increase efficiency.
2023 Lexus RZ
Torque splits range from 40:60 to 60:40 during straight-line acceleration to help minimize pitch. At the corners, it begins to transfer energy to the front wheels to improve reaction and steering sensations, then, according to Lexus, transmits more energy to the rear wheels for traction at corner exits.
Charging information in RZ has also been omitted so far. The dual-motor version of the bZ4X DC is fast-charging at a maximum of 100 kw.
Lexus says the RZ will eventually be offered with a steer-by-wire system, excluding mechanical connections to tires in the United States, allowing a 150-degree lock-to-lock steering angle. This will enable the use of the steering yoke shown earlier in the prototype version of the RZ. Although a conventional steering wheel will be the only option in the United States at launch.
2023 Lexus RZ
The exterior styling echoes the LF-Z electrified concept from 2021, with the spindle grille lexus in the shape of an unattached panel, fully applicable to its interior-combustion car and a black roof. The latter will be an optional feature.
Pricing information for the 2023 RZ will be available near its US launch later this year.
The RZ is not the first Lexus EV. The automaker began selling an all-electric version of the UX crossover outside the United States in 2019. Outside of the RZ, the Lexus has teased an electric sedan, SUV and sports car. A version of the first Lexus plug-in Hybrid-NX has also arrived this year.