Expected to arrive at the U.S. market at the end of 2022, the RZ will be the first vehicle in a new chapter for Lexus. The brand plans to only sell electric cars by 2030 in North America, Europe, and China, and in the rest of the world by 2035.
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, revealed the exterior design of the RZ 450e during a massive press conference in Japan, where he also shared the electrification plans for Toyota and its bZ electric sub-brand, and a few of the electric concepts Lexus is working on for its electric future.
The 2023 Lexus RZ was previewed in concept form by the LF-Z Electrified, an electric SUV that adopted a futuristic design language and several new technologies for Lexus. While the RZ’s design is more tamed compared to the LF-Z, we can see some of its swift character lines on the side making it to the RZ.
The Lexus’ signature boomerang lights are not as sharp in the 2023 Lexus RZ, but the spindle grille is almost the same except for its middle aperture and dots along the side.
The swift roofline and long tailgate in the 2023 Lexus RZ also came from the LF-Z, with its taillights adopting a less dramatic effect on the production version.
The RZ will also have two new technologies previewed by the LFZ—Direct4 and steer-by-wire. During the Design Miami/ fair, where Lexus teamed up with artist Germane Barnes to create ON/, a one-to-one sculpture of the LF-Z Electrified Concept rendered in steel and hanging from wires, we talked with Brian Bolain, global head of marketing for Lexus, about these technologies.
Direct4 is a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system that will be able to send torque to each wheel independently depending on the driving conditions, while steer-by-wire will consider how far the wheel is turned and how quickly, for a better assessment of the driver’s intentions.
“The benefit is that the customer gets what they expect—small steering input, small steering output, small braking, small braking. It’s not something that has been artificially engineered to feel nimble by creating a large output from a small input,” Bolain said.
There’s no word on whether the 2023 Lexus RZ will offer a yoke steering wheel like the bZ4x, and LF-Z Electrified, but Bolain told us Lexus opted for a “warm” cabin experience, where the learning curves are almost nonexistent, and customers are familiar with the cabin.
As more information becomes available, we’ll update this story with more details about:
- Engine, Transmission, and Performance
- Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
- Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
- Infotainment and Connectivity
- Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
2023 Lexus RZ 450e Specs
Engine and Transmission
Dimensions and Measurement
Seating Capacity5 seater