Today, Lexus gave us a sneak peek at the 2023 RZ 450e, an all-electric SUV with a 71.4kWh battery and a 225-mile range. Direct4 will also be available on the company’s first-ever electric vehicle (EV). That’s its revolutionary all-wheel-drive system, which “improves start-up acceleration, handling stability, and low power usage” by automatically calibrating weight distribution on all four wheels.
The vehicle’s interior is elegant, with a 14-inch touchscreen and a panoramic sunroof that stretches from the front to the back seats. The steering yoke, which our colleague Andrew Hawkins bemoaned in a previous post, is an optional feature.
Although a picture of the yoke was included in Lexus’ initial teaser of the car, Lexus spokesperson Amanda Roark confirmed to The Verge that the vehicle will be sold in the US for a year with a standard wheel. After that, the yoke will be available as an add-on with Steer by Wire, an electrical steering system that substitutes mechanical steering.
The RZ has yet to receive a price tag from Lexus, but it’s probable that the luxury car will be more expensive than Toyota’s $42,000 BZ4X electric SUV. Built on the same e-TNGA architecture as the RZ, the base BZ4X model has an estimated range of 252 miles and a 71.4kWh battery pack.
When compared to comparable electric luxury SUVs, the RZ’s estimated range of 225 miles falls short. On a single charge, the 2022 BMW iX M60 can go up to 280 miles, whereas the 2022 Tesla Model X can travel up to 333 miles. The RZ gets better mileage than the $51,700 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge, which can go up to 223 kilometres on a single charge.