Lexus has chosen the 2023 Singapore Motor Show as the venue to hold the launch of its Lexus RZ. While this isn’t the first electric luxury crossover that Lexus makes, the RZ is their first model to ride on a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) platform.
The 2023 Lexus RZ rides on the e-TNGA platform that’s also shared with the Toyota bZ4X and its Subaru cousin, the Solterra which also made its ASEAN debut in Singapore. For now, this is a preview for Singapore, though it will be sold very soon in their market. Lexus Philippines has also shown its intent to bring the RZ to the country, but they have not yet made any firm announcements on when it’ll actually offer the electric crossover SUV.
As with every Lexus, the RZ comes with the brand’s signature Spindle Grille. However, this is an EV, buthe grille, as expected in an EV, is closed off, and it’s sculpted to echo the shape of the Lexus Spindle Grille. The Japanese luxury automaker calls this the “Spindle Body” instead. At the sides and rear, the RZ features a very raked and sloping roofline for a coupe-like design. The RZ also features 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. The model displayed in Singapore doesn’t come with the optional yoke steering that uses steer-by-wire technology, though this is an optional extra in the first place.
For now, only one variant of the 2023 Lexus RZ will be sold globally, 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.
The 2023 Lexus RZ’s ASEAN debut in Singapore signals that it’s nearly ready to make its way into other countries in the region. Hopefully, that also includes the Philippines as well.