Right before Christmas last year, Toyota surprised the motoring world when they unveiled a plethora of electric vehicle (EV) concepts. This revealed Toyota's plan to go all-in on electric mobility. From sedans, SUVs, pick-ups, and vans, Toyota wants to have an EV available for every segment.
The first-ever EV Toyota actually launched is a crossover called the bZ4X. Also sold under Subaru as the Solterra, the high-riding EV is available in either 2WD or AWD. The former comes with a single motor that makes 201 PS with 265 Nm of torque, while the latter generates 215 PS plus 336 Nm of torque. Impressive, but Lexus has just released its first-ever EV, and it's more powerful than the bZ4X.
Say hello to the 2023 Lexus RZ. But wait, didn't they already show this last year? Actually, Lexus only released the first images of the EV back in 2021, giving us an early glimpse of the electric crossover. They even gave us a peek at the RZ's futuristic interior. Now, the luxury marque has released the details (and photos) of the production version you see here.
As mentioned earlier, the RZ generates more power than the bZ4X and benefits from an all-wheel-drive system called Direct4. It gets its power from two electric motors, along with a 71.4-kWh battery pack derived from the Toyota EV. The result is a total system output of 312 PS along with 435 Nm of torque. Compared to the AWD bZ4X, the Lexus RZ puts out an extra 97 PS and an additional 99 Nm of pull.
Despite the extra boost in power, Lexus claims the RZ has a maximum cruising range of 450 km based on the J-WLTC cycle. That means it has a similar cruising range as the Toyota bZ4X.
Giving the RZ better on-road handling is its steer-by-wire system. Lexus claims that, combined with e-TNGA platform and Direct4 AWD system, the RZ 450e will offer an exhilarating driving experience along with a stronger human-machine connection.
For the first time, we now have a better look at the RZ's interior. Like the NX which comes with the tazuna design concept, the RZ features a driver-centric cabin. That means most of the instruments and displays are directed toward the driver.
From the touchscreen infotainment as well as the buttons on the dashboard/center console, everything is directed towards the person behind the wheel. Speaking of the steering wheel, drivers can actually get a yoke as an option. That's right, customers that wish to break from the conventional can get a jet-fighter-inspired yoke in the RZ.
Other available features present in the RZ include an electronic e-latch door system derived from the NX, a 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a sleek digital instrument cluster, an electronic gear selector, paddle shifters, full-leather upholstery with contrast stitching, and a bevy of interior trim pieces.
The 2023 Lexus RZ is expected to go on sale in North America and other markets by the end of the year. Pricing has yet to be revealed but expect the RZ to be more expensive than the Toyota and Subaru equivalent. In the future, we're hoping that Lexus Philippines brings it into the country.