Lexus RZ electric SUV revealed in first official photos, teasers – three more EVs shown, including sports car

Lexus RZ electric SUV revealed in first official photos, teasers – three more EVs shown, including sports car

As part of Toyota’s big electric vehicle showcase today, the company gave the world its first look at the Lexus RZ. The brand’s first dedicated electric vehicle will be revealed in full in the first half of 2022.

The RZ (Z stands for “zero”) is essentially the production version of the LF-Z Electrified concept, albeit with significantly toned-down styling. It retains many of the design cues of the show car, including the “spindle body” front end that mimics the grille on Lexus’ petrol-powered models, black panels underneath the sharp headlights, large black wheel arch flares, a distinct window line kink and full-width taillights.

No details have been revealed just yet, but the car’s similar proportions to the Toyota bZ4X suggest that it will ride on the same electrified Toyota New Global Architecture (e-TNGA), also shared with the Subaru Solterra. What will be different is the powertrain – the RZ 450e badging seen in certain images suggest that it will have rather more than the bZ4X’s maximum output of 160 kW (215 hp).

Lexus RZ electric SUV revealed in first official photos, teasers – three more EVs shown, including sports car

As hinted by the Direct4 badge, the RZ 450e will almost certainly be all-wheel drive, powered by an electric motor on each axle. That’s the same technology found on the LF-Z, which is said to have outputs of up to 400 kW (536 hp) and 700 Nm of torque.

Likely reserved for a more powerful variant of the RZ, those outputs are enough to propel the LF-Z from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed three seconds flat on its way to a top speed of 200 km/h. A 90 kWh lithium-ion battery delivers a WLTP-rated range of around 600 km, Lexus quoted at the time.

The RZ is just the start of Lexus’ electric offensive, as it aims to offer a full EV lineup by 2030 – by which time it plans for battery electric vehicles to make up 100% of sales in Europe, North America and China. This will be expanded to all markets by 2035, which is a massive undertaking.

To do that, the company has a range of new models on the horizon, led by a new electric sports car that will have the driving feel (or the “secret sauce”, as Toyota boss Akio Toyoda called it) cultivated via the development of the dearly-departed LFA. The low-slung, almost Supra-like coupé is said to be capable of a zero-to-100 km/h sprint time in the low-two-second range of a range of up to 700 km.

Lexus says the car is also being developed with possible solid-state battery application in mind. It adds that the driving feel of the sports car will be spread to other electric models, which will also include a similarly swoopy sedan and a large (likely three-row) SUV. One of the images also showed wagon, crossover and even convertible versions of the sedan.

GALLERY: Lexus RZ 450e

GALLERY: Lexus future EV lineup

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Jonathan Lee

After trying to pursue a career in product design, Jonathan Lee decided to make the sideways jump into the world of car journalism instead. He therefore appreciates the aesthetic appeal of a car, but for him, the driving experience is still second to none.




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