Lexus will officially unveil its first dedicated electric car on April 20, the automaker said Tuesday.
The car is a small crossover called the RZ, and we’ll see it in showrooms later this year as the 2023 model. It will reach a single RZ 450e grade and possibly with a yoke steering wheel.
An interior shot released Tuesday shows the design of a cabin resembling a NX mini-crossover. However, unlike the NX, the RZ’s cabin has a yoke steering wheel. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The infotainment screen on the RZ may be the same 14-inch unit offered on the NZ, and it also appears to have a digital instrument cluster.
Lexus gave an initial look at the RZ last December during a presentation where the parent company Toyota outlined plans to launch 30 EVs across the Toyota and Lexus brands by 2030. Other electric Lexus cars shown during the presentation include an LFA-inspired supercar, a medium-sized SUV, and a sport sedan with related variable and wagon variants.
2023 Lexus RZ
The RZ is available on the same e-TNGA platform as the BZ4X and its 2023 Subaru Solterra twin. This means we can expect things like steer-by-wire technology and dual-motor all-wheel drive. To help differentiate the RZ, expect to add performance tuning from Lexus, especially for the drive system that will deliver more than the maximum 214 hp offered in the BZ4X and Solterra. Those non-luxury models may have a battery capacity of more than 71.4 kWh.
We know that all-wheel drive will become the flagship of the Lexus EV. Lexus calls its electrified all-wheel-drive system Direct4, and says that the system automatically adjusts the torque of each wheel to optimize driving feel and stability. Due to the instantaneous torque of the electric motor, the system is claimed to respond faster than non-electrified all-wheel-drive systems with torque vectoring.
Lexus is committed to EV technology. The brand plans to have an EV option in each segment by 2030. It wants to be 100% EV of its sales in the United States, Europe and China by the same date and the rest of the world by 2035.
Note that the RZ is not the first EV of the Lexus. The honor goes to an electric version of the UX compact crossover that Lexus has been selling overseas since 2019.