Lexus has now launched its first ground-up all-electric model, the RZ 450e

Lexus has now launched its first ground-up all-electric model, the RZ 450e

Following a long history of hybridisation, Lexus has now launched its first ground-up all-electric model, the RZ 450e. The model should be an ideal size for many European families, sitting between the NX and RX in Lexus’ line-up. The SUV is available to order now, with the first deliveries expected to arrive this autumn. While costings haven’t been confirmed, a price tag of around £50,000 is likely.


The RZ 450e gets striking looks, with Lexus’ spindle grille now solid, but represented by bodywork of a similar shape. Air vents direct air flow to reduce drag, and there are striking lines along the SUV’s flanks, first shooting back from the front wheel arch like a wave in water, then kicking up towards the C-pillar. At the rear, a roof spoiler is traded for two individual elements, a rakish screen and full-width light bar. It’s based on the same e-TNGA architecture as the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra, but with a stronger focus on luxury and performance. It will be powered by a 71.4kWh lithium-ion battery, providing around 250 miles of range. A front and rear electric motor will combine to provide up to 308bhp, propelling the RZ 450e from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 99mph.


Inside, the dashboard is taken up by Lexus’ eye-catching 14-inch touchscreen display, offering the brand’s own navigation, alongside Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It will also be possible for owners to pre-condition the cabin, check the car’s statistics and help locate it via a smartphone app. One novel feature is the dimmable panoramic roof, which can be turned transparent or opaque. Radiant heaters at knee-level for front occupants can also help provide heat, reducing the load on traditional climate control and helping provide warmth more quickly when you first get in the car.

Lexus is also planning to offer a One Motion Grip system as an option, that uses drive-by-wire steering to remove unnecessary feedback through the wheel. This replaces the traditional steering wheel with a yoke, similar to in an aircraft, that can turn the front wheels without ever needing to be turned hand-over-hand. This is also claimed to provide better visibility and improve access to the driver’s seat.

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