The 2023 Lexus RZ electric SUV has finally been unveiled in full. This won’t be the first time seeing the RZ, since the Japanese luxury automaker has already given us a preview of this EV a few months back, but this is the first time that we’re finally getting to know every single detail about its latest electric SUV.
Riding on the e-TNGA platform that’s dedicated to EVs, the 2023 Lexus RZ doesn’t suffer from the limitations of simply using a platform that’s meant to accommodate a combustion engine, such as limited range and subpar interior packaging. If the RZ’s core fundamentals sound familiar, that’s because the e-TNGA platform is also used by the Toyota bZ4X and its Subaru cousin, the Solterra.
That’s also partly the reason why the RZ has a familiar design, though it looks significantly different enough to be identified as a Lexus. All the body panels are unique to the RZ, and it also has a much more rakish design compared to its Toyota and Subie sibling. The grille, as expected in an EV, is closed off, and it’s sculpted to echo the shape of the Lexus Spindle Grille. At the rear end of the RZ is a full-width LED light bar that’s now a signature of every future Lexus vehicle, along with the Lexus script instead of the “L” emblem we’ve become accustomed to.
As expected, the interior of the 2023 Lexus RZ is finished in premium materials that you’ve come to expect from the brand. Like the all-new NX, the RZ’s interior follows the “Tazuna” concept, which combines a 14-inch Lexus Interface touch screen along with easy-to-use knobs (albeit few and far in between) and controls. Additionally, the RZ debuts a new yoke steering that uses steer-by-wire technology, though this is an optional extra that most people probably won’t part their cash with.
For now, only one variant of the 2023 Lexus RZ will be sold, and that’s the RZ 450e. This means you get a dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) system. The AWD system is actually quite unique as Lexus calls it their Direct4 system. Direct4 has the ability to vary its torque distribution from 0 to 100 percent in milliseconds when needed.
Its combined system output with the two motors is 309 hp and 435 Nm of torque, and this lets the RZ 450e accelerate from 0-100 kph in just 5.6 seconds. As expected in an EV, its top speed isn’t spectacular at 160 kph. At least when the Lexus RZ is fully charged, you have a range of more than 400 kilometers, according to Lexus under the WLTP testing cycle.
As with every modern car nowadays, the 2023 Lexus RZ comes with a plethora of advanced driver-assistance tech, which in this case is bundled under the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 suite. This bundles your usual radar-guided Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Pre-Collision System, among others. There’s also a new Proactive Driving Assist, which has the ability to adjust its steering based on what’s coming up ahead. And just like the NX, the RZ uses the brand’s e-Latch electronic door handles, and this is linked to the car’s blind spot warning radar to prevent occupants from opening the doors if there’s an oncoming car, cyclist, and motorbike.
The 2023 Lexus RZ will go on sale near the end of this year in North America, Europe, and Japan, with pricing and full specifications to be announced near its retail date.