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Lexus RZ 450e 2022: first dedicated battery-electric vehicle for the Japanese luxury brand revealed

 
Zak Adkins
Journalist

Expected to be built on shared electric-vehicle architecture with Toyota’s BZ4X, the Lexus RZ 450e will spearhead the brand’s desire to go fully electric by 2035


Revealed alongside Toyota’s grand EV concept plans, Lexus has teased the beginnings of its RZ small electric SUV via several design preview images. The production version of the RZ 450e is scheduled to be unveiled sometime during the first half of 2022, according to Lexus. 

Likely to be built on the same e-TNGA electric-vehicle platform as the Toyota BZ4X and Subaru Solterra (which share design DNA much like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GR 86 sports coupes), the RZ will be positioned alongside the existing UX300e as the first models in the Lexus range to be exclusively powered by electricity. 

Heavily influenced by the LF-Z concept revealed earlier in 2021, the RZ will share its 2850mm wheelbase with the Toyota BZ4X but features a significantly redesigned body and will incorporate Lexus’s well known ‘spindle’ grille design. 

Lexus RZ 2022 wide 3/4 view
The Lexus RZ will be based upon the same platform as the Toyota BZ4X

Lexus has confirmed that the RZ will carry ‘450e’ variant branding, implying this is a top-of-the-range model, with ‘Direct4’ badging also meaning that this car will be available with an all-wheel drive powertrain.

No power figures or specifications have been revealed by Lexus for the RZ model, however it will likely be similar to the Toyota BZ4X.

That means the RZ will produce at least 160kW of power in all-wheel drive form and feature a 71.4kWh battery pack or larger. Range is expected to be in the vicinity of 500km so the Lexus RZ is likely to feature a more powerful battery than the BZ4X. Launching as a 450e model, it would not be unrealistic to speculate that power outputs could be 200kW or more. 

Lexus RZ concept 2021
Expect up to 500km range and potentially 200kW of power for the Lexus RZ

In terms of the RZ’s interior, no images have been released just yet, but if the BZ4X and Solterra are anything to go by, expect a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and 7.0-inch driver display at the very least, though based on the new NX’s screen game, the RZ should trump its DNA cousins. In typical Lexus fashion, interior trim and finish will be far more luxurious, as well as potentially quite adventurous.

The 2022 Lexus RZ will be revealed in full in the first half of 2022, however Australian timing is yet to be revealed.

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